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Recruitment technology

How to Script a Brilliant Video CV

Cailyn Cox

Will Jackson/Flickr Will Jackson/Flickr

Producing a video CV involves a lot of time and effort, but in order to be noticed by the recruiter or manager for your dream job you will require a bit more than a generic CV.

We've already examined the reasons for producing a video CV in an earlier post, so if you're sold and want to go down that route to woo potential employers, it's time to get creating. But where should you start?

Preparing

Outline the script for your CV before diving into it, and make sure you have access to decent equipment to record the audio and video. This will save you a lot of frustration and cut down on the number of re-shoots.

Lighting plays a key part in how the recruiter perceives you, so follow our lighting guide to getting the right mood lighting for your video CV.

Research the Company

Thoroughly researching the company you’d like to work for is a must – and a major contributor to your chances of landing the position. Show an in-depth knowledge of the industry and the company by dropping nuggets of information, but avoid running over your allotted time of 90 seconds.

Even more importantly, highlight your transferable skills and your interpersonal skills. If you feel you don't have the direct skills required by the employer as set out in the job description, use examples of when you have applied that skill in another area of your life. Putting skills in real-life situations can be a very attractive trait.

Be Genuine

Tyler Redford, CEO of resumebook.tv, says, "Be creative, but professional. Do not deviate too much from the demeanour you would have in the workplace.", according to Mashable.

Redford also points out that, "recruiters would likely want to use the video resume as an initial filter for applicants, [but] do not typically want to use the video resume in lieu of a real, in-person interview."

Treat your video CV (VCV) like you would a face-to-face interview with an employer. You don’t want to come across too differently when you are invited for an in-person interview. And if you get to the interview stages, be yourself: don’t be concerned with unduly impressing anybody and coming across as a show-off.

On another note, take caution when exaggerating or faking your experience. Bluffing your way into an unsuitable position is bound to end badly for all parties involved.

Cues From Your Written CV

Taking cues from your written CV, highlight the most important aspects of your personality and skills. "Tell them why you would be the right person to hire and what you can do for them," says Mario Gedicke from the video employment platform Mayomann.com.

Things to Include in Your Video CV:

  • An introduction: who you are and why you want the job
  • The most relevant information regarding your skills and their applicability to the job you are applying for
  • Some insight into what drives you and what you are looking for
  • Include some appropriately eye-catching props – this is a visual presentation, after all
  • Contact details where the recruiter can get hold of you at any time
  • A thank-you note at the end of the video for taking the time to watch, and for considering you for employment. Make sure that your final product exudes good production values

Keep your body language positive and confident. Maintain eye contact with the camera and don’t fidget. Your video CV should be more than just a rendition of your written CV.

Play the Long Game

If a video CV was not a requirement for the initial application, by creating one anyway you will most likely stand out from the rest of the applicants and earn yourself a place in the first round of interviews. Where you go from there is a whole different ball game, so make sure you don’t appear two-faced when you go in for a personal interview.

What Not to Do

Do not try and fit your entire work history into your video CV. Unless for some reason the job application calls for it, the recruiter doesn’t need to see a feature film – they can read your CV in a fraction of the time if they need that information.

The optimal time for your video CV is somewhere between a minute and two minutes, so aim for around a minute and a half

Using LinkedIn Video to Showcase Your Talents

There have been various methods of inserting video into your LinkedIn profile in the past, but all were extremely clunky and eventually stopped working as the social media network evolved its layout.

However, LinkedIn now supports media, including video, in a more user-friendly manner at last. Although it isn’t supported natively, there are an extensive number of video hosting providers which can be embedded into your profile.

Simply make sure your video CV is hosted on one of the supported sites, make it public and then link to the video as described here, on LinkedIn.

Cailyn Cox

Cailyn Cox is a freelance writer who is attempting to conquer the literary world one step at a time. We live in a hi-tech era, so it pays to know something about it, literally! L&T has helped her to become brand aware and write compelling and engaging social content.