Video resumes for college applications and beyond: How to make a video without breaking the bank

Post By: COYD Staff

applications videoVideo seems to be the new thing this year in college admissions. As reported in the New York Times, about 1,000 of the 15,000 Tufts University applicants submitted videos via YouTube with their application. Video resume might be new for college applications, but video resume for job and scholarship applications have been around for the last few years.

So why the increase of interest in video?
With the advent of social media and affordable/free digital technology, the barriers of entry to video creation and video distribution have become non-existent. In the past, not everybody could make a video/movie. Only people who had the money and resources created videos. Now anybody can do it. The film “Paranormal Activity” is a perfect example. This film was made for just $15,000 with a camcorder by a videogame programmer with no directing experience and it went on to gross over $192 million worldwide.

Why would you consider a video resume?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Video is dynamic with sound and motion. For a student or job applicant, it makes you three dimensional and literally one of a kind for the prospective employer or college admissions officer. However, on the flip side, since video is extremely revealing, insincere people are spotted immediately whereas it is harder to spot insincerity in a resume or essay. With that said, it is extremely important to be completely honest in your resume. If you are applying to a college that you really don’t care too much for, it will be apparent in your video resume. So if you are looking to do a video resume for your college application this fall, make sure you do your research on colleges early and know why you want to attend that college. In addition, if the video resume is not well-planned and prepared, it can do more of a disservice to your application. This week we will be discussing how to make a video resume that will work for you not against you.

First things first, you need the right tools to make this amazing video. Below are FREE OR INEXPENSIVE tips on how to make a great, affordable video:

1. Buy an affordable camcorder.

These days, you can get one for under $200. The most popular one that is one of the cheapest and most user-friendly is
Flip Ultra .

However, there are a lot more to choose from. Go to Amazon for a list of Well-priced camcorders

2. Use Free Editing software.

For Mac: iMovie, Zwei-Stein, HyperEngine-AV
For PC: Microsoft Movie Maker, Virtual Dub, Wax

3. Use Inexpensive/Free Royalty Free Music.

To clarify, royalty free music is stock or ‘library music’ licensed for a single fee, without the need to pay any subsequent royalties. More often than not, music is copyrighted. Google “Royalty free music” and you’ll find several sites where you can find good royalty free music.

4. Borrow or buy a tripod.

A shaky camera unless it is part of the presentation looks unprofessional and without it, can make it hard for the viewer to watch your video. Most photographers and videographers say that the tripod is the single most important accessory to the camera. Tripods can be as cheap as $10 (i.e. Flip Tripod).

To see an example of a video our staff created in less than 2 hours, see below. Trust me, if we can do it, you can do it!

Stay tuned for the next posting on the Basics of Video Creation…


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  1. How to submit supplementary materials that will help your college application not hurt it | College Admission | College Of Your Dreams Blog - Jul 28., 2010

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