In an increasingly competitive, globalised and social media orientated job hunting climate, the opportunities to express your unique skills and experiences are more varied than ever.

Video CVs are fast becoming a trend in graduate recruitment, with many graduates seeking a method to distinguish themselves from the crowd and create their own personal brand. Your Video CV should fulfil the same role as a Graduate CV, namely selling your skills and experiences. Finish your video with a brief message on your suitability as a candidate and what you will bring to the role you are interested in.

Remember, a potential recruiter will see your Video CV and decide your suitability for the role.

Here, we share some tips and advice to make sure that your Video CV is polished and professional.

Preparation:

Public speaking is a scary proposition for people. Now, imagine you have to sell yourself to recruiters whilst speaking confidently, clearly and concisely. In order to make this process easier and more streamlined, it is necessary to rigorously prepare.

First ensure that your paper CV is up to date and relevant.

Remove any unnecessary information and extend the Education section to include your schooling and university. You want to keep your Video CV between 5-7 minutes long as the attention of the viewer can begin to falter. Just make sure that the video is not you speaking at the camera for 5 minutes without pause.

Make sure you have a powerful camera like a SONY EX1 or a DSLR. If you do not have one, then borrow one or rent one for a day. A high-quality video will highlight your commitment to projecting a professional atmosphere.

Choosing a good video editing software will make your video look and feel professional. A list of useful video editing software can be found here. Edit in simple cuts and transitions into the video in order to appear snappy yet relaxed.

As a final piece of preparation, ensure that you test your software by rendering the video. Rendering involves the mixing of the video and audio elements alongside the graphics on screen. Therefore, all of these things will be equally balanced and the image clarity is not lost. For instance, test out a small piece of footage of you speaking to the camera then render it. This will ensure that your Video CV will be ready for viewing once you have completed it. In terms of the time required, a short video CV can take a few minutes to render, a longer video will require more time.

Content:

The most crucial part of a Video CV is what you’re actually going to say and expressing your career experience and achievements briefly, yet with impact. This can be easier said than done. Approach this as you would an essay or piece of academic content. For example:

  • Point: “I worked productively and efficiently as an intern for *insert company name*
  • Example: “I updated and developed our database software in order to increase productivity by *number %*”
  • Skills acquired: Versatility, practical IT Skills and a proactive approach to tasks

As such, this approach can be adapted and moulded to your relevant experiences. You should do this, depending on the extent of your career experiences at least 3 times and no more than 5. Also, you can use the structure SAFW or make an opening Statement, Amplify that statement, provide a Few examples and Wrap it up.

At the same time, you will want to convey who you are as a person, much like a normal CV. Showcase your work portfolio or relevant links in the video which can be edited in. Point to them as they appear onscreen. This will ensure a dynamic and professional approach.

Include an extra-curricular or personal activity or skill which is refreshing and unique.

For instance: “I undertook a year abroad in Barcelona as part of my degree. In order to supplement my studies, I began a part time TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. This means that I am capable of taking responsibility for my own work, I have strong interpersonal skills and I am willing and able to take a self-initiated role etc.”

If you want to be extremely prepared, write a script of bullet points and try and memorise them. This means that if you falter or make a mistake, you can rapidly acclimatise and adapt.

Yet, do not read directly from a script in a wooden manner. There should be a flow to your content.

Upon completion:

  • Create a YouTube channel – this will make your Video CV available to the entire world of recruitment, employers and ensures ease of access.
  • Post on social and digital media. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. These all can be sounding boards and expose you to a larger audience and build your network.
  • Make sure to include a reshare or retweet option to increase your online presence.

Action:

  • Introduce who you are and your objectives, e.g. “I want to work in finance or consultancy and here is why…etc.”
  • Dress professionally – wear the same clothes that you would for an interview.
  • Ensure you know your script/structure – improvising can be good as it highlights your ability to adapt under pressure, yet do not become sidetracked and always bring it back to your relevance for your chosen career path.
  • Ensure you are in a quiet, calm environment with a plain background which is tranquil, e.g. a blue sky. Do not film the video in a room with no windows if possible.
  • Have a selection of points prepared for potential Q & A. For instance, ask the question onscreen “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” then answer it “I see myself rising through the ranks of this company and achieving this, then that etc.”

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