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0664 Preparing a Video Resume

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 664: Preparing a Video Resume.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 664. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there to download a Learning Guide for this episode that will help you improve your English even faster – and keep your hands from getting dirty!

This episode is about a “resume,” which is a description of your experiences that you give to someone you want to work for when you are looking for a job. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Katrina: Okay, I’m ready to hear all of your advice about what to put into a video resume.

Raj: All right. The first thing to remember is that your video resume doesn’t take the place of your traditional resume; it supplements it.

Katrina: Okay, I got it. I was thinking of talking about some of my outside interests and activities to show that I’m a well-rounded person.

Raj: I’d forget about that, if I were you. The point of the video resume is to make a good business impression. It’s not about showing your outside skills or interests. You’re marketing yourself as a business professional so you should wear business attire, something you would wear to an interview.

Katrina: Oh, so this outfit is out, I guess. I wanted to show them my personality.

Raj: I think that outfit would definitely knock you out of contention for any job. You have to get it out of your head that you’re going to get hired for your personality or charm. What counts are your qualifications, your skills, and how you handle yourself in a business setting.

Katrina: Oh, I was afraid you were going to say that.

Raj: Stop selling yourself short. Your qualifications and skills are as good as the next guy’s. You just have to believe in yourself.

Katrina: Right, I have to believe in myself…I have to believe in myself. Hey, I think I can do it!

Raj: Really? You think you can produce a video resume that’s professional and polished?

Katrina: Sure, it should be no problem. I know just the right person to hire as a stand-in!

[end of dialogue]

Our dialogue begins with Katrina saying to Raj, “Okay, I’m ready to hear all of your advice about what to put into a video resume.” Katrina wants to hear what Raj thinks about what she should put into, or what she should have, on her video resume. A “resume” is a list, typically on a piece of paper, of your qualifications, your experiences, your educational background. All of these things you put on a piece of paper, and you give to a company who is looking for someone; you, of course, hope that they will look at your resume and hire you – give you a job. Sometimes, in some settings, a resume is called a “CV,” that stands for curriculum vitae. In the university – in the academic world we often talk about CVs (the letter “C” and the letter “V”). More commonly – more generally, they’re called resumes. A “video resume,” then, is when you record a short video and tell people what your qualifications are; so, it’s a video about you.

Raj says, “All right. The first thing to remember is that your video resume doesn’t take the place of your traditional resume.” “To take the place of (something or someone)” means to replace, to be used instead of something else. Raj is saying that you can have a video resume, but you also need a traditional resume. That is, a resume on a piece of paper or nowadays, I guess, a file that you would email someone. “To take the place of” means then to replace. “No one can take your place,” you may hear. Well, that’s probably not true; everyone can probably be replaced! Raj says that the video resume supplements the traditional resume. “To supplement” (supplement) means to add to something else, to make something else better. Your doctor may tell you to supplement your diet, what you eat, by taking vitamin pills. That is also a noun – that is, “supplement” can be used as a noun to refer to those things you take to make your health better in addition to any sort of medicine. So vitamin C, for example, would be a supplement; it would help you improve your health, it would add to what you are doing otherwise with your diet – with your eating.

Katrina says, “Okay, I got it (meaning I understand). I was thinking of talking about some of my outside interests and activities to show that I’m a well-rounded person.” Your “outside interests” are things that you do in addition to your work. That might include skiing, going to the bar and drinking beer and watching television, it might be dancing; all of these things you do when you’re not working. Well not all of them, but some of them you probably do, especially the one about the beer I guess! Anyway, Katrina has outside interests, things that are not directly related to her business life and experience. She thinks she should talk about those. “Outside,” by the way, has some other meanings in English, and those can be found in our Learning Guide for this episode. She says she wants to show – she wants to demonstrate – that she is a well-rounded person. A “well-rounded person” is someone who has many different interests and skills, someone who is involved in many different kinds of or types of activities. Maybe you like to dance, but you also volunteer your time to help teach children how to read, or you also like to travel, and you like to read modern poetry. All of these things could make you a well-rounded person – or they could make you crazy, both are possible!

Raj says, “I’d forget about that, if I were you.” He’s telling Katrina no, don’t talk about your outside interests. “The point (or the reason, the main goal) of the video resume is to make a good business impression.” An “impression” is how someone reacts to you, what they think of you. “It’s not about showing your outside skills or interests,” Raj says, “You are marketing yourself as a business professional.” “To market yourself” means to present yourself in a particular way so that it seems as though you are qualified. You could market yourself as a clothes designer, and you would show that you know how to design clothes. So you can market, or sell yourself as a different kind of person, depending on the job you are applying for. Raj says that you want to market yourself, Katrina, as a business professional therefore you should wear business attire. “Attire” (attire) refers to the clothing that you wear, so “business attire” would be business clothing, clothing you would wear to work. Raj says, “something you would wear to an interview.”

