Sending traditional resumes into the void can feel like you’re throwing away your time and energy over and over again. In a competitive IT and tech job market, candidates who don’t cut it often won’t even receive a polite rejection letter. (The nerve!) One work-around to the drudgery of resume submissions is creating an impressive, highly individualized video resume. But how do you know if a video IT resume (or other technical resume) is going to get you the job—or turn you into a laughing stock?

You should only create a video resume if it fits the culture of the company and position where you’re applying.

1. Know your audience. Tailor everything about your video—from how you’re dressed to the words you use to your tone of voice—to the precise company you’re applying to. Don’t use the same generic video to apply to multiple jobs!

2. Keep it to the minimum length. It takes less than 30 seconds to scan a resume—60 if it catches the reader’s eye. Your video should be no longer than one minute, so highlight only what’s vital for viewers to know.

3. Act natural. This means no reading from scripts and no reciting your resume—no cue cards, even! Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to do as many takes as necessary until you get it right.

4. Show why you’re using the video format. You’re using the video format because you want to show off things that can’t be contained on a regular resume. Make it clear you have a good reason for others to watch you instead of looking over your written resume.

5. Make it stunning. There’s no question that you should strive to make your video as high quality as possible. Don’t send a video that is anything less than perfect!

Think long and hard about where you’ll be sending your video, because once you click “send,” you lose control of that content forever.