how to capture your greatest asset
In our first blog: “your experience gets you in the door - your personality gets you the job” we highlighted the benefits of recording a first impression, and asked you to note down thoughts you believe will reveal that great personality of yours. If you haven’t yet read it, I recommend clicking on the link to get some background. If you have - Read on!
In this blog we’ll cover the whole writing and recording process:
- writing the story
- finding key elements to define your story
- refining the script
- filming etiquette
So let’s get started!
develop a story
So you’ve noted down some rough ideas you believe will help share your personality. Great! Now you need to shape these thoughts into a short story.
If you have a brief paragraph of a specific topic, you can easily build a story around it by simply adding some context. Consider the following points to help flesh out the topic:
- when was the first time you became passionate about the subject?
- How does this positively translate into your work-life?
- Did it lead to other interests or challenges?
- How does it empower you?
*Remember: This topic doesn't have to be a life changing event. It's merely something you are passionate about that helps share your qualities through story.
How can you support your story visually? You could include elements in the video where you are interacting with that passion or topic. These visual details really help to bring a story to life, giving you greater on camera presence, that will reveal more than just spoken words.
Remember you’re aiming for around 60 seconds, no biographies 😉 so keep sentences short and concise.
Memorising your story is important; It will allow you to authentically share your story without having to read it off of a script word for word - which is a big no-go. Why? Whether on camera or in real-life, when we watch someone speak whilst they're not looking directly at us, we lose trust in them. Also, memorising your story allows you to relax, be yourself and actually have fun!
Again we’re not aiming for Hollywood, so take your smartphone and find a quiet place to record.
Modern smartphones are more than adequate to use. But here are some tips to consider before hitting the record button.
- Record in the highest resolution possible. 1280x720p or 1920x1080p
- Record in landscape (horizontal) not portrait (vertical).
- Ensure the light in the area is constant to reduce any visual distractions and ensure your face doesn’t have any strong shadows over it.
- Background should be simple or something that compliments the story.
- Ensure your filming area is reasonably quiet to make sure the ambient noise isn’t overly distracting.
- Framing. You should have enough space to move around in and see your actions.
- Use a tripod, table or a friend to film you.
Advanced sound tip: If your mobile phone has bluetooth, you can connect bluetooth earbuds with an inbuilt mic like these and attach to your clothes like a professional lapel mic. This can improve your sound quality and allow you to speak at the camera from a distance and whilst moving.
So you’ve hit record and just want to get it over with. Relax.
What can help is after you have hit record, walk back to your starting position, take a deep breath and shake your arms out for more than 10 seconds. Sounds simple enough, but this can significantly reduce the chance of you forcing the words out.
- Look directly into the camera when talking.
- Don't look at yourself talking while recording, as you'll be judging while speaking and it'll decrease quality and authenticity
- Before and after you speak, look into the camera for at least 3 more seconds. This will allow for easier editing later on.
You don’t have to stand in one place to deliver the whole first impression. Remember it's visual, so find somewhere that supports the story. Like running? Why not film outside? The more dynamic your video - the more memorable your first impression will be.
When you've been going over your story again and again, it's always a good idea to get some feedback. Ask someone close to you to review it.
Ask - Is this really me? Does it authentically share my personality and qualities?
Editing should be a pretty straight forward process.
There are multiple free platforms to edit with that are easy to use with plenty of youtube tutorials to get you quickly up to speed.
- Remove pauses before and after you speak.
- Listen to the audio, your speech must be clear, with minimal background noise. If it’s too quiet, increase the level, but make sure it doesn’t distort.
- Use the supporting footage you've captured, to edit in whilst you're speaking and support your story.
- Export the video and save as an MP4 file.
The final step!
Once the video is edited, you are ready to upload it to the platform. The F ECTIVE platform limits video file sizes to 25 megabytes. If your video file is larger than 25mb you can use these free compression websites Video Smaller or Clipchamp to reduce its size.
That’s it! Upload it to the F ECTIVE platform via the Experience / Resume tab and you’re done!
Willem's First impression
When you take a little bit of time and follow what I've just outlined here you can easily reveal someones authentic personality as shown below with Willem's First Impression. Remember this is under 60 seconds and filmed using an iPhone 6s. It doesn't have to be difficult
We truly believe first impression videos will give candidates a competitive advantage in being selected for the projects they want. PLUS! Our personality is one of our greatest assets so why not share it!
So what's your story? I'd love to hear about it!
If you have any questions on writing or filming your first impression, I'd be more than happy to help out! Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org