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The Preparation Basics For A Video CV
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 28th September 2016


The first thing anyone needs to consider about a video CVs is – is it necessary?

While the video CVs have cornered a niche in the recruitment world, it’s not to say that you need one. There are no circumstances where they are totally irrelevant because it can add weight to any interview process. That said, there are certain positions where the VCV is incredibly powerful and a sure fire way to stand your application head and shoulders above the rest.

The positions the VCV are most effective are the for the job roles where personality counts.

Think… applying to British Airways for a stewarding role. Or a customer services role for any major firm that’s bound to get a lot of attention for an open vacancy.

Any job application where your personality counts is where a video CV can have a huge influence. It shows employers your most persuasive side of your personality and gives them a sense of who they would be hiring to represent their firm.

Where the VCV is most influential is on job roles that are public facing.

Since meeting, greeting and representing your future employer in the eyes of the public are what employers are looking for, it makes sense to cover the basics of public speaking as that’s what will be considered by recruiters when they watch your video presentation.

5 basic preparation tips for putting together an influential video CV

1: Establish an intimate connection with your audience

Forget staring into a webcam and speaking to the internet. You’re speaking to one person and that’s the person you want to be speaking to for an interview. Focus on one person and one person only.

Eye contact with the camera is how you do that. You don’t want to be staring at the camera for the entirety of the video, but you want to ensure that when you’re mentioning key points like your accomplishments and work history moments you’re proud of, that you’re looking into the camera. When you’re recording your video, think about the times you look to the camera as the times you make eye contact with the person interviewing you.

It’s the eye contact at critical points in your video CV that establishes the legitimacy of your credentials and prevents you from coming across as fake.

2: Ditch the crutches

This is likely to be your most frustrating part of the process. It’s only natural to use words like eh, ahem, like and you know. They do not help you to sell your personality though. You need to ditch those filler words.

This is the part that can take a lot of takes of your video recording, and while you may not ever get rid of all your crutch words, you must minimise them.

It will give your presentation more influence because the more crutch words you lose the more authority is gained and that’s what persuades.

3: No mumbling

When you’re recording your video, speak with authority. That’s why you’re losing the crutch words so to be sure you aren’t losing one distraction to introduce another. Make sure that you speak loud enough so you aren’t seen to be mumbling.

Whatever you say, say it with commitment. Use volume to do that. Just be sure that you don’t confuse speaking loud enough to be heard with yelling down the camera.

A good guideline to go by is to aim for being heard in the next room. If you’re recording in your bedroom, speak loud enough to be heard in the hallway. But not as loud that anyone downstairs can hear you. Someone at the opposite end of your door should be able to hear and no further. That’s the volume to aim for.

4: Don’t cripple your speech with notes

Notes are great for rehearsing but they dilute your message on video. The reason being is that you’re trying to be perceived as an expert, and you don’t do that by reciting notes.

Lose the notes and speak from rehearsal. If you can’t recite your work history without having to look at your notes, you won’t establish credibility. Notes are for rehearsing your speech only. It’s fine to glance at them now and then but don’t be staring at a bit of paper throughout your video or you will not gain any credibility.

5: Influence the most important parts

How your video CV is remembered will be determined by your intro and ending. The middle bit is there to fill the gap. The strongest part of your presentation must be the beginning and the ending. Start strong and end positively with your story being told in the middle. The more powerful your storytelling is, the more impact your video will have.

Lead into your presentation with a strong reason for why you’ve went to the effort to make a video CV, i.e. the job you want – and then be sure to end with your contact details, such as email, phone number, but only include an address to a private video CV and not something you upload to any website such as YouTube.

Take care that you don’t disclose too much personally identifiable information if you’re openly sharing online.



3 Ways To Be Convincing In You Video CV When You're Camera Shy
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 15th September 2016


When you’re doing anything you consider remotely courageous, you’ll get a butterfly feeling in your stomach. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and emotionally draining all at the same time. It’s a rush, a buzz, an emotional rollercoaster.

When you’re camera shy, the last thing you want to think about is putting yourself on camera, especially for professional purposes. It’s scary, intimidating, and something you’d rather avoid.

Remember this though…

Anything courageous will give you butterflies in the pit of your stomach. That’s when you know you’re doing something worthwhile, so push past the awkwardness and as Nike like to say – Just Do It!

Don’t though.

Take your time with your video CV, because you only get one first impression here. Your first take should never be uploaded. It’ll take a few shoots, so in preparation to ensure you get a good and powerful recording of your voice, in your best presentation, illustrating the most powerful points of your resume… use these:

3 Tricks to Amplify the Effectiveness of Your Video CV

  1. Plan your speech with a word count limit

Everyone speaks at a different pace, however, when you vary the speed you speak at, you can influence what people understand better from your presentation. If it’s nothing of note that can be skipped, speak faster at that part. Slow down at the vital parts of your CV that you need hiring managers to remember.

