So, you’ve been asked to submit a video CV by an Employer. Great! But where do you start? What makes a good video CV? How long should it be? And why does the Employer want a video CV in the first place?
Video CVs are becoming more popular both with Employers and people looking for work because they can help you stand out from the crowd. They can enhance your paper CV by introducing the individual behind the CV. Employers might also be looking for specific skills like communication, presentation skills, how you cope under pressure and with nerves – all of this can be gained from a video CV. It also demonstrates your confidence in using technology which might be an important part of the job role. You can either create a video CV in response to an Employer request, or you can record a video CV for a speculative application (the job has not been advertised) to make an instant impression.
What makes a successful video CV?
There are a few pointers to remember when developing a video CV:
- Video CVs should ideally be between one and three minutes to keep the information succinct and relevant
- Create a plan or a script of the information you want to include in the video CV
- Memorise the main points of what you want to say (do not read the script or notes in the video CV) and practice speaking in front of the camera
- Introduce yourself clearly and then tell the Employer why you are suited to the job role
- Highlight your key skills, achievements, and positions of responsibility that you want the Employer to be aware of
- Maintain eye contact, be enthusiastic and positive
- Be aware of your body language; sit up straight and smile!
- Dress to impress. Research the organisation as this will dictate what you wear in the video, but wearing smart clothes is a good idea
- Include your contact details in the video CV
- Thank the Employer at the end for watching the video CV
- Enlist help if you need a hand with using the technology!
- Use a good quality video camera to ensure the best result for your video CV
- Do not film the video CV in an untidy environment, and choose a plain background which is free from distractions like photos and posters
- Consider showcasing your work portfolio through a slideshow, clips or a screenshot of your website
- If you are considering filming a creative video CV to incorporate music and graphics, look at other examples first (Youtube has some good examples). Develop a storyboard to give it some structure
- It is a good idea to watch the video CV back and edit it if required to make sure you come across in the best possible manner
- The internet has lots of useful tools and hosting platforms for your video CV, so do utilise them!
A video CV can be a powerful tool in your armoury for making that first important impression on a potential Employer. Like a photo, however, we are judged on how we present ourselves – particularly online, so ensure that your video CV does your skills, talent and experience justice. If you get it right, providing Employers with the option to click on a link to a video CV can help you sell your skills set more directly and hopefully secure that job!
By Sonia Riyait