We’ve heard time and time again about the rise of video consumption in recent years, with video-first social platforms such as TikTok taking centre stage, and marketers long heralding the effectiveness of video in grabbing the attention of today’s modern consumer. But what about using video to bag your next job?

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many hiring managers and recruiters to embrace the use of remote technology when searching for talent, including the increased use of video interviews. So with this in mind, perhaps the idea of a video CV isn’t too surprising.

While talk around this subject is growing louder, this is rather a new trend, and requests for video resumes by companies are generally not that common — with roughly three percent of employers reportedly asking for them.

But with the advancements of hiring technology growing at a great pace, candidates and job seekers should be best prepared to submit a video CV as part of the application process. In fact, many candidates are opting to send in a video with their traditional CV even when it isn’t directly requested by the employer, as a way of standing out amongst the crowd. 

With this in mind, let’s get into finding out what a video CV actually involves.

The basics of a video CV

In a nutshell, a video CV gives a candidate the opportunity to present a short, personal introduction of themselves to the employer.

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to video CVs is that it can replace the traditional, texted-based format. Unless specifically requested in that way, this is typically not the case. A video CV seeks to compliment the traditional resume, much like a cover letter would. Many employers often request a video resume as a screening tool to help select candidates ahead of inviting them to an interview.

When it comes to the timings of a video CV, it’s advisable to keep it short and succinct — around 45 to 90 seconds. Hiring managers are incredibly busy people, and the last thing they want is a mini-documentary with a monotonous voice listing general points on why they should be hired read directly from their accompanying cover letter. The key is to make the time you take really count. 

Much like how headlines are used in news stories to pull in the reader instantly, the same technique should be used in your video CV. Form a compelling narrative using stand-out lines regarding your experience. For example, instead of saying “I’m an incredibly hard-working employee looking for my next big challenge at a technology company” switch this with specific examples of how you’re hardworking. For instance, “I played a leading role in scaling a tech startup of fewer than 10 employees to global businesses with over 1,000 employees to date”.

Things to consider when creating a video CV

Of course, it’s important to make the video look and sound good. You could have the best script in the world, but if it looks and sounds like it’s been filmed on a potato then you may have done more harm than good by sending in a video CV…

If you’re going to do it, make sure you put in the effort to make it look impressive and professional. This can easily be done with a clean background, a modern camera phone, and some simple editing software. But if you’d rather not take on this added pressure, there are many companies out there that specialise in helping job seekers create video CVs, such as Intro30

Describing themselves as the “future of recruitment”, Intro30’s platform allows candidates to introduce themselves in 30 seconds… for free!

When it comes to sending in the video CV, one of the most common ways to do this is by uploading it to a site like YouTube – ensuring it is listed as private or unlisted – and including the link in your cover letter.

Now we’ve covered the benefits, it’s also important to consider the risk of a video CV. As with any new trend, not everybody is going to be as open to the idea of receiving a video CV as others. If you haven’t been specifically asked to send in a video CV, you should consider the company and industry you’re hoping to land a job in before sending it. As mentioned above, hiring managers are busy people, and spending additional time having to watch a video clip they did not ask for may not do you any favours.

On the other hand, in 2021, many companies from various industries will likely be receptive to video resumes, so don’t let that hold you back! After all, it’s often the risk-takers in life that reap the most rewards.

If you get it right, a video CV can act as the icing on the cake when it comes to your job application, allowing you to stand out while displaying your personality and demonstrating your creativity, passion, and drive. 

Looking for your next big challenge in the technology market? Check out the HdE TALENT Candidate Jobs Board.