Today’s job market is ruthless, competitive, and at times, downright frustrating. Submitting a job application can often feel like biffing your CV into a black hole. Sending applications and receiving crickets in response? Yeah, we’ve all been there.

So while you’re in the throes of a job seekers nightmare, how do you get your job application to stand out?

Enter, the video CV.

Eyecatching, unique and edgy. Video CVs are the secret weapon of today’s modern job search. And while it’s unlikely to replace the traditional written CV any time soon, it can certainly help you gain an edge with your competitors.

The best part about a video CV is that anything goes. Unlike a paper resume, there really are no set rules here. Fancy giving your own video CV a go? Here are some expert tips from our recruitment consultants.

Related: Perfect your resume with these 8 professional CV templates

Set the scene

There’s no need to build an extravagant set a la Game of Thrones, but it’s wise to consider your backdrop and lighting. Filming in an untidy environment is a common mistake, according to Marc Fels, owner of jobseeker website Meet The Real Me. Make sure your background is tidy — no one wants to see your floordrobe.

Position the camera at eye level; shots from below can be particularly unflattering. And please, for the love of all things holy, don’t film yourself backlit. Make sure any light source is facing you and it’ll be lights, camera, you’re hired!

Dress to impress

First impressions count, and you have a real chance to make an exceptional first impression with a video CV. Don’t don your pajamas if you’re going for a white collar position (in fact, don’t don your pajamas full stop). Will your employer be able to visualise you within their workplace? Consider your industry and the company’s culture. And as a general rule, it’s better to over-dress than to appear sloppy.

Write a script, and memorise it

Unless you’ve got the gift of the gab, it’s probably best to plan what you’re going to say ahead of time. When writing your script, remember: recruitment is a sales process. You’re a business of one, and your job is to convince someone to choose you above your competitors. Write a script, considering what you would and wouldn’t say in a job interview, and then memorise it.

“The biggest mistake to avoid is having a script ‘off camera’ that you refer to while recording your video,” says Fels. “It is really obvious if you look away from the camera to read notes.”

Keep it brief

The ideal length of a video CV is roughly 1-2 minutes. The purpose here is to give employers a snippet of you and your relevant experience, not to list all of your professional achievements in great detail. Get straight to the point within the first 10 seconds. Don’t dance around the topic, and definitely, don’t ramble! They’ll be watching you closely to see if you can prove your communication skills.

Get creative

Video CVs are a relatively new concept, but what happens when they become the norm? Depending on your audience, you can probably afford to get savvy with your format, content and style.

Need to get those creative juices flowing? We love this example from Mark Leruste of The Unconventionalists.


Want to learn more about how to stand out in front of employers? Talk to one of our leading recruitment experts today.

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