This article was named a Top Job Search Blog Post for 2020 by JobMob.co.il. It was originally published here.
By Meg Guiseppi
When I began collaborating on a new kind of customized video system for job search and career late last year, I did a Google search on “how to use video for job search“.
Google loaded more than 5 billion results, but only a few results within the first 10 pages or so were actually about creating personal videos for job seekers to use in job search.
I found a few results for creating video resumes, but most of the results led to instructional videos on how to job search. Occasionally I’ll see people using videos on their social media channels to help them find jobs, but it’s certainly not common.
Job seekers have been slow to embrace video, even though job search and career experts have promoted their use for many years. And a growing number of experts are saying the early 2020’s will see a surge in videos for job search and personal branding.
If you’re an early adopter of video, and get a series of them into social media circulation soon, you’ll have a leg up over candidates who are NOT using video.
Your target employers will notice, and be impressed, that you’ve embraced video and know how to use it.
Guide To Use Video For Job Search and Personal Branding
I’ve put together a guide for you to use, as you begin incorporating videos into your job search and career management.
Here are the topics you’ll read about here. Click on any link below to go directly to that section:
A Few Words About Personal Branding
Personal branding is a method to differentiate and communicate the unique value you offer your target employers, over and above your competitors.
Your brand is more than just the so-called hard skills that define your strengths. Your “soft” skills and personality play an equal role. The things about you that make you a good leader or manager, and easy to communicate with and collaborate with. The way you operate at work and get things done.
Generating chemistry is an important part of the defining and differentiating process for authentic personal branding. Giving a feel for your personality helps you generate that all-important chemistry.
The thing is, you already have a brand. Your brand is your reputation.
To get a handle on and communicate the unique value you offer, you need to do some digging to define the unique set of strengths, personal attributes and drivers that differentiate you from your peers and competitors.
LOOK OUTWARD TO DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND.
Along with introspection, the true measure of your brand comes from eliciting and assimilating feedback from those who know you best. They already know what your brand is about. They know what you’re the “go-to” person for.
The branding process also includes identifying specific target employers you want to work for, so that your brand positioning messaging will resonate with them.
Think of personal branding as educating your target employers and others about the unique value you offer them.
Before you start creating your personal marketing videos, take some time to define your personal brand.
Research your target employers to understand their needs and design your marketing communications (including videos and your resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.) around them. You can’t create compelling content without knowing what will appeal to them and resonate with them.
The more you niche your target audience, the more likely your marketing messaging will hit home with them.
To help you, I now offer the proprietary worksheets I’ve perfected over the years, that have helped my job seeking clients land jobs they coveted and deserved.
Do I Really Need an Online Presence for Job Search?
By now, I hope you understand that online visibility is a must for personal branding, job search and career. You need to have a robust online presence, mostly through social media/social networking, so that employers and hiring professionals will find you when they’re sourcing and assessing talent.
Candidates who have a wider online footprint, with more strong search results associated with “their name”, are more attractive to hiring decision makers.
You need to provide these people “social proof” to back up the claims you’ve made in your resume, LinkedIn profile and elsewhere.
A well-rounded job search campaign, and overall career management even when you’re not job-hunting, includes proactive social media involvement.
Social media strategy is all about regularly putting out new and recurring information to stay top-of-mind with your target employers.
Why is Video So Important for Personal Branding and Job Search?
Video marketing expert and a co-collaborator of mine on CareerBrandVideos™, Andre Palko, described what video marketing is:
“Video marketing is the business or personal use of video, in which a recording of moving visual images is made available on a website or social media, for the purpose of educating, entertaining, demonstrating, supporting, or endorsing a product, service or personal subject matter expertise.
Very often the easiest way to bring a concept to life is through video. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes video is needed to convey a thorough understanding. It’s the next best thing to being there in person.”
When you engage your target employers longer and more frequently, you bring more attention to your brand and unique value proposition. The employers you want to work for will take notice of you, if you use video regularly in your personal marketing plan.
Video has a greater impact on people than plain content. And videos posted anywhere online rank higher in Google, LinkedIn and other search engines than plain content on a digital page.
YouTube is one of the most popular places for video. Because it’s owned by Google, YouTube videos will always land high in search results.
I know of many people who posted a video on YouTube and, within minutes, gained a first page search result for “their name”.
THE POWER OF VIDEO FOR PERSONAL BRANDING
This infographic by Venngage should help convince you of the power of visual content and video:
Hannah Morgan, a job search social media expert and my other co-creator of CareerBrandVideos™, says video helps you show your style:
“Think about real estate today. When I see a “for sale” sign in front of a house, I immediately go view it online. There, I can easily view the interior and get a much better idea of what that house is all about. We have come to expect to find video content to answer our questions and provide more information.
