A CV that makes a visible impact

A CV that makes a visible impact
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First Published: Sun, Jul 04 2010. 11 51 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Jul 04 2010. 11 51 PM IST
With the emergence of YouTube, inexpensive webcams and widespread broadband Internet access, innovative forms of e-recruitment have become a norm. Unlike the “.docx” version, video resumes—or visumes—allow you to demonstrate interpersonal, creative and technical skills to your employer, while showcasing your personality in a matter of minutes.
A behind the scenes look
“Video resumes are an excellent way to get companies to sit up and take notice—if you do it right,” says Jyotika Dhawan, co-founder and managing director of Helix HR, New Delhi. “They give a more personal view of you than a paper resume. They allow employers to see how you present yourself, and whether you would fit into the company culture. If you make the right impression, your video resume could get you to the interview stage quicker.”
For all that, a trend that has thousands of takers the world over still has a long way to go in India. In 2007, when Monster.com introduced video resumes in India as a new feature on the site, the e-recruiting market was excited and hopeful. However, the lack of specialized professionals to aid candidates’ efforts, combined with their inability to shoot and edit their own videos, made it a damp squib. “The trend really hasn’t taken off in India partly because it isn’t convenient yet for employers to ‘search’ a video resume among thousands of applications,” says Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder and CEO of? Naukri.com, and a Business of Life columnist. “But more importantly, because the real challenge lies in doing a good job of it—and that’s not as easy as it seems.”
However, with the freeze on recruitments finally easing up, what better time to focus on rebranding your professional image? Just remember that visumes must walk a delicate line, maintaining a professional approach while giving the employer a personality-filled, attention-grabbing glimpse of you. Here’s how to make yours a job-winner:
Look the part
“If you’re applying for a position in a formal, traditional company or industry such as banking your video resume may not be the place to showcase your Zumba dancing skills or your passion for stand-up comedy,” says Dhawan. “However, if you’re looking for a more creative field such as advertising, you may be able to get away with a little more fun element.” Know your sector and highlight your job-related skills. Your visume is your chance to make a compelling first impression—show employers you can fit in.
Run a quality check before you ‘publish’
It may be a good idea to approach a professional corporate film-maker to produce your video resume. However, if you’re planning to make it on your own, make sure you give some thought to the technical aspects of the recording. Bad lighting, inappropriate settings, poor editing and audio glitches can completely ruin your chances. “The impression you make will depend a whole lot on the overall look and feel of your video,” says Neeraj Ram, a New Delhi-based professional film-maker and founder of Film Wallahs. “Keep it clean and simple to make sure the employer has no distractions and can concentrate on you. Be patient and ready to review the clips several times over during the shooting process to avoid any blunders.” Ask friends, family and trusted colleagues to review it too.
Prepare to face the camera
Unless you’ve been on camera before, it may take you some time to relax in front of the lens. “Take the time to pen a script before you get down to filming, so you know exactly what you’re going to say and can focus on how you’re going to say it,” advises Ram. “Be relaxed, and avoid big, sweeping or repetitive gestures—but don’t be afraid to let your personality come through.”
Make it the prologue to your pitch
Remember, however, that though a video resume is a fantastic personal marketing tool, it does not replace your text resume. Look on it as a teaser or a sales pitch to get recruiters excited about you and leave the details of your job experience to your CV. Also, remember that hiring managers potentially have a pile of applications on their desks and do not have time for a sitcom. To avoid putting them off, keep your message short and relevant—no longer than 1-3 minutes. A visume made by a professional film-maker can cost upwards of Rs15,000 and will need a minimum of two full days of shooting and couple of days for editing.
Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com
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First Published: Sun, Jul 04 2010. 11 51 PM IST