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Video CVs

23rd May 2019

Video CVs

Curriculum vitae is a Latin expression, loosely translated as ‘the course of my life’.

A CV is a chance for someone to show off their skills, experience and qualifications to a potential employer. For years it has been created in written format, but could that be about to change?

Introducing video CVs!

When did they start?

Video CVs first started in the 1980’s – in the form of VHS! They didn’t really take off back then, though, mainly due to technological incapability.

However, with the ability to stream video directly added to video’s popularity as a method of communication, video CVs are making a comeback.

How do they work?

The same as written CVs, but in video format. However, there is normally more flexibility with them.

You should aim for between two and four minutes. You need it to be long enough that you can get all your information in, but not too long that the recruiter gets bored – they will have many applications to get through, so won’t have that much time.

Make sure you get across all your skills, the experience you’ve gained through your career and any other qualifications or qualities that are relevant.

Apart from that, you a free to express yourself. The whole point of a video CV is to get your personality across, so make sure you do!

What are the benefits and drawbacks?

On the plus side, video CVs allow you to get your personality across, they show that you are forward-thinking and able to express yourself. You can show off your presentation skills and you are likely to have a bigger impact on the potential employer, making you more memorable.

However, some people worry that video CVs could lead to more discrimination. Whereas a CV will simply show, at the very maximum, your age. Video CVs will show your age, gender, race and any potential disability. The potential for discrimination – whether conscious or not – is much, much higher. This has resulted in some employers not wanting to receive video CVs, simply to combat that.

What do you need to be careful of?

The video needs to be professional. If you look untidy, have an untidy background, the lighting or sound is poor or it’s badly edited, it’s going to do more harm than good. Make sure it is professional, clean, informative and engaging.

Whereas written CVs will only be viewed for a few seconds, if you are doing a video CV, it will be much longer. For this reason, you need to ensure it engages the viewer from the very first word. If you don’t, you won’t stand a chance of keeping them till the end and will most likely be discarded from the application process.

Also – make sure you practise, but don’t read off a script. You don’t want it to be filled with ‘ums’ and ‘ahhs’, but equally you shouldn’t be reading pre-prepared lines. Practise what you are going to say, but talk from your heart.

Should you be doing a video CV?

That depends.

Firstly, it depends on you. If you don’t feel comfortable on camera, don’t do it. The employer will be able to tell.

Most importantly though, it depends on the sort of job you are applying for. If you are applying for a data driven role, for example as an accountant, we wouldn’t suggest using a video CV. In a role like this, your skills are far more valuable than your personality.

However, if you are applying for customer facing, creative roles such as sales, media, marketing or PR, a video CV could be the difference between you and another candidate.

If you successfully present your personality through it, it will make you stand out from the crowd.

For more tips on video CVs, watch Helen Lacey’s recent Facebook Live video where she talks about them in more detail.

Have you ever used a CV? Or maybe you’ve received one? We’d love to know! We’re keen to find out your experiences, your results and whether you’d do it again. It’d be even greater if we could see your efforts!





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