Unemployment may have dropped below 8 percent in recent months, but as the January 2013 numbers crept back to 7.9 percent, it’s hard to argue the job market isn’t tough. This is especially true for unemployed candidates, 4.8 million of whom have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

With the market so crowded with job seekers, it can certainly be hard to stand out from the crowd. So it should come as no surprise how little face time your resume is getting with hiring managers and recruiters. In fact, a survey showed the average recruiter is only spending about six seconds glancing over a resume. Not a lot of time to show off what you can do.

This is just one reason to consider recording a video resume. Video resumes display the intangibles you just can’t put on paper — like your personality, passion for the job, and communication skills. Plus with the average video resume clocking in at 60 seconds, you’ve already gotten 10 times the amount of attention from the average recruiter.

But just recording a video resume won’t help you get hired; You need to record a hire-worthy video resume. So if you want to truly impress employers, here are a few essential guidelines you’ll want to follow:

1. Set Your Stage

Proper scenery isn’t just important in the theater, it’s also important when you’re recording your video resume. You’ll want to find somewhere clean and professional to work as your backdrop. You want all eyes on you, not your background.

Distracting scenery can pull focus from your messaging and even undercut your words. After all, if you’re speaking about your superior organizational abilities in front of a pile of clutter, employers might wonder how these messy personal habits will translate to the office.

2. Dress to Impress

Just because you’re not physically in front of an interviewer or hiring manager doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off in the fashion department. No one wants to hire the candidate who recorded a video resume in their pajamas, no matter how comfortable it makes you.

If you want to impress, put on your interview attire and imagine you’re meeting in person. This means no suit jacket on top and sweatpants below! A professional appearance will help you project some much-needed confidence.

3. Lights, Camera, Action (Emphasis on “Lights”)

Here’s a big tip for impressing in the video resume: hiring managers want to see your face. If you record a video resume in a badly lit location, you’ve more or less undermined the whole point of a video resume.

You want employers to be able to personally connect with you, and you want to be more memorable. That’s tough if employers can barely even see you in your video resume. Before recording, find a brightly lit place to record, or even consider setting up your own three-point lighting system. In that old Hollywood saying, lights come before camera and action for a reason.

4. Put Up the Do Not Disturb Sign

Things you don’t want to share screen time with you in your video resume: a roommate walking in the background, your dog sitting on your lap, a phone ringing halfway through your elevator pitch, or emails pinging into your inbox. When you’re recording a video resume, it’s time to put up the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign until your masterpiece is completed.

5. Know Your Lines

Before recording your video resume, you should have your 60 seconds well-planned in advance. This means scripting out what you want to say on film. Following a script is a good way to cut down on rambling and get to your point more effectively. Plus, you can run the script by family and friends before recording your final product.

6. Have Confidence!

The best way to impress in the video resume is also the best way to impress during most phases of the hiring process: have plenty of confidence. You don’t want to come off as egotistical, but understand clearly what you can bring to the role and why you would be the perfect candidate for the job. Job seekers confident in their abilities will be able to instill a similar confidence in the hiring managers watching your video.

A video resume can be a great way to set yourself apart from the pack and make a lasting impression. Just make sure you follow these six simple guidelines and your video resume will make you a hire-worthy candidate.

What are some tips for impressing in the video resume? Share in the comments!

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Featured photo credit: Photographer with camera via Shutterstock

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