How to make a GREAT Video CV

Don’t panic, Video CV’s aren’t about to take over and blow the traditional CV form out of the water, but they can help showcase your personality and help your job application to stand out.

So, to help, we have made a compilation of all things Video CV.

In a post COVID, digital world, Video CV’s are become more and more popular with job seekers looking to stand out from the crowd. So, before you dive head-first into the mystical realm of Video CVs, lets answer a few of your pressing questions.

What actually is a Video CV?

Let’s get the basics down- what is a video CV? Basically, a Video CV does what it says on the tin.

It is a short recording of a candidate that can be used to supplement a typical CV. Unfortunately though, is not used to replace a CV, so you don’t have to spend hours reading all of your experience and grades. It’s simply used as an extra bit alongside your regular CV.

When should you use a Video CV?

Before doing anything, think about the position and sector you’re applying for.

Video CVs are a great way to showcase your presentation skills, so any of you budding sales or digital markets out there, this might be something worth thinking about.

Of course, Video CVs can be used in every sector, they’re a brilliant way to showcase your passion, just consider the role and whether you believe a Video CV will be effective.

How often are they actually used?

Believe it or not, Video CVs are not a new fad, they’ve been around since 2009, however it is only in the last couple of years that they have really taken off.

What makes a successful video CV?

In the same way as typical CVs there’s no such thing as the perfect Video CV.
They come in a variety of formats, all of which can help emphasise your individuality, creativity, and passion.

You’ll want to aim for around 1-3 minutes long. There’s a lot you can say in this time, plus the last thing you want to do is bore your employer.

As DigitalGrads you would’ve already done a Video CV of sorts. The video you submitted when you first applied for the platform is the perfect example of a first Video CV. For tips on how to make your 60-second DigitalGrad video click here!

What to include?

Structure your video so that it has a beginning, middle and end.

Start by introducing yourself, explain why you’ve created the video and why you’re the right person for the job.

Talk about your unique selling points and any relevant skills and experience. Show examples of your work and demonstrate your skills using slideshows or onscreen graphics.

At the end of the video summarise what you have told the employer and reiterate why you’re the right person for the role. Thank them for watching the video and end with something like…

‘Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my CV’ – Hopefully, this will encourage them to actually read your CV!!

What you’ll need…

As well as keeping in mind the practical considerations, like location and script. You also need to consider the technical aspects such as filming equipment, the editing process and how you’ll make the video accessible to recruiters.

You’ll need:

A camera, internet access and a computer – obviously. But potentially also a tripod and lighting / editing software such as Microsoft Movie Maker or Apple iMovie.

If you have a smart phone with a high-quality camera you could use this, or a specialist camera. You want a good quality video; a bad quality video is the equivalent of submitting your CV scribbled onto the back of a napkin!!

Also, check your sound. The last thing you want is to do it all wonderfully, and then realise the sound wasn’t working – nightmare!!

Now’s time to weigh up the PROS and CONS…

PROS 🙂

STAND OUT from the crowd

While Video CVs might be gaining in popularity, this by no means makes them common. By using this method of application you’ll immediately stand out as someone who uses their initiative, are creative, and prepared to go that extra mile.

Showcasing your creativity

By doing a Video CV you are actively rejecting the formatted CVs which have been the norm for years. You’re doing your own thing and are thinking of alternative approaches- an important quality in certain roles.

Display your personality

Employers can’t gage your personality from a written CV or cover letter, which is why interviews focus a lot on getting your personality across. Using Videos will ensure that you have a memorable impact.

Demonstrate your particular skills

By creating a video, you can physically demonstrate your skills such as, public speaking, communication, and IT/ digital ability.

CONS 🙁

HOWEVER, like all good things, there are some cons. Video CVs could:

Make you STAND OUT for the wrong reasons

Now, Video CVs aren’t for everyone – and that’s okay. Sometimes they will make candidates shine, while highlighting the flaws of others. If you’re shy or feel awkward in front of the camera, then it’s probably best you give this kind of thing a miss. Similarly, if you’re not tech savvy, it’ll be harder to edit and make your video shine.

Lead you to sell yourself short

A big thing is the time constraints. Try and include the important bits, but don’t ramble.

Take up precious time

There is no such thing as a perfect CV, Video or not. So don’t spend hours trying to make it perfect.

Video CVs are time-consuming to film and edit, and they will never be perfect.

Irritate employers

As ruthless as it might seem, employers spend as little as 8 seconds looking at each paper CV so the hassle of having to spend two or three minutes watching a video could send your application straight to the no-pile.

In line with this, make sure all your technology works. It’s all well and good sending in a lovely Video CV if your employer then can’t open it.

Lead to interviewer bias

Unlike with typical CVs your age, social class, ethnicity, weight, and age is revealed within the first few seconds.

Make sure you’re confident about what you can bring to the company when you create a Video CV. If you believe you have something unique to offer and can communicate this on film, then providing employers with the option to click on a link to a video CV may just give you an edge over other applicants.

Things to remember-

  1. Body language
  2. Maintain eye contact
  3. Don’t read from a script
  4. Try to have a cheery disposition
  5. Don’t film in an untidy location
  6. Wear the right thing – dress as though you’re attending an interview. Depending on the job, this might be a suit – eww – or casual clothes if the workplace is relaxed and creative.
  7. Be yourself!

The aim isn’t to be the next Steven Spielberg, but rather to gain a glimpse into who you are and how you can help the organisation grow.

Be yourself and let your creativity and individuality shine.

Good Luck!!

For more career advice sign up to DigitalGrads today to access our academy and hiring platform!

About post author

As a recent graduate from the University of Reading. I am currently working with DigitalGrads as their content and marketing intern.
Posted in Tools for Your Job Search