How to prepare a video CV

Video CVs have become an increasingly popular phenomenon in the UK in recent years. In particular, they are popular with employers who want to gain a deeper insight into what you are like as a person before inviting you for a formal interview.

While the thought of preparing a video CV from scratch might fill you with dread, you should remember that a video CV is a great opportunity to present yourself in the best possible light. A video CV is a fantastic way to get your personality across and make more of an impact than you could armed only with a traditional CV. Video CVs have become most popular in sectors that have a customer-facing element, including sales, media, marketing and PR.

In this article, we will explain how to create your video CV, what you should include in a video CV, and some tips for creating a video CV that will hopefully get you an interview!

Create a script - The best way to get your point across in a concise and understandable way is to write a script and stick to it. Creating a script will eliminate the need for you to be thinking on your feet, meaning that you can focus on delivering your message in an engaging way. Creating a script will also eliminate hesitations and other awkward moments that might detract from your video CV. When crafting your script make sure that its content fits with the person specification outlined in the job advert. If you keep your script as relevant to the person requirements as possible you will immediately stand out to the recruiter as a strong potential candidate.

Quality over quantity - It can be tempting to add in as much information as possible when recording a video CV, however, make sure that you do not waffle or include irrelevant details just to make sure that your video CV the required length. Sticking to your script at all times is a must. If you are struggling to create a video CV which is the required length try to add to the points you have already made rather than adding in superfluous information.

Find an appropriate setting - It’s vital that you record your video CV in a setting where you feel comfortable and can present yourself in your best light. Try and find a room inside as being inside gives you more control over environmental factors like noise and light. Ensure that the room is well-lit and quiet. A neutral, uncluttered background is best - clear any clutter before you start as this can be distracting. A calm, organised environment will create the impression that you would make a reliable employee. However, if you feel that your background is too blank you may wish to record your video in front of a bookcase or a plant.

Don’t limit yourself to one take - If you are the kind of person who is not naturally comfortable in front of the camera it can be tempting to try and record your video in a single take to ‘get it out of the way’, however, you should strongly resist the temptation to do this. Giving yourself the space to make mistakes will mean that your final video will be the best possible version- the version you want to send to potential employers. Put aside a few hours of your time to develop the best possible cut of your video CV- the results will be worth the effort.

Consider creative flair - If the job you are applying for is any way creative you should think of a way to showcase your originality. You shouldn’t go over the top here, but including an original creative element is a great way to impress potential employers and differentiate yourself from other candidates. However, you shouldn’t try too hard to be funny as this can come across as inappropriate. A good rule of thumb is to avoid saying anything that you wouldn’t say in a conventional face-to-face interview.

Avoid common pitfalls - If this is your first video CV there are some major pitfalls that you should be aware of before pressing send. We have already discussed the importance of a tidy, neutral background for your video CV, however, ensure that the room you are filming in is not visibly messy or dirty. Also, rehearsing in a mirror beforehand is a good way to practise appearing natural even when you are reading from your script. Finally, you can edit out any awkward pauses before sending the final version on to the recruiter.

Get feedback- Even if the process of recording your video CV has made you cringe, ask friends and family to watch the video and give their honest feedback before pressing send. Honest feedback will enable you to identify any mistakes or inconsistencies that you didn’t pick up on yourself. It is always reassuring to have a second pair of eyes on an application before you send it on to the recruiter.

Thank you for reading our guide to creating a great video CV, hopefully, you will find our tips for creating an impactful video CV useful!