While they're not suitable for every type of job, video CVs are increasing in popularity. With employers typically inundated with applications for every advertised role, it's important to make your CV stand out. One way that career-savvy graduates are doing this is by submitting their CV in video format.
Despite the common perception that video CVs are only applicable to certain vocations, they can get you noticed by recruiters in any sector.
What is a Video CV?
A video CV is a short visual recording used by a candidate to apply for a job. Instead of replacing traditional CVs, a video CV is used to supplement a written application. They can either be uploaded to a video hosting site on the internet or sent as a video file directly to employers via email. The purpose of a CV in this format is to highlight a candidate's skills and experience while giving employers an insight into their personality. A video resume should show off your undefinable qualities and make an impression. It should convey the strengths you cannot put on a resume, qualities such as warmth, clear communication, charisma, humour, and your off-the-cuff chatter.
When to use one
The idea of getting in front of a camera and putting yourself in the public domain can be scary, but in some industries, a video CV can really set you apart. Video CVs are most commonly used to apply for creative and customer-facing roles in sectors such as advertising, creative arts, marketing, media, PR and sales. This being said, recorded CVs do not have to be restricted to particular jobs or industries. They can also be particularly useful when applying for digital, journalism, fashion or IT-related roles. However, with more traditional jobs, such as those in law, accounting, medicine, construction etc., a video CV may not always be appropriate. When deciding whether to use a video CV take into consideration the job you're applying for and the company you hope to join. Do some research into the culture of the organization to help you decide whether it is suitable.
Top TipsWrite a Script
First things first: Do not wing it. To ensure your video includes everything that you need to cover, write a script out first. This will give you time to perfect what you want to say and phrase everything in the best way. If you are going to be on camera then it is also best to memorize the script. You do not want to be reading from it while filming as this could come across as unprofessional and detract from how you want to portray yourself to potential employers.
Make it Relevant
Just like a paper resume, your video resume should be specific to the role you are applying for. A generic video is unlikely to impress potential employers, but personalization will show them how much the role means to you and will make for a more memorable application!
Keep it Short
Recruiters are busy people. They have a lot of resumes to get through and they want to be able to do it as quick as possible. If you send in a feature-length biopic about your life so far, it's safe to say that they are not going to watch it in its entirety. The ideal video length for maximum viewer engagement is 1-2 minutes, with 90 seconds being the sweet spot.
Unfortunately, a video alone is not going to make you stand out. Tons of people are making video resumes now, so you need to make yours worth watching. Think outside the box and get creative when it comes to filming your video.
Make it Professional
This might seem like stating the obvious, but your video should be of professional quality. Thankfully, most smartphones these days are capable of filming in HD. It is fine to shoot it (or animate it) yourself, but make sure that the lighting, framing and editing are akin to that of a video made by a professional. Also, make sure that your voice can be heard clearly–whether you're speaking directly to the camera or recording a voiceover.
Before sending your video resume out to employers, ask your family and friends to critique it. It's always better to get feedback from others because they may spot a mistake that you missed, or they might even suggest a fantastic idea that did not occur to you.
Video CV Don'ts
* Don't mix your personal life with your professional one. If you have information on your Facebook or Twitter page that you'd prefer employers don't see, don't link your video resume to them.
* Don't expect your video resume to replace your traditional resume. Not all employers are interested in a video resume, and others are worried about discrimination issues, such as hiring candidates because of how they look and sound rather than their qualifications. However, a well-done video can bolster your candidacy for employment.