Go ProThe growing trend to differentiate yourself from the other candidates around you is to record a video CV and get it into the right person’s hands. After all – people hire people. Video has the ability to capture a little bit of your personality in a way that words on paper just cannot grasp.

Here are a few helpful things to remember when putting together your video CV.

The Video is just a trailer to the movie 

The point of a trailer is to entice the people watching it to go and see the movie. It is the same with a video CV. It does not need to cover where you grew up, your best friends name, your dream job title and salary expectations. It is a highlights reel of your personality as well as what key value add you will bring to a company. The standard question at every braai is “So, what do you do?” but when it comes to finding the right candidate… employers want to know “So WHO are you really and what are you about?”. Here is your gap to move beyond the paper of your CV and present yourself.

No matter how great your personality and film skills are – you will still need to be able to do the job that you are applying for. Yes, there may be training in your new potential role but be careful not to overpromise in the video about how you are the one stop shop of problem solving.

Video CVs are becoming the new norm as they give an employer an opportunity to see your one dimensional CV come to life with a snapshot of you as a person. Reality is…people hire people not paper.

However, if you are going to try to stand out you want to make sure you do it well. We have put together some tools to equip you before you press the record button.

When is using a video CV a good idea? 

While it may be risking for some – video CVs can be used for any role. Taking the time to put together an excellent video shows your future employer that you are prepared to go the extra mile to be better than the rest. That in itself puts you ahead of the competition and will make your name stick in the heads of your future boss.

What makes a successful video CV? 

While there are no set boundaries for a video CV we would recommend a few guidelines to assist you as you create an award winning video CV:

  • Best keep it short. The ideal length is between 1 and 2 minutes long. Remember that you only have a few seconds to engage your viewer and convince them why you are the perfect candidate for the job!
  • Write down what you want to say and practice it a few times to see that it flows smoothly and makes sense as you say it.
  • Choose some key-words that describe your possible contribution to the company.
  • Practice what you want to say with a few test runs and try to weed out the “ums & ahs”.
  • Setup your camera on a cradle/stand and test the quality.
  • Dress professionally as if you were in the offices of the company you were approaching.
  • Smile before you press start & do your best to remain smiling while you speak
  • Maintain good posture and face the camera directly. Do your best to maintain eye contact with the camera.
  • Introduce yourself clearly with your name and something interesting about yourself. Be sure to get to the point quickly and outline the key components in your skill set that will match the job that you are applying for.
  • End off your video by thanking the viewer for their time.

What are the common mistakes when making a video? 

The environment that you film in is key. We have received video CVs of people filming in bathrooms, in dark rooms or in a noisy environment. The setting is key to maximising this opportunity!

Another big mistake is to read a script that is just off camera. You want to try and film your video CV speaking directly to the screen. It may take some practice but rather make sure you nail it!

While some companies really value the out of the box creative spark we would recommend not doing anything crazy that you would not do in a face to face interview.

When is a Video CV ideal? 

We have found that service orientated jobs are ideal for submitting video CVs. When it comes to interacting with customers or clients it is primarily your personality and first impression that grabs the individual. So, whether it is front of house staff at a hotel or a client relationship manager at a finance firm, your ability to communicate effectively and your professional appearance recorded on video will easily set you apart from the multitudes of paper CVs that have been submitted.