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7 Strategic Tips To Create An Awesome Video CV
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 25th August 2016

How you come across on video could determine your fate with your next job application.

Recruitment is changing.

Go back about a decade and it was telephone calls jobseekers were receiving. This was employers assessing a candidates’ telephone demeanour.

Do you remember going to the landline telephone and answering in a politer and overly fake response, then realise it’s not related to your application and just a mate so dropped your act?

Well, today, it’s the same thing only instead of the landline you’re on your smart phone, laptop, computer or any device that gets you online to video call for a job.

The same thing has happened in the past and it did alter the recruitment process by adding a second stage to it. The CV on Video may be a new concept, but it’s only one difference and that’s the fact you can be seen as well as heard so don’t forget you have your webcam on when you’re interviewing from whatever internet device you’re using to get online.

7 Tips for Creating a Stellar VCV

1: Say it slow with careful wording

If you’re super active in the job hunt front, keep your finger to the pulse and your videos updated because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to tailor your application to each employer, if you so wish.

There’s no need to do this though but it could give you another leg up on your competition.

Take your time and practice your speech. When you’re recording, ensure you speak clearly, have a glass of water at the ready and take a few takes so you can edit out what needs to be.

The most important factor is that you prepare for an interview and treat it as such. Imagine you’re being asked questions and then answer them.

Limit your time to no longer than three minutes. Closer to two is preferable. In the art of communication, it’s the fewer words the better as a rule to stick to. If you can say something in less time, do that. It’s not a life story you put in your video CV. It’s an introduction, a brief work history, qualifications and pertinent education. 

2: Don’t leave out your traditional 3-page CV.

There are still many employers hiring without considering a video CV. Most often, it’s a lack of manpower and not a lack of interest though. A CV can be scanned in under a minute, if it’s done well. A video is force fed for two to three minutes for which larger employers just don’t have the time to deal with.

Remember that not all employers are looking for a video CV. The ones who are know where to find them, and if they can’t find any for their area, they may include it as a second interview stage. In fact, many employers are asking candidates to be available for a video conference call, as it drastically cuts down the time involved throughout the recruitment process.

With that mind, time really is a factor…

3: The Time Factor

Employers don’t have a few minutes. They can sift through a half dozen or more paper CVs in that time, and even more if their available to skim online. Videos don’t have that option.

4: General Best Practice

Best practice with a video CV for an advertised position that doesn’t specify that you’ve to include a video in your application would be to follow the instructions provided and offer via your cover letter the link to your VCV.

If you go ahead and don’t bother with a paper submission, you’d be seen as not being able to follow instructions. Don’t do that. Instead, add a link to your video on your paper CV under additional information.

5: Use a CV database service

It’s best to use a CV database service because that’s going to get employers’ attention without you having to prospect for work. If you’re up for it, you could take a cold blanket approach, which would be just to canvas every employer you’d like to work with and give them the link to your video, in the hope that they’ll take the time out of their already hectic day to watch it. 

6: URL Redirect for professionalism (Technology Sector Only)

If you know a bit about name servers, you could buy a domain name. You can then point it to your video URL and direct employers straight to it. (Something like JohnSmith[.]me instead of the long URLs you get from video hosts like YouTube.)

7: Research your field before you attempt the VCV

As mentioned, not all employers use VCVs and from what we’ve seen, it’s mostly employers looking for candidates in public/people facing roles. Think customer services, PR, marketing and any job that requires you to both look well-presented and speak clearly while smiling at the same time.  If you’re to be trusted to communicate with others, some employers are looking to get a sense of your style of communication, the body language you use to see if you come across as confident, albeit on camera instead of in-person, however the vast majority of recruiters are well aware of camera shyness so nervousness will be overlooked, provided it’s not too uncomfortable.

To get a sense of how you come across on camera before you canvas your video CV around employers, have someone else sit through it and give you honest feedback.

Your initial VCV to be used on job board sites as an overview of you and not for a tailored application will be watched by quite a few potential employers so it’s definitely worth taking your time to get it as near perfect as you can and do a bit of editing to clean the video up before putting it out there.

Preparation, clarity and being concise with your words are three of the fundamentals to get a great VCV online.


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