Katrina says, “Oh, so this outfit is out, I guess.” Here, the word “outfit” refers to the clothing that you are wearing. When Katrina says, “this outfit is out,” she means that it is not appropriate, she can’t use it for the video resume. She says, “I wanted to show them my personality.” Raj says, “I think that outfit (those clothing, your attire) would definitely knock you out of contention for any job.” “To knock (knock) someone out of contention” means to prevent you from getting the job or getting the opportunity, to make you lose basically. If you have someone who knocks you out of contention, that means that you are going to lose, that person is better than you or that person will be selected before you. So Raj tells Katrina that her outfit – her clothing would definitely knock her out of contention. I’m not sure what Katrina was wearing, maybe a bikini; I don’t know – she says she wanted to show them her personality! Raj says, “You have to get it out of your head (meaning you have to stop thinking) that you are going to get hired for your personality or charm.” “Charm” is the way that you are nice to other people; it’s a quality that makes people like you. Raj says, “What counts (meaning what is important) are your qualifications, your skills, and how you handle yourself in a business setting.” “To handle yourself” means how you act, how you behave; in particular, how you are able to control your actions and reactions in a difficult situation, in this case in a business setting. A “setting,” here, just means an environment, the place where you work.

Katrina says, “Oh, I was afraid you were going to say that.” Raj says, “Stop selling yourself short.” “To sell yourself short” means to doubt or question your ability to do something, to think that you’re not very good at something when you really are. It doesn’t mean anything related to being physically short or tall; it has to do with your opinion of yourself and your abilities. That’s why Raj then says, “Your qualifications and skills are as good as the next guy’s.” When we say “(something) is as (something) as the next guy’s” – “as smart as the next guy’s,” or “as big as the next guy’s,” or whatever – we mean that you have this quality as much as anyone else or in the same way as anyone else. The word “guys,” in plural, can refer to both men and women when used informally; it can also just refer to men, it depends on the context. Here, Raj is referring to men and women. He says, “You just have to believe in yourself.” “To believe in yourself” means to believe that you can do something well, to be, what we would say, self-confident. This is a very popular phrase, or at least it’s become one in the last 30-40 years. Everyone believes in themselves, maybe a little too much sometimes!

Katrina says, “Right, I have to believe in myself…I have to believe in myself.” She repeats it. “Hey, I think I can do it!” Raj says, “Really? You think you can produce (or make) a video resume that’s professional and polished?” “Polished” means very well done, finished perfectly. Katrina says, “Sure, it should be no problem. I know just the right person to hire as a stand-in!” A “stand-in” is a noun; it refers to a person who does another person’s job for a short period of time, especially when we are talking about an actor in a play or some other performance. The “stand-in” is someone who is just there temporarily, because the regular actor is sick or can’t be there or is in prison, or is rehabilitated from being an alcoholic – you get the idea! Here, Katrina says, “I know just the right person to hire as a stand-in,” she means I’m going to find someone else who’s going to pretend they are me and they will make the video resume. Of course, that’s not what you should do, and not what Raj was suggesting!

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Katrina: Okay, I’m ready to hear all of your advice about what to put into a video resume.

Raj: All right. The first thing to remember is that your video resume doesn’t take the place of your traditional resume; it supplements it.

Katrina: Okay, I got it. I was thinking of talking about some of my outside interests and activities to show that I’m a well-rounded person.

Raj: I’d forget about that, if I were you. The point of the video resume is to make a good business impression. It’s not about showing your outside skills or interests. You’re marketing yourself as a business professional so you should wear business attire, something you would wear to an interview.

Katrina: Oh, so this outfit is out, I guess. I wanted to show them my personality.

Raj: I think that outfit would definitely knock you out of contention for any job. You have to get it out of your head that you’re going to get hired for your personality or charm. What counts are your qualifications, your skills, and how you handle yourself in a business setting.

Katrina: Oh, I was afraid you were going to say that.

Raj: Stop selling yourself short. Your qualifications and skills are as good as the next guy’s. You just have to believe in yourself.

Katrina: Right, I have to believe in myself…I have to believe in myself. Hey, I think I can do it!

Raj: Really? You think you can produce a video resume that’s professional and polished?

Katrina: Sure, it should be no problem. I know just the right person to hire as a stand-in!

