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Video Cover Letter Tips Monster

This simple resume recipe will make recruiters hungry for more

Our step-by-step video shows you how to cook up a resume that hiring managers won’t be able to resist.

Just like the perfect meal—the kind that wins TV cooking contests and creates combustible love affairs—the perfect resume starts with the right ingredients.  And just as a classic recipe provides a tried-and-true formula for mealtime success, there’s a kind of algorithm to making a good resume:  Go heavy on experience, throw in a dash of skills, make this part spicy, make this part mild.

The results, of course, depend entirely on the skill level of the chef. But we’re more than happy to be your Julia or Giada on this one: Monster created a step-by-step video demonstrating everything you need to make your resume irresistible. Take a look—and find the full recipe below. Bon appétit!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 targeted summary, tailored to the job
  • 4 cups past employment history
  • 1 lb quantifiable results (time or money preferred)
  • 5-10 related skills
  • Education, diced (1-3 lines per school)
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups keywords from job ad
  • Honors and awards, to taste
  • Readable sans-serif font
  1. In a pot—or a word processing program—start with a brief summary that explains your experiences as they relate to the specific job for which you’re applying. Hiring professionals have sensitive palates and can often detect a generic application on sight
  2. Combine the next four ingredients. Remember: Presentation matters, so use a resume template if you’re not sure if your style game is on point.
  3. Add in the fish sauce (or not), and the rest of the ingredients—and definitely don’t forget those keywords. Employers can receive hundreds of resumes for a given job, and they’ll often use automated systems to find the resumes that are actually relevant. We’ve got some resume keyword tips if you need inspiration—but don’t overdo it. Stuffing your resume with keywords is like over-salting a perfectly good filet.
  4. Reduce 10 minutes, then come back to proofread for spelling and grammar errors.
  5. Voila! Your resume is ready and looks good enough to eat. (Editor’s note: Don’t actually eat your resume.)

Want more resume tips? We’ve got you.


5 things you must do to prepare for a video job interview

Get ready for the interviewer to see a lot more than just your resume.

Video interviews can be a great way to connect with a potential employer without having to travel, but they are full of potential pitfalls. So if you’re asked to participate in a video interview, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready.

Here are five things you must do to prepare for a video interview.

1. Check your tech

Familiarize yourself with your webcam and microphone so you know how they work. “Make sure that your audio and video come through clearly and that there are no technical issues on your end that would hinder your interview,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of Call to Career.

“Also, the camera should be at eye-level so that you are looking directly into the camera,” she explains. “It won't make a good first impression if you are seen as looking down or looking up when speaking.”

2. Prep your surroundings

You may think the only thing the people on the other end of a video interview can see is your face, but they will see some of your surroundings too, Palmer says. “The room that you are in should look neat and attractive and not be visually distracting. You also need to avoid any auditory distractions such as a barking dog or a crying child.” Also be sure to turn off the ringers of all the phones in the area.

“Mistakes we've seen include video interviews recorded in a coffee shop with a very noisy background or in a bedroom with dirty laundry scattered on the floor,” says Michael Yinger, Aon Hewitt's global lead for recruitment process outsourcing delivery. “We've seen interviewees dressed in a robe and children playing in the vicinity. We've also seen a partially clad spouse running behind the person recording the interview.”

3. Look at your lighting

Put a light behind your computer so your face is illuminated, Palmer says, and avoid casting shadows on your face. “You should also keep in mind that the lighting can make your face shiny, so make sure that you powder your face lightly (even if you're a man),” she says.

4. Dress to impress

It may be tempting to go pantsless just to say you did, but it’s not a good idea. “Even though you are not interviewing for the position in person, appearance still matters,” Palmer says. “When interviewing for a professional position, you should still dress in a suit even though only your top will be seen.”

5. Sit where you can speak freely

Don’t try to do a video interview from your current job if they don’t know you’re looking at new opportunities. John Jakovenko, principal at the Jakovenko Group, says he had to sit through a video interview from a candidate who was hiding in a conference room and didn’t turn on the camera.

“This effectively turned the video interview into an awkward phone conversation where the interviewer was visible, but the candidate was not,” he says. “The candidate was whispering so their employer didn't find out they were interviewing. This demonstrated that candidate did not have the courtesy to interview for another job offsite, and seemed to lack the technological skills to operate a webcam.”