Do You Need Your Own Video Infomercial?

Put your personal brand in motion with a video biography that lets your personality shine through.

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It’s hard to stand out in a job search. There are myriad others with similar credentials and experience, so differentiation is key. How do you cut through the clutter and get hiring managers excited about your candidature? One great option is video. In my Top Ten Personal Branding Trends for 2010, I chose video as the No. 1 trend for this year.

Deliver a complete communication

The challenge with resumes and written bios is that you have just words to communicate your message; yet words account for only part of your message. (A UCLA study indicated that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues.) When you add body language and vocal variation to the words, you set yourself up to deliver a message that’s clearer and more compelling.

Thanks to Web 2.0 and the ubiquity of social media, biographies are quickly becoming an important job-search tool. Video can be the best delivery vehicle for your bio.

Some entrepreneurs are building a business in this new territory. According to Catharine Fennell, president and CEO of videoBIO, a video covers everything that can’t be said in a resume. “This gives job seekers a real opportunity to make a personal connection with prospective employers who make their decisions not only on hard skills and experience but on cultural fit, attitude and communication style. What better way to meet someone in 30 seconds or less.”

Step off the page

Video allows you to express your personal brand virtually. We all know hiring managers evaluate you on the education, experience and skills they can see on paper. Those requirements are the table stakes that get you into the game. But in this ultracompetitive job market, there are lots of other players. What can tip the scale in your favor often goes undetected on paper: your emotional brand. Use video to supplement your resume by demonstrating your humor, wit, enthusiasm, empathy and energy.

Video is the future

Right now, video is differentiating. There are surprisingly few high-quality video bios on the Web. (Just do a search on YouTube to see what’s out there!) That gives you the opportunity to stand out and demonstrate yourself as innovative: a freebie personal-brand attribute for now. But it won’t be long before video becomes the standard vehicle for expressing ourselves on the Web. According to The Global Web Index, with research conducted by Lightspeed Research, 72 percent of U.S. Internet users watched video clips monthly – making video bigger than blogging or social networking.

Thanks to the ubiquity of video-sharing Web sites, cheap bandwidth and a growing interest in watching videos on the Web, you can be sure that video bios will become a standard component of your career-marketing toolbox.

Six tips for producing a standout video for your job search

1. Know what you want to say. A video bio is not a video resume listing your credentials. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership, communicate what you believe and how you deliver value for your employer.

2. Be brief. Keep it to two to three minutes. Attention spans are short (and getting shorter).

3. Remember, quality trumps quantity. Invest in one high-quality video bio instead of posting lots of mediocre videos to YouTube. Hire the professionals; this is an investment in your career. Invest in one high-quality video bio, so make sure you’re working with a camera person, professional video editor and other experts.

4. Dress appropriately. Also ensure you select clothes without prints or busy patterns (they often don’t look right in video). Remember makeup (to ensure you are not shiny). These small details will all contribute to a polished product.

5. Maximize distribution. Post your video to multiple video sites, including your own Web site and to sites like YouTube, vimeo and blip.tv. Your video bio can be a passive job-search tool as well.

6. Promote it. Now that you’ve invested in your video, make sure it gets seen by those who need to know you. Include it in your e-mail signature, put a link in your LinkedIn profile, tweet it to your Twitter followers and put the link at the top of your resume.

William Arruda

William Arruda Credited with turning the concept of personal branding into a global industry, William Arruda is the founder of Reach Personal Branding and author of “Career Distinction” and the upcoming book, “Ditch. Dare. Do!”

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