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CV Advice and Tips

Read our detailed advice articles about constructing a CV and how to maximise your potential.

Is Creating a Video CV Worthwhile?

Making a Video CVAs well as accepting traditional CVs, many employers now allow (and some even encourage) candidates to submit a video CV too.

It totally depends on the industry you are applying to – it’s almost always creative jobs that allow CV video applications. If you’re applying for a job as a Marketing Assistant, PR Manager or Videographer then a video CV could definitely fit into your niche. But if you’re applying for a job as an Administration Assistant or a Receptionist it might not be as appropriate.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not you should send an employer a video CV. It’s totally up to the individual and, as we’ve already covered, it depends on the job role and the company you are applying to! Here are some reasons why you might want to consider stepping in front of the camera for your next job application:

It Can Support Your Skills

A traditional CV will demonstrate the key skills and experience you have to do the job, which is essential when it comes to applying for work. But if you want to go the extra mile then creating a video CV can help you to further demonstrate those key skills and bring your experience to life. Saying on your CV that you have ‘strong presentation skills’ is great – but showing that you have strong presentational skills on a video CV can add extra weight to your claims – you are showing an employer that what is on your CV is the truth! Not only will this show off your attributes but it will instill the employer with trust.

Face to Face

Getting to the job interview stage is one of the toughest parts of a job search. You have to impress an employer with your CV on paper but once you are at the job interview stage you can use your personality to impress the employer and show them how you could fit in with their team. A CV video can be great for doing this before you’ve even got to the interview stage. Imagine an employer receives your CV, likes your career experience and skills but isn’t quite sure if you’d be a right fit for their organisation. If you send a video CV too the employer will have the opportunity to see you and get to know your personality before they have even met you. If you present yourself well then this could definitely boost your interview chances.

Adds Impact to Your CV

When you apply for a job you should always be thinking about how to make your CV stand out from the competition and adding a video CV is certainly one way of doing this. A lot of candidates wouldn’t think about attaching a video CV to their application so it could be something that makes your application look different.

Tom Bourlet, a Digital Marketing Specialist at SNC Direct, thinks that a video CV definitely helped his career prospects when he was looking for work: “As video marketing is one aspect of my job role, I thought shooting a video CV would show I had the initiative, creativity and the pertinent skill range to complete the role. I wore smart clothing to present the video, while I also had a number of cutaways to screenshots illustrating past successful results and clips in different scenarios or me speaking at conferences. It was shot using a basic digital camera, laptop based camera and phone camera combined, while I used Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premier Pro to create the video. I was offered the job and all the employers I applied to had all stated the video CV helped me to hold an immediate advantage over everyone else who applied.”

So why wouldn’t you use a video CV?

Not Long to Sell Yourself

Two minutes on camera might sound like a lot but you’d be surprised how quickly the time goes. Two minutes is the maximum length you should film a video CV for (you ideally want to be closer to the one minute mark) and in that time you need to showcase your work experience, key skills, achievements, interests and also tell the employer why you want to work for them and why you are the right candidate for the job! A traditional CV gives you a much better chance of getting all of this information down and some employers find it more efficient to skim read a two page CV as opposed to concentrating on a video for a few minutes.

Your Industry

The video CV is still a fairly new thing so many industries wouldn’t expect to receive one and they may not be appropriate for certain industries either. If you’re applying for an admin based role or a position within a corporate company, a video CV may be seen as unnecessary.

Russell Davidson, Managing Director at Davidson Asset Management, says that a traditional CV is still more important than a video CV: “I think a video CV shows good initiative and it would definitely catch my attention however I would still like to see a traditional CV. I think there is skill in writing a CV. If an employer loses the chance to see a candidate’s writing skills (no matter how creative they obviously are) then they could end up regretting it once that candidate starts working for them.”

So it appears that, whether you’re considering sending a video CV or not, you should always send in your written CV when you apply for a job as it’s the one employers are most likely to navigate to.