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Applying for jobs can be a difficult process, especially if you’re trying to enter a competitive field. It can sometimes seem as though everyone else is out to get the same roles as you, and it’s easy to become a little demoralized once you realize that there’s so much competition. For that reason, standing out from the crowd is an essential goal – and one that you should invest time and energy into achieving.
One way to do this is through a video CV. While these may appear at first glance to be a little corny, they’re actually becoming more and more popular thanks to the rise in video technology and smartphones. Not only does a video CV constitute a funky way to stick out in an mind, but it’s also good for explaining what your abilities are in a speedy and enjoyable way. Here, then, are some tips on how to make a video CV tip-top.
Timings and speed
The first thing that you’ll need to think about is how long you want your video to be. This might seem a bit counterintuitive, especially as most people tend to take a trial and error approach to choosing timings. However, you should always decide in advance how long your video will be: this way, you can plan everything that you’re going to say and make sure that it fits. In order to prevent employers becoming bored by your video (and to prevent the file size becoming too big when you email it over), it’s usually wise to limit lengths to five minutes.
It’s also a good idea to practice your speaking speed before you launch into filming. What you want to portray when speaking to a new employer is confidence: if you rush your words and stumble over them, then you’ll come across as someone who’s a little nervous. Remember, most workplaces will require you to do some public speaking at one stage or another – so if you can’t get it right in your video CV, then you’re putting yourself at something of a disadvantage.
Backgrounds and appearance
As a key tool for portraying a professional image of yourself to a potential employer, a video CV should always come across as smart and polished. This doesn’t mean that you need to hire top equipment or ask an Oscar-winning director to shoot it: all it means is that you need to keep your camera steady, on level and appear in front of a neutral background – such as a blank wall.
Also important here is your own appearance in the video. A good rule of thumb is to dress and appear how you would for an interview: if you’re applying to an investment bank, for example, then you probably ought to dress formally, but if you’re going for something a little more creative such as an advertising agency, then you may be able to afford to be a little more relaxed. It’s wise to use your judgement and your knowledge of the organization when making this decision. Try to ensure that nothing is unnecessarily covering your mouth, though, as this can interfere with the audio quality.
What to say
Once you’ve prepared the environment, you’re ready to decide what to say. Reading out your written CV is a bad move: instead, narrate the viewer through the highlights of it, and use a positive and upbeat tone of voice to indicate your enthusiasm. Remember to bookend your video CV with greetings and a brief explanation of what the video will be about.
If you’ve got a lot of experience, then it may be worth adding some visuals – such as a simple, light text box that appears at the side of your face – in order to give your potential new employer some signposts. Tools for creating can come in handy for adding explanatory overlays, so be sure to take advantage of what’s out there.
When you’re a jobseeker, every opportunity to impress a potential counts – and it’s up to you to make the most of what you’ve got. From ensuring that your CV is spell checked to creating a killer video that shows off what sort of person you are as well as your skills, it’s wise to make the most of the tools available. Remember, not only can these top tips make you stand out from the crowd, but they can also help you to explain your skills in a way that’s both concise and appealing. What employer could possibly resist that?