I was writing a blog the other day while glancing up at a MLB game. I had the TV on mute and happened to watch a commercial for the new Honda hybrid and was immediately struck with something. The best commercials deliver the majority of what they want to say with the clever use of pictures.
This seems obvious as it is television. But I am not saying that a good commercial uses pictures, I am saying the best commercials cleverly combine pictures and sound to deliver a lot of information in a short time frame. An advertiser has at the most sixty seconds to deliver a buying message to the viewer and the more creative they are with images, the more buyers they will have.
Advertisers spend billions in TV marketing and a good part of that budget is the research that goes into how people process information. With all of this research into how people make buying decisions, why are we sending resumes in to companies that we want to work for especially if it is the first "touch", the first time we have communicated with them?
Is it any wonder why when you send a resume in for a job, you don't get a call back? There is research that shows you have about 30- 45 seconds to get someone's attention. If you don't make it happen in that time frame you are fighting a losing battle. How unique can a resume be? You can change the font, formatting, and perhaps the color, but it is still a resume. It is a document with lots of words. And there are still many people spending over $500.00 for someone to re-write their resume.
What has made TV such a great medium for advertising other than the fact that it can reach so many people? Simple, the advertiser can overlay their message with moving pictures. The advertiser can instantly create an impression with much more content in 60 seconds then they could in a half hour lecture on the product.
So let's think about how we can create the best first impression with pictures. We don't necessarily want to send a vacation photo next to a large marlin along with our resume however we can send a well executed video pitch. Well executed is not sitting in front of a webcam rambling on about your career. A great video pitch needs to be no longer than 60 seconds, preferably 30-45, and 99% of the time needs to be coached both in writing the script and executing the video.
I am pretty amazed when I see people sending in webcam videos to employers that they have created on their own. First of all, the quality of the video is not great, and secondly it is not likely the best representation of the person. Let's face it, unless you have been working in video or film for a long time, you don't have the right skill set to understand how to bring out the best in your subject matter, in this case YOU.
So look into how to build a great video pitch and forget about rewriting the resume for now. Chances are, your resume is pretty good. What you need to get in the door is something that stands out!!