Guide to creating a video CV
Video CVs may not be about to make traditional CVs completely redundant just yet but they are increasingly becoming an expected part of the whole recruitment process. Whether as an alternative to a traditional application or as a complementary tool, they’re valued by employers because of the insight they give them into a candidate’s personality.
For candidates, they’re a chance to shine and show off why you think you’d be such a great addition to a company. Not any old video CV will do, however. As with a traditional CV or application form, a half-hearted approach is unlikely to do you any favours.
So, how do you go about creating a fantastic video CV that gets you noticed for all the right reasons?
Think about personal branding
It’s a term often used in relation to businesses, but it applies as much to individuals as it does to companies. What is your personal brand? What are your values, ethics and approach to life that makes you stand out from other people?
If you find the question difficult to answer, ask a friend, a former employer or a work colleague what they value most about you? You may be pleasantly surprised by some of the answers and they can help you formulate your approach to your video CV.
If people think you’re diligent and reliable, make sure you mention that. If it’s your creativity that marks you out then make sure your video CV is creative.
Write a script but don’t read from it
It’s important to sit down and write a script so you know exactly what you’re going to say. Make sure you include all the pertinent aspects of your personality that you’ve identified during your branding exercise. Think about how you’re going to communicate those important traits. Don’t get too bogged down in the minor details. Remember, employers will be looking elsewhere to learn about your qualifications and achievements. The video CV is about your personality and other less tangible qualities.
You should learn your script by heart before you record your video CV. Someone reading from a script either in or just out of shot is distracting for viewers.
How can you make your video CV stand out?
Think creatively about your video and take a look at some of the examples on our CV Video showcase.
There you’ll see some of the ingenious ways that people have of getting noticed and showcasing their talents, skills and personality. It’s important not to overdo it, however. Remember this is about making an impact with an employer and standing out for all the right reasons.
Know your audience
Is your industry formal or informal and what kind of approach are employers likely to be looking for? If you’re applying for a job as a solicitor then a very bouncy and upbeat video may not be appropriate.
Equally, if you want to be a gym instructor, a very staid and stationary video might not be the best showcase for your talents.
This will also impact what you choose to wear for your video. Chefs might want to wear chef whites. A funeral director may want to choose a sombre suit. Think about your industry and the presentation standards it expects.
Don’t make it too long
The secret to a good video CV is to make it long enough to be worthwhile but not too long that people stop watching. An ideal length is somewhere between two to four minutes. This is ample time to talk about your qualities and highlight your personality but reduces the risk of going off on tangents.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
No one gets it right the first time, and a script that sounded great on paper might be less so when it’s spoken aloud. Rehearsing your script allows you to get familiar with the text as well as to fine tune it before it’s time to record. You may be lucky and get everything right on the first attempt but if not, keep going until you do.
Work on your ending
There’s no right or wrong way to sign off, but how you end your video can make a huge difference to the impact it has. Think about what you’d like people to take away from your idea. Is it your warm, kind personality, your technical know-how, or your ability to think creatively? Leave your audience wanting to find out more about you.
Show your video to family, friends and colleagues
Before you upload or submit your video CV to an employer make sure that you get a second, third or fourth opinion.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression and at CVVid we give you the chance to shine.