Videos give people a better sense of who you are and reinforce your brand. Video puts a face with a name and helps people know you. Using video is one more way to get people to know, like and trust you. And they’ll remember your message better too!
I frequently hear this statement, ‘If I could only get in front of the hiring manager, I know I could prove I’m qualified.’
Well, now you can! Even before they have an opening. Your video is available anytime, anywhere for people to get a feel of what you know and who you are.”
What’s the Deal with Video Resumes?
I mentioned earlier that video resumes are the video style of choice for the few job seekers who use video at all.
Job search expert Alison Doyle offers this advice:
“A video resume is a short video created by a candidate for employment and uploaded to the Internet (or emailed to a hiring manager) for prospective employers to review.
A video resume describes the individual’s skills and experience and is typically used to supplement a paper resume. As with a print resume, it’s possible for the video resume to be either general or targeted toward a particular position or company.”
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS WITH VIDEO RESUMES
But, she also offers a caution about using a video resume:
“Done poorly, it can, at best, hinder your chances of getting an interview. At worst, it can knock you out of contention and embarrass you.”
I’ve rarely seen a video of someone speaking about their career that was professional-looking and compelling. Most people in these videos are clearly uncomfortable with being on camera, so they come off negatively.
A video focusing on your resume is likely to be dry and uninteresting. Think about it. Most paper or digital resumes are kind of lifeless and fail to generate chemistry around the job seeker. Converting such a resume into a video will probably result in a dull, ho-hum video.
Along with risking putting a poorly-done video resume into circulation online, these videos label you as “a job seeker”. Most people looking for a job can’t risk having others find out. They need to keep their search under cover.
And there’s another problem. Once you put a video resume “out there”, you may not be able to retrieve it from some sites. This makes you appear to be perpetually job hunting.
But let’s say you have a terrific video resume. Combining that with other types of video for branding makes sense. This gives you a visually diverse online presence.
How Does Video Work for Personal Branding and Job Search?
So, we know now that video is important for branding, job search and career, and will become more and more important, especially as this decade progresses.
And we know that the job seekers who do use video, typically use problematic video resumes, probably because they’re not aware that there’s any other kind.
What if you could jazz up a video, and make it more visually appealing, thereby making yourself more appealing as a candidate?
What if you created a series of videos focusing on your personal brand, highlighting your areas of expertise and the overall value you offer the specific employers you’re targeting?
And, what if you designed a social media campaign to recurrently post those videos on the various important social media outlets – YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.?
And consider this: Since so few people use video for job search and career, think about how much you’ll stand out, if you use video.
Hannah Morgan outlined some ways to focus your job search videos:
“While you could film yourself delivering your pitch, or record a video resume, that may not be interesting enough to engage viewers. A better strategy is to highlight your industry knowledge or subject matter expertise. Remember, you want to establish yourself as an expert.
The topic and style of your video should fit with your personal brand and address the needs of your industry. For inspiration, watch videos on Facebook and Instagram and adapt to your message and style.”
HERE’S HANNAH’S LIST OF IDEAS TO CREATE VIDEOS:
- Introduce yourself
- Discuss an industry trend
- Record a how-to video
- Share job-related tips and hacks
- Interview someone
- Ask a question
- Preview events you will be attending
- Record live updates during an event
- Show your day at work
- Film yourself during volunteer projects
- Compile photos and videos that showcase your professional life
Job search expert Jacob Share wrote an extensive post about the useful ways job seekers are using video, including:
- Video research of companies you may want to work for
- Video job openings or job descriptions
- Real job interview video examples
- Mock job interview videos
- Job search vlogging
- Video elevator pitches
- Video job applications
Taking videos a little further, Peter Jones describes how you can use video on Snapchat to tell a story:
“Especially if your industry is a creative one, you can think outside the box a little and, instead of a boring old resume, tell a story about your life in snaps. Use video clips and pictures that recreate a sense of your experience and skills. Show off your capabilities and creative potential for a position by doing something innovative and different enough to help you stand out among the competition. Make sure you know your audience well enough to try this move.”
LinkedIn and Personal Brand Videos
LinkedIn is especially important for personal branding with videos because it’s THE social network for job search, career and business. So many potential eyes are on anything you post on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn offers many places to insert just about any type or style of personal brand videos.
I wrote an extensive article about LinkedIn video on Andre’s blog. Below are some excerpts.
