Video CV/Résumé

A selection of high tech devices on displaySome teachers are now creating video CV/Résumés. These are uploaded to sites like YouTube and the link sent to prospective employers along with their standard printed/emailed CV/Résumé‏‎.

A video CV/Résumé is not meant to be a substitute for the traditional résumé but it is an addition that will undoubtedly make you stand out and greatly increase your chances of being remembered by any potential employer.

Background

One of the great unknowns for any employer looking to hiring staff from abroad is the personal aspects of a candidate which are missing from your paper CV. In many cases a job Interview either never happens or takes place over the phone (Skype interviews are not common with most foreign school owners, though there are exceptions).

A thoughtfully prepared video CV can convey instantly a lot of information about yourself, your personality, your demeanour, and so on, which usually do not come across in a paper CV.

On video they will be able to see what you look like and sound like and generally get a pretty good idea of the kind of person you are: shy, loud, gentle, outgoing, sincere, excited, confident, etc.

Of course, they’ll know you have tried to portray yourself at your best, but just being able to see you in person will be a great added bonus and probably one of the key factors in their final decision.

Recording a Video

These days it's not necessary to have expensive equipment and a studio to make a video CV. You can do it in front of your computer using either a simple webcam; you can use a smartphone or even a mini-cam. There are plenty of options.

Here's how to make a simple recording; there is plenty more you can do to make it more professional and look better, but these are the basics to get you started.

Before recording yourself make sure that:

  • Your dress code‎ is appropriate to the type of job you are applying for. Flip flops or short skirt are not ideal even if you are applying for a teaching job in the Caribbean!
  • The setting you have chosen for your video is uncluttered and relevant. The back room of your local hang-out or your messy lounge won’t do! Record instead against a plain wall or relaxed background.
  • Make sure pets and family members are out and that it is quiet.
  • Set up the camera (or have a friend help) so that the video will show your head and shoulders. The camera should be steady and not shaking all over the place.
  • Prepare a mini script to follow. Jot down the main points you want to cover in your presentation and memorise them (see below).
  • Remember, don’t make a verbal copy of your CV/Resume; this is designed to enhance and give a more personal look at you.
  • Keep it short - a two minute resume is more than enough.

After you've finished:

  • Use one of the free editors on the market (e.g. Windows Movie Maker or iMovies) to put on a title and end card with your name & email address.
  • Get a friend to look it over and give an honest opinion. If it's not good, reshoot!

Finally of course you can produce as many of these as you need. Each one will surely be better than the last and you can begin to add more professional touches as time goes on.

A Script

This depends on you, but here's an example of a video presentations script.

Hi, my name's Mandy Smith and this is my video resume. I'm a teacher of English and I love my job. I'm originally from Ohio in the United States but I've spent the last few years since I graduated college, teaching English around the world, mainly in Asia. In fact I've just come back home after two years in Japan where I taught conversation lessons to intermediate level teenagers.

Tokyo was an amazing place but very hectic. What I'd like to do now is try something completely different which is why I've applied for the job on offer teaching business English to adults at your school in Colombia. As you can see from my resume I've had experience teaching some business English so this won't be the first time for me but I've never even been to South America so I'm really excited at the opportunity here for me to experience something completely new. I did Spanish in High School so I won't be completely helpless though!

Anyway, you've already seen my printed resume but if there's anything more you'd like to know about me then do please get in touch - my email address appears at the end of this video.

I really look forward to hearing from you and I do hope we can meet in person one day in Colombia!

As you can see, it is informal and aimed directly at the school where the job is. (This might not always be the case however, you may have the script more generic.) It does not simply list qualifications and experience, but is there so the employer can get a glimpse of your personality and style.

Useful Links

TEFL CV/Résumé - what to include in your printed TEFL resume

TEFL Job Interview - what to expect at a TEFL job interview

Image © celestehopkins
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