When you plan your speech aim to have no more than 375 words, that’s because the speed people are used to hearing and can understand is no more than 125 words per minute. Your Video CV shouldn’t last longer than three minutes, so a max word count of 375 words will take a maximum of three minutes for you to read.

Don’t recite it though. Just rehearse your speech.

  1. Introduce storytelling to be remembered for what you want people to remember you for

Stories are sticky in all forms. They’re far more engaging and that’s what you need. People are instinctively hooked when there’s a storyline because the brain needs a conclusion. If they don’t view the video until they find out what happened, they’ll be back to find out when they’ve more time. We all need an ending to every story we hear.

Most people who watch your video will remember just three things about you. Use storytelling to influence the three things you want to be remembered for.

In our earlier post titled “No Job Interviews Lined Up? Here’s How to Fix It”, we’d highlighted the video CV of Nick Belling, a software developer. In his video, he used storytelling to tell a few things that would’ve helped him be remembered for…

  1. Problem solving – Telling the story of some software programs he’d created for a school he worked at and why parents, and teachers found them beneficial.
  2. Has business acumen – Telling his story about being a founding member of Ngumba-Dal – a group of five schools he’d helped in a number of ways including delivering training seminars to all five participating schools, creating a style guide to maintain the brands integrity, and helping to define the branding and develop best practice policies.
  3. Prove his passion through the need to relocate to continue his line of work.

He achieved all of this in less than four minutes.

  1. Lose the monotone voice

 

To record a powerful and impactful video CV, you need to vary your pitch, pace, volume and intensity. Without the variation, you’ll be speaking in monotone, which will lose your listeners interest. People may close your video or mute you, if you don’t vary your voice.

Take a few shoots of your video and vary how you speak. Raise your voice, lift your pitch for the parts you want people to remember, speak faster at the bits they don’t need to remember, slow down at the important bits.

Keep plugging through a number of takes until you feel you have the engagement part nailed.

Concluding Action Points

Make sure your script is no more than 375 words and that when you’ve recorded it; it’s no longer than three minutes. Allow one minute for every 125 words. If it’s longer than that to get your points across, consider breaking your CV into a series, such as one for your personal introduction, another for your industry experience, and another about your interests.

Use stories to bring your CV to life. Recruiters watch video CVs to find out about the person’s personality traits, their effectiveness with communication, and to get a sense of their creativity. To prove all that you need engagement. Stories give your video the much-needed engagement factor.

Finally, take a few practice runs, varying your vocals at different parts to assess its overall impact. While the words you use have meaning, how you say it has even more meaning so vary your voice tone, pitch, intensity at certain parts and watch it back to see and hear how it impacts on delivery. You’ll notice it’ll get more powerful with each take. Keep practicing until you can see and hear your presentation taking on an exciting vibe that commands attention. 



No Job Interviews Lined Up? Here's How To Fix It
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 7th September 2016


If you’re on the hunt for a new job and not lining up interviews, you need to change things up. Chances are you’re not using a Video CV of yourself as an introduction, and if you are, you’ve done something during that video that’s turning employers away.

The University of Kent advises students in their Video CV Presentation Slide that by having a video CV, it “shows the employer you are prepared to go the extra mile”.

Employers need people on their teams who will go that extra mile, and the way you PROVE you’re that kind of person is by nailing it before you need to at interview stage.

To get you to that stage we’ve gathered up some great advice from people in the know, to get you in the know and into your dream job with the advice that follows.

Creating an Interview Magnet of a Video Presentation

First up, is Beth Finneran.

Beth’s someone who initially landed a job she wanted through her video CV. It was as an account manager for Zero Carter. She now watches the videos of others with a view to hiring candidates through the same process that got her the job she wanted. And she laid the groundwork in just one weekend.

Beth’s 7 tips for creating Killer Video CVs include:

  1. “Plan Before You Film
  2. Don’t Recite Your Resume
  3. Work from a Script (But Avoid Reading Directly from It)
  4. Make Sure Your Video is Clear and Audible
  5. Shoot Several Takes if Necessary
  6. Watch Your Own Video
  7. Edit What You Make”

You can find Beth’s full advice on creating video CVs on Muse.com.

Next up, we’ve gathered some pointers from Alison Doyle, who is listed among The Guardians top careers experts and people to follow on Twitter, who shares the following advice for making your video resumes stand out…

Do

  1. Be professional
  2. Prepare a script
  3. Know your audience
  4. Show, don't tell (...use visuals)
  5. Keep it brief (60 to 90 seconds) although in our experience, up to three minutes is generally watched most of the way through, but the shorter the better is the rule to go by
  6. Share with friends and family

Alison Adds:

Don’t

  • “Mix your personal life with your professional one” – In other words: Keep it off of Facebook
  • “Expect your video resume to replace your traditional resume” - Not all employers use VCVs. "Some are worried about discrimination issues i.e. hiring candidates because of how they look and sound rather than your qualifications".

