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How to Make a Video Résumé

Ready for your close-up? Get in front of the camera and star in your résumé

Most job recruiters say that the average paper résumé is sized up within the first 10 to 30 seconds of reading. Why not shake it up and try a video résumé instead?

See also: 5 great jobs you can do from home.

Not all jobs warrant video résumés. But if you're in a line of work where all eyes are on you — sales, public speaking, tourism or fund-raising, for instance — a video résumé is a chance to show off your personality and your skills. It will also show a future employer that you're not intimidated by social media and the online world.

You'll need a computer, Internet access and camera. Consider shelling out about $50 for an HD web camera. It will dramatically sharpen your video image. Or maybe you can get a friend to shoot you with a smartphone.

Websites such as Sparkhire.com are sprouting up with easy-to-follow tutorials on how to get rolling. At Purzue.com, you can watch sample videos to see how other job seekers are showcasing themselves and their work.

I can't help but think of the famous line from the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, when the leading character Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson) says, "Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark! ... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

Ready to get started? Here's what you need to do.

Creating a webcam video with your resume can help you sell yourself to potential employers.

Creating a webcam video with your résumé can help you sell yourself to potential employers. — Getty Images

Prepare your pitch and rehearse. Review sample videos and write a script. You don't have to memorize it, but outline your major talking points. Practice what you're going to say. This isn't a long segment. Think of it as a 60-second commercial, a sound bite with some snap to it. It can run longer, but certainly no longer than three minutes.

Report to wardrobe. Dress professionally as if you were going to an in-person interview. These videos are shot from the waist up, so slip into your full costume to set the mood. Style your hair. Ladies: Use a little extra lipstick and makeup as the camera can wash you out. Go easy on the jewelry. Men: Make sure ties are straightened and shirts are pressed. Watch for stray hairs drifting about on your collar.

Next page: What to say and how to say it. »

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