Introduction. Video. Two words which strike fear into the heart of all Summer Camp applicants. How can you make an amazing video which will help you to be hired?
For the last few years a video has become an increasingly important part of applying for camp. If you put yourself in a Camp Director’s shoes, would you rather read an application form or watch a short video where you can see and hear the person who you could be hiring? A 60 second video can make the difference between being hired and not being hired, so it’s super important to get it right.
Here’s our guide to making the perfect video…
You’re making a video to work at summer camp, not going for a MASSIVE night out. As a result, wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, but don’t worry about dressing up too much.
At camp, you won’t have time to do your hair or makeup, so if it looks like you take 18 hours to get ready, Directors may be worried that you’ll spend more time duckfacing in front of the mirror, rather than hanging out with your campers.
Tidy Your Room!
Now…I’m not your Mum. But…if you live in a total dump, what does that say about you? At camp, you’ll be expected to set a good example to the campers in terms of cleanliness. If your room contains a pizza box fort and a mountain of crusty tissues, you won’t be hired and you run the risk of being featured on a show about hoarding.
Check Your Surroundings
I once watched a video from a girl who had left a gigantic vibrator on the table behind her. True story. I’ve also seen a video from a guy who had a poster of a naked woman on the wall behind him. Even if your room is spotless, check all around you for potentially dodgy items.
Before you upload your video, you’re going to want to practice. Don’t just let a stream of words tumble out of your mouth for 60 seconds and hope for the best.
Take time to plan what you’re going to say and how your video is going to look. You want it to provide a good impression of you and to show off your personality. A lack of practice can lead to 40 seconds of ‘Ummmming’ and ‘Ahhhhhing’ and only a few seconds of actual content.
When you’re talking, remember that you’ll be competing for jobs with other people. Keep all of your information positive and talk about all of the things that you can do! After all, Camp Directors are not going to want to hire people who open their videos by saying ‘I’ve never worked with children before but…’
Show Off Your Sport and Activity Skills!
Use the video as an opportunity to show off a little. Being British, it is against our very nature to be anything but modest. However…there are LOADS of other people applying to work at camp, so be proud of what you’ve achieved and what you can offer.
If you’re an artist, show some pictures. If you’re a sportsperson, kick/throw/hit a ball. If you’re a lifeguard, guard someone’s life. I could go on…
Almost 100% of the applications videos that I watch will contain the phrase ‘…and here’s why YOU should choose ME to work at YOUR camp this summer.’ That phrase is BORING and as soon as I hear it, I die inside a little.
Have a think about what you can do to make yourself stand out. Can you re-work a TV theme into a song about why you’re applying for camp? Can you juggle/ride a Unicycle while chatting about your skills? Whatever you do…make it different!
Let’s get something straight. You’re applying to work at a Summer Camp. With children. For 9 weeks. During that time you will be administering countless hi-fives, singing camp songs all day, dressing up in all manner of ridiculous outfits and having campers use you as a human climbing frame. If you can’t muster up any enthusiasm in a 60 second video, you’ll struggle to be hired.
Keep it Short
Less is more. Keep your video to between 30-90 seconds. That way it’ll give Camp Directors plenty of information about you…but won’t become a monotonous slog for anyone watching. Keep it short. Keep it sweet. Keep it memorable.
Make Yourself Heard!
I’ve seen a lot of videos where people have used music over the top. For a start, STOP USING PARTY IN THE USA. We don’t need to encourage Miley Cyrus any more.
If you are going to use music, make sure it’s playing at a low volume when you’re speaking. Your words are WAY more important than Pharrell going on about how happy he is. Music over the top of a photo montage is fine. Music over the top of you talking is distracting and takes away from what you’re saying.
Sign Off Properly
Make sure your video ends with a statement of intent, rather than a whimper. If the last 10 seconds of your video shows you faffing about, trying to turn your webcam off, that’ll be the last impression that a Director will have of you. If the last 10 seconds shows you confidently summarising why you’ll be a wonderful Counselor, you’ll leave a much better impression!
Here’s an amazing example of a creative video from Igor, a CCUSA applicant from Croatia – http://youtu.be/mE6AEk0X5rQ