Video CVs aren’t for everyone, and they won’t likely make much difference for a particular category of jobs either – such as working for Santa Claus – but well, 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.
Without further ado, here are my 9 tips to create a good video CV:
1: Create the right environment
Carefully think about the kind of image and personal brand you want to project.
Let’s assume that you’re a creative type applying for creative roles: then it might 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 fave authors, a copy of Marketing Week strategically placed on the desk, and a couple of arty pictures even – highlighting your exquisite choice and style ta boot.
Or maybe, if you’re a stuffy finance type – the accountant kind of candidate – you’ll need to make your desk as tidy as you can – so there aren’t too many distractions that detract from your über-efficient message.
2: Think about your audience
Think about the intended audience (your prospective employer) and think about what they would like to see in you.
No one will want to employ someone who puts out a message of chaos, so try and ensure that your environment is neat and clean, and show the value you would bring them in a way that shows 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.
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.
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.
Of course, be yourself, but don’t be whacky, and remember well what you are trying to communicate.
There’s no need to bore people senseless either, so don’t sit there and say my name is blah blah blah, I have a 2.1 in English and I’m looking for a J O B drone drone, yawn yawn.
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.
If you have mad video editing skillz, then use them and add some happy vibes and overlays. Youtube offers a cool range of editing options, and, for example, I did this in about 10 minutes. Vroom vroom mo’fakirs.
4: Pick the right length
Video CVs need not be too long; a 2 or a 3-minute video 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 it’s your first try, then ask the people around you what they think about 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’ll support you or provide constructive feedback.
6: Where to post it
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.
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.
7: Target your content
Like every 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 roles you would apply for, the same applies to your 2-minute video CV.
Be specific, make an impact.
Tag 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, 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 a still that stands out and shows you in your best light.
Don’t leave it to chance!
8: Get it 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’re interested in working for, then seek them out and follow them before you create your video. Find out who the key players are, use social media to find work 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.
The world works better for relationships and introductions, and we tend to want to help those who support our causes and have shared interests and aspirations.
There’s really no harm in making the most of this, provided you don’t do it like a dumb ass.