4 Things Elle Woods Would Want You To Include In Your Video Resume

Elle Woods video resume from Legally Blonde

MGM Studios via YouTube

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k

Was Elle Woods ahead of her time? In some respects, quite possibly. Who could forget the iconic video pitch the Legally Blonde heroine sent to Harvard Law School, where, from her parents’ pool, she listed her many qualities, ones she believed would make her the ideal Harvard L1?

Elle’s video certainly raised some eyebrows for the admissions committee, but today, video resumes have emerged from pop culture into the real career landscape.

Should you urge an employer to “vote for you” while dressed in a bikini? Probably not. But video resumes can be a useful tool in setting yourself apart. What do you need to get started?

1. A prepared script.

You may be tempted to make your video seem candid, so should you really prepare a script? The answer is a resounding yes. While you don’t want to appear overly rehearsed, you do need to put in the effort to deliver a polished presentation.

Write out a script that not only incorporates what you want to say but also any actions or additional footage to demonstrate your qualifications. For example, you might want to add shots of you performing your current work. While you don’t need to write out the words verbatim, consider factors like chronology and particular skills and experiences you want to highlight.

2. A tailored pitch.

Just as with a written resume, you should tailor your video resume to the specific employer. This goes for tone — does the company seem more serious or playful? It also goes for the content itself, along with any other elements you choose to include or omit, from the way you dress to the things you say.

3. A professional background and space.

Choose the best space for your video, one that is relatively neutral, to avoid confusing the viewer with too much going on. Make sure it conveys professionalism, too. Pay attention to lighting, noises and any potential distractions — you want the viewer to be able to focus on you and what you’re saying and doing.

4. Details the employer can’t find elsewhere.

The purpose of a video resume is to enhance your candidacy, not regurgitate information that’s already included in other parts of your application. There might be some overlap in terms of the facts themselves, but look for ways to highlight key elements and augment them, such as by demonstrating a skill — this adds another layer. 

You can also offer details that aren’t on, say, your written resume. For instance, perhaps you volunteer (in a way that’s relevant to the job) and can show footage of your experiences.

Of course, always review, edit and polish your video to deliver the best presentation possible — Elle Woods would approve!


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

Have you ever submitted or reviewed a video resume? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!