Video CVs – The way of the Future?

Video CVs are becoming increasingly popular with job seekers wanting to stand out from the crowd. Rather than replacing traditional paper CVs, videos enhance job applications by providing employers with more insight into what an individual has to offer.

A traditional CV outlines your skills, qualifications and experiences, whereas a video CV enables an employer to get a feel for your personality. Anything that can help you get noticed is worth trying.

When is using a video CV a good idea?

Whether you use a video CV or not depends on the role you’re applying for and you as a person. Video CVs are a great opportunity to show your presentation skills. A recorded resume doesn’t need to be restricted to certain sectors. They can be used whenever you wish to make an impact with an employer. Purely having taken the time to prepare a video CV shows the employer you are prepared to go the extra mile to succeed.

How often are video CVs used?

The use of video CVs is a recent development for employers and job seekers alike. The use of video CVs has increased dramatically within the last 18 months due to the fact that webcams are now more readily available, in addition to the broad availability, of faster Internet and mobile connections.

Video Recruit, which launched in 2012, allows users to create recruitment profiles with or without video. On average, those with a recorded CV are clicked on 7.6 times more than those without. People are intrigued to see video CVs as they are new and more visually communicative than a paper CV.

What makes a successful video CV?

The best thing about video CVs is that they can be made in a variety of different formats allowing the job seeker to fully express their individuality. There is no set rule for creating a video CV, whereas paper CVs tend to have a set format. However, there are some things that good video CVs have in common.

Video CVs are best when they’re between one and three minutes long. There is a lot you can say in 60 to 120 seconds. Introduce yourself clearly and tell the viewer why you’re the right person for the job. Remember you only have a few seconds to engage them. Body language is also important. Maintain eye contact with the camera and have a happy, cheery disposition.

Moreover, it is important to dress as if you were going to an actual job interview. However, keep the position you are applying for in min. If the job environment seems formal, wearing a suit is best. Feel free to dress more casually if the position seems to be more relaxed or creative.

What are common mistakes to avoid?

There are several common mistakes that you should avoid when filming a video CV. First, make sure that the area you are using is tidy and visually appealing – you don’t want to distract a potential employer with a mess. Secondly, not speaking clearly or shuffling around papers are also detrimental to the finished product and can project a negative image of you.

The biggest mistake to avoid is having a script ‘off camera’ that you refer to while recording your video. It is really obvious if you look away from the camera to read notes. Try to approach recording your video CV in the same way you would a face-to-face meeting. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in an interview.

Is there anything else to bear in mind?

Video CVs provide recruiters with the perfect opportunity to reject you before they have even met you. Your social class, ethnicity, weight, and age can all be gleaned from the first 10 seconds of watching you. You need to be pretty confident about the value you bring to employers when you create a video CV. HR managers are extremely nervous about video CVs because of the potential employment legalities around perceived discrimination.

by Tamara Papo, Career Services Coordinator

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