By Cara-Lea Suttie – Outreach and Events Assistant with Student and Graduate Employment
Have you heard that some jobs are asking for a video submission with your application? It’s ok if you haven’t, and you might never encounter it. But what do you do if that perfect job is also asking for a video as part of the application process?
Here are a few steps to help you create a great video!
- Create a plan
- Write a script
- Set up your space
- Time to record
Create a plan
You want to show off your personality in the video, and while that might sound easy, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Start by thinking about what parts of yourself that you want to show off - is it your sense of humour? Your warmth? Your ability to connect with people? All of the above? Great. Think about how to highlight these aspects of yourself. If you are struggling to figure out a plan, do some research - there are plenty of samples of job application videos online that you can check out.
Write a script
You won’t be reading directly from the script when you film, but the script is going to help you make sure that you say all (or most) of the things you want to say. It is also going to help you practice before you film, so you can get more comfortable. It can be intimidating to film yourself if you aren’t used to it, and practicing what you want to say can be a big help to get past that intimidation factor. Having a script can also help you work on timing. If the employer is asking for a 3- minute video and you write a 5-minute script, you know you’ll have to edit. Remember that you aren’t doing a verbal version of your resume, you are offering an insight into who you are, rather than what you have done.
Practicing is so important. You’ll want to come across as both prepared and engaging, and the best way to make sure that happens is to practice. Practice in front of a mirror or for your friends, or even record your practices so you can watch them back. Practice until you feel comfortable and confident sharing your message.
Set up your space
You want the video to look good – so find a place to record that fits the feel of your video. Most of the time, you will want the background to be clean and neat, but not too plain. Ensure you have good lighting and that it will be quiet around you, so you aren’t competing with background noise. Make sure your phone or other recording device is stable – have a tripod or other method to keep your camera still. There is a lot to think about, but it will make a world of difference in the final product!
Time to record
When you start recording, do some tests to ensure your lighting is good, you are in frame and your audio is clear. Also, don’t hesitate to shoot multiple takes until you get one you are really happy with. You can even edit different portions of different takes together, if you feel comfortable with video editing.
Try not to get too fancy here. You will likely not need high end editing software, as there are plenty of free, easy to use options out there. Make sure you edit out any dead space in the final product. You can certainly edit different takes together, but skip the fancy TikTok transitions (unless it is actually a video editing job). Keep it simple and focused on your personality!
Good luck on your video application - you’ve got this!