Today I'm kicking off our series on video resumes. Let's start with the most important ground rule: we aren't going to use a professional. This is all DIY baby. If you are actively in the job market, do you have a lot of extra funds hanging around to go pay someone to shoot your video resume professionally? If you did, you wouldn't be checking out this blog posting. In the tech spirit, we'll go look for advice from professionals and do our best to apply it.
I spent a few days figuring out video blogging enough to post my first YouTube video (which required its own camera selection). So, here's my first video on...well...video.
Use What You Have, or Can Get Your Hands on Inexpensively
So, if we aren't going to pay a pro are we going to spend just as much money on a righteous camera to do the job? Well, that would be pointless. The 3 options I present here all cost me under $200. You should seek out the best camera you can to get high quality video of yourself into your computer. Look for a combination of image and sound quality. If you need to borrow from a friend for a few days, so be it.
Quality is Key
I know from our recruiters that IT people don't spend a lot of time formatting their paper resume and making it look pretty. Don't have the same attitude with your video resume. YOU ARE AN IT PROFESSIONAL. People think you have some knowledge of high tech things. If you can't master a video camera should we trust you to program the next financial billing system? If you don't care enough to compose your shot and get the sound right, do you have the attention to detail it takes to manage a complex web project? I'm not saying my first video blog post is high quality. What I am saying is that by the end of this, my video resume is going to look good.
Camera 1: Kodak Zi6
This camera was the easiest to capture high quality video. The video was simple to get into the computer to edit. However, the sound was of marginal quality due mainly to the editing software used. With better editing software, this would likely be my winner. By the way if you want a geek review of this camera check out Chris Pirillo's review of the Kodak Zi6.
Camera 2: Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks
With its finicky light settings I'm just not sure I could create a video resume that didn't have a webcam look to it. It captured adequate sound, and the native file format is easy to edit in Windows Movie Maker.
Camera 3: Sony Handycam (DCR TRV-30)
This is the camera that kept me up til 3am. The actual image capture was a breeze. With a remote control, a tilt LCD screen for viewing myself, and a great lens, the camcorder is the way to go for video quality. I spent quite a bit of time testing the Radio Shack lapel microphone. After swearing at and breaking its cheap plastic clip, I tried to figure out why I was capturing only mono sound. Using a lapel mic definitely reduces that echo chamber feeling you get when listening to most video resumes. I'm just not sure if it is too distracting to hear my voice out of only the left speaker. I'm just curious if a stereo lapel microphone will work with my camcorder. More investigating to do.
The editing adventure took me to iMovie on a Mac this time, as my PC would not recognize the FireWire connection from the camcorder. Re-learning how to use a 3rd piece of editing software for this series proved time consuming, and I still don't feel I have the ultimate right answer. None of what I've tried so far puts out HD and I don't think its fair to all of you IT Pros out there that I use anything Mac for this project. IT is a Windows world, and I'm going to make my video resume on a PC so help me God.