Video CVs aren’t for everyone, and they won’t likely make much difference for a particular category of jobs either – such as maybe working for Santa Claus or getting a job at Google – but the thing is that you just never know.
As a chance to stand out from the crowd and make some additional impact, a video resume is certainly worth considering, and for many, it represents a super opportunity to shine.
How to create a great video resume: 9 steps & tips
1: Create the right environment for a video resume
- Think carefully about the kind of image and personal brand you want to project.
- Let’s assume you’re applying for creative roles, perhaps in digital media or PR; then it might certainly be a good idea to subtly re-enforce your video with a number of well-placed props such as a shelf of books showing your favourite authors, a copy of Marketing Week strategically placed on the desk, and perhaps a couple of very original or weird artworks like the ones created by Maxim of The Prodigy, highlighting your exquisite choice and style ta boot.
- Or maybe, if you’re a finance type – the accountant kind of candidate – or for any kind of technical jobs, you’ll need to make your desk as tidy as Sheldon Cooper‘s – so there aren’t too many distractions that detract from your über-efficient message.
- This list of tips and tools for remote workers might also be worth reading.
2: Think about your audience
- Think about the intended audience (your prospective employer) and what they would like to see in you.
- No one will want to employ someone who puts out a message of chaos or the kind of candidate that wouldn’t treat the receptionist well, so try and ensure that your environment is neat and clean, and show the value you would bring them in a way that presents you under your best light.
- Use humour where appropriate but resist any urge to be a klutz. You are not in high school, and the audience here is not your mates down the pub. And this brings us swiftly to the next point…
3: Present yourself well
- Unless you’re applying for a newsreader job, few will want to see you shuffling through papers as you speak. Speak clearly, enunciate in a way that makes an impact and is remembered and understood. The way you speak will also help your soft skills stand out. This is especially important if you’re recording the work presentation in a language other than your first one.
- If you are reading from a script, then be sure to position it in a place where it doesn’t divert attention: just behind your smartphone stand might work; better still, consider using a teleprompt app that you can read easily. It will help you flow and will also contribute to give the impression that you have a lot of focus and you have clear career goals in mind.
- There are clearly certain things to never say in a job interview, so of course, be yourself, but don’t be whacky, and remember well what you are trying to communicate. You don’t want to look and sound like Basil Brush or another TV glove puppet, do you?
- There’s no need to bore people senselessly either, so don’t sit there and say my name is blah blah blah, I have a 2.1 in English and blah blah blah. Show that you have the full control of your career and know where you’re going.
- Inject a little energy and enthusiasm, be short and sweet and to the point; people love lists, so perhaps come up with a punchy intro about who you are with five great reasons why you should get that job as opposed of five things you would do to destroy your own career, and their company.
- Dress appropriately, style your hair decently (provided you do have any hair on your head) and also pick carefully the colours to wear like if it’s for a job interview.
- If you have amazing video editing skillz, then use them and add some happy vibes and overlays. Youtube offers a cool range of editing options. Vroom vroom mo’fakirs.
4: Pick the right length
- Video CVs need not be too long; a 2 or 3-minute clip easily enables you to say a whole bunch of things about yourself while showing your personality at the same time.
- But don’t just leave it to chance; plan it out and make your presentation as professional and engaging as you can.
5: Ask your friends and family for feedback
- If you just graduated and this is your first try, or if you’re looking for your first job and maybe you’re afraid of making mistakes (or if, on the other hand, you’ve been unemployed for a while and feel insecure about the next steps to take), then ask the people around you what they think of your video CV.
- If they’re good friends and your video resume stinks, they’re going to tell you; on the other hand, if your video CV is decent, they’re supposed to support you or provide constructive feedback.
6: Where to post your video CV
- Both YouTube and Vimeo offer excellent access and insights to viewers, giving you full access to cool stats and important metrics that can help you hone your productions.
- If you’re interested in freelance work or work from home, you may also consider uploading your profile on a variety of freelancing platforms such as Fiverr, Freelancer and Upwork as a part of your full creative portfolio.
- Of course, other platforms with big audiences such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Twitter also enable for the same. It’s never been easier to get your video content out there and to speak to your audience in a rich and engaging way.
- You may also post your video CV on your personal blog, provided your blog is not too personal…
7: Target your content
- Like any other means of communication out there, think about the audience you are trying to reach. Just as you wouldn’t have a generic CV for all roles you would apply for, the same applies to your 2-minute video CV.
- Be specific, make an impact.
- Target your video for the job you’re looking for, think about what recruiters would google when looking for someone like you, and be a little creative with your naming processes.
- If, for example, you are applying for a role as a recruitment consultant in Kent, United Kingdom, then weave the relevant terms into your accompanying copy and name your piece appropriately; something like Recruitment Consultant Based In Kent Seeks New Exciting Challenge will work well in this case.
- When choosing the video cover image, select one that stands out and shows you in your best light: don’t leave it to chance!
8: Get your amazing video CV out there!
- Once you’re happy with the video resume you’ve created, don’t just sit back on your laurels, expecting the phone to ring or your inbox to fill up. Get help from your friends and network to spread the word out there.
- Share your video CV’s URL on Twitter, upload some snapshot on Instagram, plug it on your Facebook & LinkedIn profiles along with some pieces of content explaining what you are looking for. In particular, LinkedIn is a great platform to find jobs and connections.
- If you have a blog, put it up there and ensure the page is optimised to the best SEO practices.
- Then share, share and share!
9: Stalk your prey
- If you have an idea of the types of companies you would like to work for, seek them out and follow them even before you create your video. Find out who the key players are, use social media to find opportunities and connect with them and do a little ego massaging beforehand.
- Like, re-tweet and follow their stuff. If it looks like they have a free-for-all Facebook approach, then friend them. If they have a blog, then subscribe to their content, read and share their stuff, especially if it meets your interests or missions, like, for example, the environmental cause.
- The world works better for relationships and introductions, and we tend to want to help those who support our causes and have shared the same interests and aspirations.
- You know, there’s really no harm in making the most of this all, provided you don’t do it like an idiot.
★ Happy with what you read? Didn’t have enough? You can read the rest of our career tips here!