Making a virtual resume – is it worth the bother?

Are you linked in?

Here are three statements – see if you agree with any of them:

  • LinkedIn is some new kind of garden fence
  • Facebook is what a plastic surgeon shows you before you get a nose job
  • Youtube is something a plumber might make with a blowtorch
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, you really need to move with the groove and start thinking virtual. If you didn’t, well, you can still benefit from this article so read on – that’s an order.

Seriously now, go on to Youtube and do a search for Video Resume and see what happens.

There are 5,400 results returned. That’s a lot of people who have boosted their job chances by creating a video resume for themselves.

Now is the time to realize that employers are looking at the virtual world to fill their key posts with the top-dollar salaries. But why? Why should an employer or their HR department want to sit down in front of a computer and wade through a load of home-made videos?

The answer is because we’ve strangled businesses with our endless Political Correctness rules. We’ve emasculated the lion and poured water on the fire. The virtual world is the one place where employers can find out the real low-down on employees because nowadays they are barely allowed to ask ‘Your Name?’ on an application form.

This is what drives bosses to the internet (and we’ll look at that notion again later in this blog).

So, if I’ve convinced you to get a video resume, what do you need to get started?

The first thing is your webcam. Do you still (or ever) use the thing that came with your computer? In any case, it’s time to chuck it and invest in a new one that can record in HD (High Definition) – and make sure that it has a good quality microphone, too. Expect to spend around $50, but it will be worth every cent because you don’t want to appear as a cross between a ghost and a nasty smear on your boss-to-be’s monitor.

Now, go back to Youtube and find a good video which shows you how to make a video resume. If you think you already know what to do, watch this one – it’s everything you shouldn’t do in a 2-minute spoof resume. Hilarious or what!

But here is a link to a really useful video showing you how to make a video resume just using free tools (and your webcam).

And this link gives you 9 video resume pitfalls to avoid so you don’t end up with egg on your face.

When you’ve finished, include a link to your video on all your correspondence with companies and on your paper resume. Create backlinks in the usual SEO way – especially if you write articles or make contributions on forums – and you will get passive traffic, that is you will be found by employers.

If you have a website or blog, instead of embedding the video in your html code, use the code that Youtube gives you. Since Google owns Youtube, you linking there is kudos to you and will help boost your rankings. If this is too techie for you, don’t worry but, those of you who have websites and blogs will know where I’m coming from. Make sure you do it the right way round.

The great thing about video resumes is that they are still relatively new, and if you put the effort in, you will stand out from the crowd. Managers and recruiters can view your video on their Androids and iPhones – just handy for them to be impressed by you as they make their daily commute.

There are jobs websites where they encourage you to post your video resume for free.

I'm interested in your CEO position

However, a word of warning. If you’ve already got a Youtube account (or belong to any of the social media sites), everything that shows you, links to you, or mentions you is fair game for employers to see and take into account when assessing your suitability for a job. Therefore, a video of you and your mates doing a drunken moon on vacation will be held against you by an employer looking for a sober-minded individual to lead their team.

Unfair it may be but there’s no point bleating about a system you can’t change.

If you haven’t already done so, scour the internet for your name. Did you know you could also get this done for you? And free of charge, too. Just create a Google alert and don’t forget to put speech marks around “your name” so that it reads it as one. If it’s a common name, use a plus sign to add in your town so your search would be +”my name” +mytown and Google would then send you email showing every time your name and your home town appeared on the same internet page.

Scanning the internet like this is essential. You need to know what is being said about you because that is what an employer cross-referencing your name and home town will see, too.

It’s called your online reputation and nearly 90% of managers who use the internet reckon that they take it into account when hiring someone for a top job. Remember, it’s hard work getting a good reputation but any fool can (and does) get a bad one quite easily.

Just because you can’t be asked about your hobbies, what sort of a person you are outside of work, how responsible you are and what image you will bring to the company if given a job, it doesn’t mean that the company doesn’t want to know. Be sure they do – more than ever, probably.

Stardom beckons

So, it’s not just your video resume, it’s also your online reputation that matters. You need to see that they both send the right message about you to potential employers otherwise you’ll be left sitting at home with plenty of time to study Youtube’s latest videos.

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