[end of dialogue]

No one can take the place of the scriptwriter here at ESL Podcast, and that is the one, the only, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2011 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
video resume – a short video created to present information about one’s qualifications, education, experience, and skills, to be viewed by the people who are hiring for a particular job

* Why did you decide to send a video resume instead of a traditional, paper-based resume?

to take the place of – to replace; to be used instead of something else

* In many situations, emails have taken the place of regular mail.

to supplement – to add to something else; to make something else better or more complete

* The doctor recommended supplementing the children’s diet with a daily multivitamin.

outside – external; not directly related to something, or in addition to something

* Rakei is a professional hockey player, but his outside interests include painting and skiing.

well-rounded – with many interests and skills; involved in many different activities

* Lina is a well-rounded student who does well academically, but is also involved in music, sports, and volunteer activities.

to market (oneself) – to present oneself in a particular way so that one appears qualified for a particular position or opportunity

* Heidi is well-qualified, but she’s too shy to market herself, so nobody ever offers her a job.

business attire – clothing that is appropriate to wear while working in a professional, formal office environment

* Jeans and sandals are not appropriate business attire. If we want to work in a bank, we need to start wearing suits and ties.

to knock (someone) out of contention – to prevent someone from being considered for a competitive position, opportunity, or award; to make someone lose

* If athletes are caught using steroids, it knocks them out of contention for the prize.

to count – to be important and relevant; to be something that should be considered; to be a factor

* Even if she doesn’t like your gift, she’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

to handle (oneself) – to control one’s actions and words in a particular environment; to demonstrate self-control

* How did Jessie handle himself under such stressful conditions?

business setting – a professional work environment

* If I’m going to work in a business setting, I might have to stop dying my hair pink and blue.

to sell (oneself) short – to doubt or question one’s ability to do something well; to present oneself as being less able or skilled than one really is

* Don’t sell yourself short during the salary negotiations! Be sure to ask for the money you deserve.

as (something) as the next guy – as much as anyone else; in the same way as anyone else

* You’re as smart as the next guy, so there’s no reason why you can’t do well on this test.

to believe in (oneself) – to be self-confident; to believe that one can do something well

* Starting a new business is challenging, but if you believe in yourself, you can do it!

polished – very well done; complete and nicely finished; with all the finishing touches; without anything left unfinished

* Now that they’ve finished hanging artwork on the walls, the office looks very polished.

stand-in – a person who does another person’s job for a period of time, especially when talking about an actor

* When the lead actress had a sore throat, Chelsea was asked to be her stand-in.

Comprehension Questions
1. What is a well-rounded person?
a) Someone who has a very round face.
b) Someone who is very overweight.
c) Someone who has many interests.

2. Why does Raj tell Katrina, “Stop selling yourself short”?
a) Because she needs to be more self confident.
b) Because she needs to stand up straight.
c) Because she needs to buy high-heeled shoes.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
outside

The word “outside,” in this podcast, means external, not directly related to something, or in addition to something: “Let’s ask someone with an outside perspective to give us feedback on our presentation.” An “outside chance” describes a very low probability or a very small likelihood: “There’s an outside chance it might rain, so bring your umbrella just in case.” An “outside call” is a telephone call that is directed outside of the building, not simply to another phone within the same business or organization: “If you want to make an outside call, you need to dial a 9 first.” Finally, the phrase “outside of (something)” means except for something: “Outside of desserts, I think spaghetti is my favorite food.”

stand-in

In this podcast, a “stand-in” is a person who does another person’s job for a period of time, especially when talking about an actor: “When we went to see the play, we were very disappointed to see a stand-in instead of the world-famous actor we had been expecting.” A “standout” refers to something that is excellent, and much better than other things: “That book is a standout among the books the author has written over the past 10 years.” When talking about trees, a “stand” is a group of one type of trees that grow in a particular area: “Jacques favorite picnic spot is under that stand of oak trees.” Finally, in a court, the phrase “to take the stand” means to go to the part of the courtroom where a witness must tell the truth as part of a legal case.

Culture Note
Some people think video resumes are the “hot” (exciting and interesting) new way to apply for jobs. Unfortunately, many employers disagree and actually strongly dislike receiving video resumes.

Some of their reasons for disliking video resumes are “technological” (related to the tools and equipment needed to do something). Video resumes are large files that come in many different “file formats” (ways of saving electronic information). They can be difficult to store and open, and they may have “embedded” (included as part of something) “viruses” (electronic software code and programs that create problems in computers and/or delete data).

Viewing video resumes takes time, and they cannot be “scanned” (reviewed) quickly. Paper resumes can be scanned in a few seconds by “reviewers” (people who evaluate resumes or applications) who “cull” them (take out the worst ones that should not be considered further). With video resumes, this is not an option. Also, many companies rely on “databases” of resumes, so that they can search for “key” (the most important) “terms” (words and phrases), but those technologies cannot identify information stored in a video resume.

In addition, because there is no “standard” (an agreed-upon way of doing things) for video resumes, they contain many different kinds of information. This makes it difficult for employers to compare applicants and their qualifications fairly.

Finally, some people argue that video resumes simply invite “discrimination” (treating people different based on their sex, race, age, religion, etc.). When a video resume is “merely” (simply; only) a person “reciting” (stating) the information that would otherwise be on a paper resume, the only difference is that the reviewer can see what the applicant looks like – and this becomes a “liability” (a risk or danger, something that can create problems) for the company if it begins making discriminatory hiring decisions.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - a