Video CV: How to Create a Killer One

Within recent years, there has been a new addition to the jobseeker’s toolbox- The video CV… Also known as a ‘VCV’. VCVs will by no means replace its paper-based sibling ‘the resume’ anytime soon, but along with other platforms like LinkedIn, GitHub, and personal websites, VCVs provide a unique avenue to make your application stand out.

Who Should Make a VCV

Not all types of positions are appropriate to submit a VCV to. In general, it is best to make a VCV for creative and client-facing positions, including roles in PR, marketing, sales, media, tech, or advertising. In the same vein, it is not ideal to send a VCV along with your application to a traditional corporate position, like one in finance or banking.

Why Make a Video CV

To employers, video CVs give a sneak peak of what an interview would be like, before they actually bring you in. For you, creating a VCV can help land you an interview in a couple of different ways:

  1. Showing off your portfolio- If your work is tangible or portfolio-based, for example creating software applications or sketching advertisements, a VCV is the perfect opportunity to visually show employers a sample of your work.

  2. Demonstrating your skills- If you are applying for a position that would entail meeting with clients or giving presentations, videotaping a live sample of you giving a presentation or having a mock client meeting is much more powerful than writing you have those skills on a resume.

  3. Giving a taste of your personality- For some people, their passion and personality are bigger selling points than their experience. Especially if you are just starting your career, a video CV is a perfect way to showcase your personality and hook an employer in. If you are just starting your career, check out these tips for writing an entry-level resume.

Guidelines for Making a Killer VCV

The beautiful thing about video CVs is there isn’t a set structure like there is for formatting paper-based CVs. That being said, there are some important guidelines that you should follow to make sure your video CV gives you a leg up instead of being embarrassing.

  1. Timing- Keep your VCV to 1-3 minutes in length. Just like how recruiters only look at paper-based CVs for 6 seconds, if your video lasts for more than 3 minutes, it is highly unlikely that they will watch it until the end.

  2. Location, Location, Location- The first thing that will kill any chances of you getting an interview is having an inappropriate video background. Make sure you film your video in an appropriate location and never have unsavory things (like posters or a dirty room with laundry everywhere) peeking out of the background.

  3. Quality- In today’s day and age, it is easy to get access to quality filming equipment. Take the time to make sure your video is clear, that the picture is high quality, and that the filming is stable. The last thing employers want to see is you taking a selfie video with your iPhone while the screen is moving around everywhere.

  4. Dress for the Job You Want- When it comes to clothing, wear whatever you would wear for an interview. For more traditional companies, opt for a full suit. For start-up environments, go for more business casual (with an emphasis on business not casual).

  5. Script It- Create a script for your video. Always introduce yourself and mention the position you are applying for at the beginning and then give your contact information at the end. Make sure to write out the general talking points that you want to mention, but don’t try to create and recite a script verbatim. You want the video to come across as natural and easygoing as possible.

  6. Content- Your VCV should definitely not be a repetition of your resume. And whatever you do, don’t video yourself reading from your resume either. Use your VCV to elaborate on why you are the perfect fit for that specific job and always include one to two selling points that not many other people will have. You can find more information on what to include in your VCV here.

  7. Have fun!- Now take a deep breath, relax, and have fun! Don’t start diving too deep into watching other people’s VCVs online. There are quite a few ones that have gained some notoriety recently, but remember that no one is looking for you to be the next Steven Spielberg. Just be creative, unique, and most importantly- you.

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