How do I make a video CV?

If you’ve been fruitlessly searching for a job since graduation and you’re getting nowhere despite having perfect grades, experience and cover letters, you might want to step the game up a notch and try creating a “VCV”. According to Inspiring Interns, an astonishing 94 percent of their clients wanted to see one, so it might get you ahead of the competition if you give it a go.

Getting started

First of all, treat the recording of your video CV like an interview. Make sure you dress appropriately – the first thing an employer will do is judge your appearance. Have neat hair, do up all of the buttons on your shirt. If you’re in doubt, dress smarter. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Remember there should be no distractions; the focus is on you. So no background noise or clutter, don’t walk in and out of shot, and never include anyone else. Have a plain background if you can. Make sure you’ve got the light lighting and sound settings, and then you can get going.

Filming it

Although your VCV is a different medium from the standard CV, remember they should both tell the same story – it’s a structured biography of your life’s achievements. At the beginning, as in person, introduce yourself to your audience and follow this with a planned and structured beginning, middle and end. In the same way that your paper CV should be no more than two pages long, your video CV should be between one and two minutes long.

Remember to keep it concise. It’s not a replacement from an interview; a VCV should get your details across and effectively, while portraying your personality. It needs to be worth watching because an employer could easily just scan two pages of your paper CV instead of watching a 90-second video. Make sure you keep eye contact and don’t just read out your CV – this is boring and pointless. You need to demonstrate how amazing your achievements are by injecting your personality into it, whereas your CV just describes them. Equally though, don’t babble, it needs to be well-scripted, and you need to mix it up a little bit. Don’t have the whole thing as you just talking in front of the camera, as it’s very dull. Find work you can visually include if possible, even if you have to screenshot it. Include a graduation photo, a recording of your hobbies like sport or music, and other footage. It’ll keep it interesting. And finally, as usual, be careful of humour. It’s best to aim simply to charm, as anything else could come across badly.

Aimee Bateman, successful entrepreneur at Career Cake and recognised recruitment expert, has provided some advice on how to make an excellent VCV in the video below.

Also check out this useful infographic from Inspiring Interns on how to tackle the VCV:

Wrapping up

Come back to the VCV if you need to – getting it right can take a long time and be very dull. When you’re finished, watch it, watch it again and have others watch it too to help you improve it. Watch other video CVs on YouTube for inspiration and comparison. Yours should be just as good (or better, if they’re bad) as theirs to be worth submitting.