7 Top Tips For Creating Your Video CV


The job search and application process has changed a lot over the past few decades as new ge...

NES Fircroft

By NES Fircroft

The job search and application process has changed a lot over the past few decades as new generations have entered the workforce. Technology has played a big part in this change and candidates are finding more creative ways to demonstrate their expertise throughout the job application process. One way that has become increasingly popular is through a video CV.

A video CV is a short video presented to an employer in which the candidate will share information about themselves and their experience relevant to the position they’re applying for.

Whilst video CVs are gaining popularity, they aren’t the norm yet, meaning a well-executed video can give you an edge over the competition.

But it can be hard to know where to start, especially if they’re a new concept to you. So here are our top tips on how to create an effective video CV.

Think about whether a video resume is the right fit for you

First of all, it’s important to consider if a video CV is a good fit for you. Whilst video CVs are becoming more and more popular, they’re still relatively new, and it’s rare for companies to request one within their application process. Some employers might not welcome a video CV if they haven’t expressly asked for it, and many would still rather receive a traditional resume.

If you’re a shy person, uncomfortable in front of a camera, or the role you’re applying for doesn’t involve presentation skills, for example, then a video CV might not be the best fit for you, as it might misrepresent you.

Nevertheless, depending on the role or industry you are applying for, a video resume can highlight valuable skills, such as presentation/communication skills and creativity. It’s also a great way to show off your personality enabling the employee to better judge if you’d be a good cultural fit for their team. If the role involves a lot of communication with clients and external people, then presenting a video CV will demonstrate to employers your ability to fulfil the role, whereas a paper CV may not convey this as effectively.

Be well prepared before you start filming

Before filming or starting to produce your video, make sure to have everything prepared. Know what you’re going to say, when, and how. Preparing a script for your video will ensure that you only include the most relevant information and present it in the most effective way.

Try to seem natural - make sure not to read directly from a script as this is easily spotted by a viewer and may come across as you not being confident or being unsure of what you’re saying. Rehearse in advance and consider recording a couple of versions to help you become more comfortable. Take a look at your first few recordings to see where you can improve.

Don’t forget to consider your surroundings when recording!

  • Make sure the room is well lit,

  • Go somewhere quiet where you’re less likely to be disturbed,

  • Ensure your backdrop is clean and tidy,

  • Dress professionally – treat this as you would an interview.

There is no need for professional gear when recording your video CV. Nowadays, it’s possible to produce a good quality recording using just a phone or a laptop. However, if you do have a good camera, make sure to use it to have the best quality footage possible.

When it comes to editing, there are some really good free video editing programs out there that will make it easier for you to achieve a professional and neat-looking video. iMovie and Lumen5 are two good ones.

Once you are happy with the end result, you can share your video via email. If the file is too heavy, another easy way to share it is by putting it on YouTube and sharing the link to it. You can mark your video as unlisted so that only people with a link can find it.

Only cover the essentials

Whilst creating a video CV is an opportunity to be creative, make sure you still cover all the essentials about yourself, your experience, and your skills. The most important thing you should do when creating your video resume is answer the question “Why should they hire you?”.

It can be easy to get distracted when creating a video CV by including irrelevant information about your personal life or by going into too much detail about your professional career. Regardless of how relevant it all is, you should aim to keep your video short and concise – it’s a chance to show off your personality and skills and shouldn’t be a retelling of your entire career.

Be specific about your experience and skills

Although it does take a bit more time, try to tailor your video to each company or position you apply to. Whilst your own experience and skills won’t change, you might want to emphasise certain skills or experience you’ve gained depending on what you apply for. Your motivations for applying will also most likely differ depending on the job you’re going for. Tailoring your video to the employer, even if it’s just mentioning them briefly and why you want to work for them, will demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment.

When talking about your experience, make sure to give examples and talk about your achievements. Instead of telling the employer about why you’re good for the job, demonstrate why you are by giving them examples of what you’ve achieved in your current or past positions.

For example, you might’ve completed a project early or made savings on an initial budget. You might’ve designed a system that makes a manufacturing process more efficient. You might’ve managed a large budget or a big team. By giving such examples and quantifying them, you’re demonstrating how good you are, instead of just saying it.

​Keep your video short

​Make sure to keep your video brief. The ideal length for a video resume is generally between 30 and 90 seconds. Any shorter and you won’t be able to talk about yourself and your experience in enough detail. Any longer and you risk losing the employer’s attention.

Bear in mind that the employer is also taking up some of their time to watch this video, especially if they didn’t expressly ask for one. If your video is longer than 90 seconds, you’ve probably included too much detail or unnecessary information. The video will probably not be watched in its entirety so you should cut it back a bit.

You don’t have to be filmed

There are plenty of different ways you can create a video resume, and you do not necessarily have to be in front of the camera if this makes you uncomfortable. You could narrate a presentation, create an animated video or showcase a project you’ve worked on.

Creating your video resume is a chance to be creative. Whilst it’s important to keep it professional, don’t be scared to think outside the box. Coming up with an innovative video idea is a great way to engage the employer and make a strong first impression.

A video CV is not a replacement for a paper resume

It’s important to remember that your video CV is not a replacement for a paper resume, especially if the employer is not asking for one. Instead, the video should complement your resume and allow you to elaborate on certain points you wish to emphasise in more detail.

As mentioned above, video CVs are not the norm, and some employers will still prefer a traditional resume. You’ll be taking a big risk if you decide to only send over a video.

However, sending over a video that is well-executed and complements your resume can prove very effective in attracting employers to your profile.

Career support from NES Fircroft ​

NES Fircroft has been supporting engineers, candidates and technical clients across many different industries throughout the past 50 years. If you’re looking for your next role, check out all our latest opportunities.

If you’re looking for more career tips and advice, check out our blog or sign up to our EngineeringPro newsletter, to receive the latest career advice, industry news, job opportunities and more, directly to your inbox.