Full content on The Balance

Speaking of discrimination, producing a video CV also shows you have courage, because as Kent University states about Video CVs: “Your social class, ethnicity, weight, and age can all be gleaned in the first 10 seconds”. By uploading a Video CV and sharing it with potential employers, you’re showing your courage and trust that they won’t be discriminatory against you before they get a chance to meet you in person.

And lastly, if you’ve never created a VCV and found yourself looking through YouTube clips to see what others have put out there, stop! YouTube is not the best video host for professional quality Video CVs. Some are outrageous and have no place online, let alone being viewed by employers.

Instead, we found a decent list of 14 illustrative Video CVs on Hongkiat.com.

However, we’ve also found one of our own favourites that for some reason, they missed!

Meet Nick Belling. His video is longer than the recommended 3 minutes, but he’s got the engagement factor to pull it off, surprisingly well. See if you can’t watch until the end. If you’re reading Nick, did you get the job before the move to Sydney?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2L9DGEUtNg

In Conclusion

Using the advice listed here, you should be well equipped with a collection of power tips from:

  • Leading career expert Alison Doyle
  • Account Manager, Beth Finneran
  • And the 14 video CVs listed on Hongkiat.com (plus our own pick of a VCV done well) will give you plenty of ideas and hopefully the inspiration and motivation to get yourself an outstanding video CV produced.

Anything you want to learn, you can learn online or by reading a book on it by someone who knows how to do what you want to learn. All the instructional information is available online, for which most will be on YouTube for video creation. It is not professional production quality you need, just decent quality, shot on a decent home webcam, with some simple editing tweaks to bring your video up to watch-worthiness.

As Beth advised the Muse.com readers, what hiring managers (speaking of ZeroCarter.com) are looking for are:

  • Personality
  • Intellect
  • Creativity
  • Effort

 

The last one is obvious to see when they see you’ve taken the time to record, edit and produce your own Video CV.

 The Guardian reports that employers scouring the online job search site Video Recruit are 7.6 times more likely to click on a profile with a video CV, than those without one.

So if you’re not getting interviews lined up, follow the advice of Alison and Beth to create a video like any of the 14 listed on Hongkiat.com, or better yet, like Nick’s, sign in to upload it here, and you’ll soon find yourself getting more invites to interview and be in the job you want.



7 Quotes By Will Smith That Will Motivate You To Become The Best
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 5th September 2016


Will Smith is one of the world’s all-time greats when it comes to personal development. He’s shaped his life to become what he wanted, making him the perfect leader to pull inspirational career quotes from, and thankfully, he’s not shy in sharing his words of wisdom…

Feast your eyes on these career propelling quotes

1: “The first step is you have to say you can.

No matter where your career is, it won’t progress without you first believing you can get there.

Whatever your next career move is, say you can and believe it when you say it.

2: “Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy's sleeping? I'm working.”

You can work 9 – 5, leave it and let that be that. Or you can go home when your day is done and learn new things. The more you learn, the more knowledge you gain, thus making yourself more valuable to your current employer. Better for you though is to become more valuable to your current employers’ competition because that’s going to give you leverage to gain a promotion, salary increase, or just better terms of employment.

3: “I've always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous obsession for practice and preparation.”

This one just goes to show you do not have to be above average to get the career and the job title of your dreams. Put enough practice and preparation into getting whatever career move you want and you’ll excel above every other candidate in the running. 

4: “In my mind, I've always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y'all just didn't know yet.”

This goes back to our first Will Smith quote to say you can and believe it. If you’ve yet to experience the power of positive thinking, change this quote to whatever you want to become.

In my mind, I’ve always been a ___________.

What will you become?

5: “The things that have been most valuable to me, I did not learn in school.”

Life skills are the most precious and cannot be learned. Neither can natural talent. Play to your strengths while working on improving your weaknesses, because…

6 “Traditional education is based on facts and figures and passing tests - not on a comprehension of the material and its application to your life.”

Traditional education isn’t a mandatory requirement for every position an employer needs filled. Self-study for personal and professional development can get you places that no amount of further education can take you. 

Finally, there’s this favourite of ours…

7: “If you're not willing to work hard, let someone else do it. I'd rather be with someone who does a horrible job, but gives 110% than with someone who does a good job and gives 60%.”

This right here is the one you may want to want to get printed and framed to sit on your new desk at work, serving as a reminder to always give your best.