LinkedIn offers two ways to upload videos for job search and career:
You upload your videos directly to LinkedIn and they reside on LinkedIn. LinkedIn lets you post native video:
- In the updates feed of your LinkedIn profile
- In LinkedIn Groups
- LinkedIn Stories
You post links on LinkedIn to videos that reside on an outside video platform like YouTube. LinkedIn supports video sharing platforms YouTube, SlideShare, TED, Getty, Vimeo, Vine, Lifestream, and more. LinkedIn allows embedded videos:
- In the Featured, Experience and Education sections of your LinkedIn profile
- LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform (sometimes called Pulse)
- Explainer videos
- Interview videos
- Event promo videos
- How-to videos
- Promo or teaser videos
- Thought leadership videos
- Testimonials or case study videos
- Company culture videos
- Product reviews
- Demo videos
- Recruitment videos (paid Sponsored updates on LinkedIn Pages)
- Vlogs or video blogs
- Personal branding or bio videos
Video styles cover a wide range, such as these outlined by artist and author Rob Hooks on 99designs. Some of them can be made on your own smartphone, some using DIY solutions, and some must be created by professional video production firms:
- Live action video – recorded still or moving objects
- On-camera video – the subject is speaking and filmed on-camera. Can be made either professionally or self-made, with someone’s own phone
- Whiteboard animation video – pictures are drawn on a whiteboard or something similar by artists
- Animation video – made from still images
- Typography video – animation video that includes moving text or kinetic typography
- Screencast video – a screencast that often has voice-over narration
- Live action screencast – a combination of on-camera or on-screen video with screencast video
- Live streaming – as the name implies, broadcasting video right to viewers on various platforms
- Photo montage – montages or slideshows combining photos with music and voiceover
Another great option is CareerBrandVideos™, a high-quality customized video system, specifically designed for personal branding for job search, career, and entrepreneurs. These videos combine kinetic and animation typography to include movement that keeps viewers engaged.
Job Seekers Need to Embrace Video the Same Way Entrepreneurs Do
Small business owners and entrepreneurs have been using video marketing for years, and doing it very well.
They often use kinetic animation video to promote their products and services, and build online visibility. The smart ones also use this kind of video to showcase their personal brands. They know that people want to do business with people they like and feel connected to.
The wise ones also steer clear of DIY video platforms to create their kinetic animation and other typography videos, because they tend to look “DIY” . . . that is, unprofessional.
Andre, Hannah and I figured that, since job search is very much like running a business, job seekers and other career-minded professionals needed to embrace the kinds of marketing efforts businesses have had success with.
Since they use kinetic animation videos, so should job seekers and other career-minded professionals.
We set about creating CareerBrandVideos™, to meet the need for a customized video system specifically designed for job search and career.
What Should You Actually Put in Your Videos?
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions outlines best practices for creating videos, including:
- Show what you want your audience to see in the first 10 seconds of the video. Viewer attention drops after that point.
- Capture and maintain your audience’s attention with visual storytelling.
- Deliver your message with graphics, people, and text that extend viewer attention span.
- Think like a silent film director: a large portion of LinkedIn members will watch your ad with the sound off.
- Consider burning in video subtitles.
The tone and content of your videos will have greater impact if they don’t shout promotion. Videos focusing on the value you offer will resonate better with people looking for a candidate like you.
According to Google research on YouTube viewership:
“When content is relatable, it motivates people to go from watching to doing. Authentic content gives people the confidence they need to take action.”
That means that videos syncing your hard skills AND your personality will hit home better than those that only showcase your hard skills.
Equally important, as stated earlier, you must have an understanding of the needs of the kinds of employers who will be viewing your videos.
In our work creating CareerBrandVideos™, we found that the following 3 kinds of content make for the most compelling personal brand videos:
- Subject matter expertise content that describes your top strengths, or super strengths, along with how you put those strengths to work.
- Testimonials from people who know you and your work the best.
- Personality content that leans heavily on who you are, what you’re like to work with, and how you get things done.
TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA, HERE’S A CAREERBRANDVIDEOS™ SAMPLE . . . MY OWN TESTIMONIAL VIDEO:
To develop content for your various kinetic animation videos, go back to your completed personal branding and job search worksheets, which I mentioned earlier.
How To Get Your Personal Brand Videos Up and Running
When you’re ready to put your new videos into circulation on your various social media channels, here are some tips to get you going.
First, set up your YouTube channel, so you’ll be ready to upload embedded videos, as noted above. Google (YouTube’s owner) has the basics here.
YouTube Certified author Jeremy Vest wrote an in depth Social Media Examiner article on optimizing your YouTube channel for better visibility, including how to:
- Design a compelling YouTube channel home page
- Research keywords for tags, titles, and descriptions
- Add keywords to your video titles, descriptions, and tags
- Add keywords to your channel
- Use playlists to develop a cohesive and organized channel
“Channel optimization is an overlooked topic because most people focus on getting the most views for individual videos. But optimizing your entire channel spreads the YouTube love much further, resulting in more views for more videos and higher conversion rates. After all, people subscribe to your channel, not your video.”
Granted, there’s a lot to do here, but even if all you do is set up a basic YouTube channel (and get it working passively for you), upload your videos, and then embed them on social media, you’ll be ahead of the game. You can come back later and do all the detailed work.