Application Videos are probably the best solution to present yourself to your future Host Family. In contrast to a Dear Host Family letter or simple pictures, an Application Video captures your body language and prospective Host Families can see the way you interact with your family and the children almost live.
Why should I make the effort of an Au Pair Application Video?
Some Au Pair Agencies highly recommend that Au Pair candidates hand in an Application Video. They show it either before, at the same time or after a Host Families has picked some Au Pair candidate profiles.
No matter if you try to search a Host Family on your own or through an agency. Even on Au Pair matching websites like AuPairWorld you can add a video.
An Application Video is like the icing on the cake: The chances to outrank possible “competitors” – meaning other Au Pair candidates – is way higher because with good videos, you will stand out from the crowd and convince prospective Host Families that only you are the right Au Pair for them!
At the end of this article, we will provide a list, highlighting the most important key-facts about Au Pair application videos!
What aspects are usually of interest for Host Families?
A Video is able to capture some motion as well as emotion. You should try to use this advantages and make the most out of your video.
Although you are really enthusiastic about making a video and the main aim of this video is clear, please sit down and spend some minutes thinking thoroughly about a possible draft of the application video.
- What would you like to present to the Host Family?
- What is it that makes you special and what kind of information is less important for an Au Pair position?
Considering the fact, that the Video needs to be converted and uploaded, try to produce an Application Video af about three minutes which size should not exceed 300 MB.
Application Videos should provide some extra information about your personality. Consequently, you usually should introduce yourself briefly (name, age, country of origin) as well as the rest of your family. In case you own a driving licence, film some sequences which show you driving the car and tell your Host Family when you got your driving licence.
You can continue with your hobbies before coming to the main part of the video.
What needs to go into the main part of the Application Video?
The main part should focus on relevant information for the Host Family and answer their questions. Explain why you decided to become an Au Pair and what is so fascinating about your prefered host country. Go on with your expectations and then, highlight your experience with childcare, babysitting, volunteering etc.
Your Host Parents would surely like to know whether their beloved children are in good hands.
You could even already indicate some activities you would like to do with your prospective Host children (cooking, drawing, sports activities etc.). Only if that is the thruth (!), you can also add that you are used to help with the household duties, know how to prepare healthy and balanced meals for the children etc.
But: Do not exaggerate about your experiences, just be honest. Sooner or later, your Host Parents will find out that some facts they were told were made up.
Before coming to the end of your Application Video, you could add some extra information like that you have already spend some time abroad and that you are looking forward to your Au Pair experience.
Do not forget to say goodbye properly at the end of your Application Video.
After outlining the Applications video’s draft – what next?
After having a first idea of the video script, it is time to plan several sequences in detail. You look for a bright room (best case: your own room), where the main part of your Application Video should be filmed. Please make sure, that the room has been cleaned and tidied up in advance. Needless to say that a chaotic and messy room does not really give the best first impression.
As soon as you found the main location, you need to look for two or three other locations as well in order to keep your Application Video interesting and varied. You could give a short tour of your house, ending up in the living room, where the rest of your family is waiting to introduce themselves.
It’s always nice to also film outside it possible. You should check that the light is good and that there are no noisy sounds in the background which might ruin the video. Additionally to video sequences you can fade in pictures which help to make your Video more interesting and vivid.
And always ask yourself, if you focus on your experience with children enough. Ideally, film yourself with children! Any activity like cooking, playing, reading, dressing, strapping them up in the seat is perfect to show that you are a responsible and careful person. You could think about filming friends, relatives or colleagues while asking them what is special about you or what your personal strengths are. Make sure that the people/children you want to show in your Application Video do agree on being in your application video!
I found my locations, but what do I have to say?
As soon as you decided where, what and who to film, take some time to think about your text. What do you like to say to your future Host Family? Write down your phrases (ideally in the Host Families language) and practice them a few times to get the pronunciation right. If you do not really now the language, ask someone to help you or at least find someone who can have a look at your written copy.
Do not read from your sheet while video filming, it sounds automatically robotic and frantic. And just remember: Your text does not have to be perfect. You have to talk in a foreign language and since you are no native speaker, it is quite normal that your Video contains some grammar or other mistakes. But hey, that is no problem. You are eager to go abroad to also improve your language skills which is really positive.
In some sequences, you should be talking live, which means that you talk while being filmed/filming. Other parts allow you to add your voice later on, when you are about to cut your footage for a final version.
What about technical equipment?
Do not worry about the technical equipment. It is not necessary to buy an extra camera. Today’s smartphones already come with high quality cameras and are able to record every noise and sound. If you know somebody who owns a high quality camera, simply ask whether you can borrow it for a few days. An extra microphone could be useful for the adaptation of the off-voice parts where you are not talking live, but it would also work without.
All preparation finished? Then it’s time for the real fun!
Ask a friend of yours to help you with filming. Some parts might be too dangerous to film yourself (like driving the car!) and of course it is way more fun to have a friend with you.
Watch out for your outer appearance! Make sure that you are wearing suitable clothes (not to short, no low neckline!), and that you do not wear too much make-up! Try to act authentic and natural. And yes, it may sound redundant to say, but SMILE! Sit straight in front of the camera and try to speak clearly and loud enough. There is no need to be shy. If a mistake happens, laugh and continue filming.
We filmed every sequences! What’s next?
When you think you have everything filmed that you need, you can sit down and look through the footage. Pick the best parts, add the off-voice bits and look for some (licenced-free) music. Keep in mind that the music should not be too loud or too dominant. Cut the whole raw material to a three minute film. Even though you are no expert, we can recommend a Windows program which is very easily to use on your PC. For Mac users, we can recommend these programs.
In order to avoid frustration, save your drafts from time to time before adding new features (which you have to edit at the end).
The final version of your Application Video is supposed to be about three minutes and should not be bigger than 300 MB. As you have to upload your Video online, you need to convert the format to the following ones: MPEG, MOV, AVI, WMV, FLV.
Now that you know everything important about Application Videos, it is up to you…3,2,1 aaand Action!
The 10 most important facts about Application Videos:
- 3 minutes and 300 MB max, (MPEG, MOV, AVI, WMV, FLV)
- No professional technical equipment needed
- Be active, do not only sit around
- Speak freely, clearly and loud enough
- Focus on childcare activities (ask for permission to film!)
- Choose different locations, check light, background noises & cleanness
- Find suitable dress and smile, act natural
- Mix pictures with video sequences to make it more vivid
- Choose the right background music
- Ask for help (text, filming, cutting…)
And our extra tip: SMILE; SMILE; SMILE 😀
If you need more inspiration, surf YouTube for Application Videos. There are lots of really awesome Videos!