Video CV Guide

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How to Make a Great Video CV To Catch Their Attention

A video CV is the way to go if you want to make sure your recruiters know what your personality is all about and make a unique impression. However, crafting an effective video CV requires a bit of knowledge about the do’s and dont’s, which is what we’ll learn today. 

The first thing you need to know about video CV is that they’re not the right choice for every type of job, but they are indeed growing in popularity. This increase is easy to understand when you think about the sheer amount of applications employers have to go through. 

At the end of the day, you want your CV to stand out, and you have a very limited window of opportunity to do that. In a previous article we discussed how recruiters spend 6.5 to 30 seconds on average on a CV, and in that time they decide whether or not you’re a suitable candidate. That’s what I mean when I say the window of opportunity is limited. 

A video CV will allow you to stand out from the pile and it will definitely be a welcome change of pace for recruiters. This means you have an advantage from the get go, and it will improve your chances greatly. 

Despite the fact that people think a video CV is only applicable to certain vocations, namely artistic ones, they can make a great impression in any sector. All you need to do is craft an appropriate video CV for the job you’re applying for. 

What Is a Video CV?

A video CV is exactly what it sounds like: a short visual recording that you use to apply for a job. This kind of CV is actually meant to supplement your written application, which you shouldn’t skip, so it’s not a replacement. 

Your video CV can be uploaded to a hosting site online, such as Dropbox, so you can simply send a link, or you can also send it via email by attaching the video file. Either way, it’s super easy to provide and it’s also easy for recruiters to access. 

The purpose of a video CV is to showcase your skills, your experience in the sector, and of course, your personality! This kind of CV is an awesome way to provide a ton of insight in just a couple of minutes and it will draw interest to your written application. 

The length of a video CV is between one or three minutes. Because you have a limited amount of time, the goal is to get their attention as quickly as possible and maintain it until the end of the video. 

This kind of video CV is beneficial for creative types, but it’s also beneficial to people who lack experience in the field they’re applying for. A video CV will allow you to be seen even if you’re still building your skill set and it will give you a better chance of getting a call. 

When Should I Use a Video CV?

If you think recording yourself and putting yourself out there is a scary idea, think of how much it can make you stand out in some industries. This will make the challenge worth it because it means you’ll have a better chance of getting your dream job. 

This kind of CV is most appropriate for creative roles that work closely with customers, such as advertising, marketing, media, creative arts, sales, and PR, to mention a few. However, the use of a video CV is not restricted to specific jobs or industries. 

The beauty of video is that you can tailor it to the job you’re applying for, including sectors such as journalism, fashion, digital, and IT. That being said, it’s true that a video CV is ineffective when applying for conservative, more traditional jobs such as medicine, accounting, law, construction, and others. 

To decide whether or not you should submit a video CV, you need to consider the kind of job you’re applying and the kind of company you’ll be joining. Read your crowd, do your research, and adapt to the culture of the workplace you’re applying for so you can make the best possible choice. 

What Should I Include In My Video CV?

There’s nothing more important than honesty when you’re crafting your CV, whether that’s in written or in video format. With a video CV, being genuine is vital, because it’s easy to tell when you’ve copied someone else and when you’re playing a part instead of being yourself. 

The focus here is to show your true personality and to have fun so that recruiters can get to know you in just a few minutes and connect with what you’re offering. 

The beginning should follow a simple structure, meaning it needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning portion of the video is meant to introduce yourself, explain why you’ve chosen this format and why you’re right for the job. 

Discuss relevant skills and experience, and let them know about what makes you unique. Show examples of your work if you can, because it will make your skills more tangible and believable. 

Then, at the end of the video you’ll have to make a quick summary of everything you’ve said so far and reiterate why you’re the right choice. Thank them for watching and make sure you include contact details, including links to websites or social media so they can get to know you more. 

You need your recruiters to watch your video CV and be left with a clear idea of how passionate and capable you are for the job. Also, be funny whenever appropriate, because it will make you that much more memorable. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Video CVs

Before you make any decisions, it’s a good idea to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of a video CV. 


  • You get to stand out from the pile because even if video CVs becoming more popular, they’re not at all common. 
  • You will be perceived as the kind of person who’s willing to go the extra mile and this will earn you a few extra points. 
  • You will get to showcase your creativity and display your personality, which is very difficult to do in a written application alone. 
  • You will demonstrate particular skills, such as public speaking, digital ability, and a lot more!


  • This format is not for everyone. While some people shine, others can highlight for all the wrong reasons, such as shyness, awkwardness, bad editing skills and bad taste. 
  • Because the time limit is short, it can be difficult to include everything you want your recruiters to know about you. Prioritizing is key. 
  • It’s time consuming to craft a great video CV, time which you could invest on improving your written CV and applications. 
  • It can irritate recruiters who don’t want to spend a few minutes watching a video.

How to Prepare to Film a Video CV?

If you decide to go with a video CV, there are a few things you should do before you start filming the content. The first thing you should do is forget about the quality of all those video CVs you’ve watched online. 

There are many video CVs out there that are incredible, but if you don’t have the skill to come off as the next Martin Scorsese, remember that the goal here is to show who you are and what you can do for the company. 

To do that, write a script of what you’re going to say. If you don’t do this, you risk forgetting key points once you start filming. Writing and following a script will allow you to stay on point and to say all the essentials. Practice with your script beforehand because you want to sound natural, and the only way to get there is through repetition. 

The next thing you want to prepare is the setting. Make sure you a quiet, bright space where you can film. You can use a backdrop of your choice, just make sure your video doesn’t look cluttered. 

Your appearance is equally important, so make sure you plan your outfit as well, taking into account the kind of organization they are, and dress as you would for an interview. Do something nice with your hair and if you’re a woman, put some neutral makeup on and get a manicure. Take care of small details and your video CV will look great. 

Remember to have fun, and practice as many times as necessary to get the right result: a carefree yet engaging video CV that will make your recruiters happy they invested a couple minutes of their time in you. 

Technical Aspects of a Video CV

The technical aspects of filming a video CV relate to the video equipment you use, the editing, and how you’ll make your video accessible to others. For this, you’ll need the bare minimum of a computer, a camera, and Internet access. If you want to go the extra mile, you might also want a tripod, lighting, and editing software. 

If your smartphone has a high-quality camera, you can use it, but the best is a decent DSLR camera. Using a low-quality camera will defeat the whole purpose of the video CV; you might as well have sketched it on a napkin. 

Audio quality must be perfect, because if recruiters can’t hear what you’re saying, your video CV will be doomed. So make sure the equipment you’re using also takes care of this accordingly. 

You can be dynamic while filming by using different angles and shots. The important thing here is to have as many takes as possible because this will be of great help during the editing process. 

The editing process is essential and it will allow you to reorder and tweak the shots so you’re left with nothing but the best content. This is the most time consuming part of the process because you’ll really want to take your time crafting and refining your video CV.

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