The pros and cons of the video CV


In a saturated job market, making your CV stand out from the crowd can be incredibly difficult. The video cover letter is becoming increasingly common, but there’s a very fine line to straddle between a cringeworthy effort and one that will snare you a dream job.

Depending on the employer, and depending on the job, the video CV can be a fantastic idea, and it’s certainly worth considering. This article aims to explain some of the pros and cons to this approach if you’re thinking of getting in front of the camera.



1.    You’ll stand out

Depending on the job, there won’t be too many people submitting a CV in this fashion, so you’ll immediately stand out as somebody a little different and a risk taker. You’ll need to assess for yourself whether this is appropriate for the job you’re applying for. It’s worth submitting a standard CV along with your video effort for those that don’t have the facilities or time to watch your creation. You should reference your video CV in your covering letter.

2.    Gives you the opportunity to demonstrate skills

There are an increasing number of jobs that require video skills these days, especially with the enormity of YouTube. Creating a video CV demonstrates you have a number of desirable skills, including filming, editing and presenting.

3.    They can be very easy and cheap to create

Despite what you might think, pretty much everybody has the necessary equipment to create a decent video with a bit of imagination. If you have a well-lit environment in which to make your video, the camera on the majority of smartphones should do the trick. If not, most simple point and shoot compact cameras can shoot full HD videos nowadays and the sound is pretty decent too. You can pick up editing software for free or cheap from the internet, programs such as Windows Movie Maker come pre-installed for free on all PCs. Creating a YouTube account on which to host your video CV is also free and makes sharing your video with potential employers very quick and easy – you can also embed a YouTube video CV onto your own personal website if you prefer.



1.    You’ll stand out – perhaps for the wrong reasons

Let’s be honest, the video CV isn’t for everybody. Unless the job you’re looking for specifically demands video skills, don’t feel pressurised to stand out if video is not your thing. If you’re a slightly awkward presenter, can’t get to grips with editing or just don’t have the necessary equipment, it’s not really worth splurging for a completely unrelated job. Make sure you have a trusted friend take a look at your video CV and give you honest feedback on whether you should submit it or not.

2.    It can be a hassle for the employer

An employer might receive hundreds of job applications for every vacancy, and adding to the time can be an unwelcome hassle that leads to your CV being dumped straight on the no pile. Carefully consider whether the job is appropriate for a video CV, and make sure it’s not your only form of application. By all means include it on your website, which is mentioned on your covering letter or standard CV, giving the employer the opportunity to watch it if they want to.

3.    It can be very time consuming

You don’t want to produce something that’s half baked, so you will need to invest a significant amount of time, energy and effort into a video CV. Allow time to write a script (even if you don’t necessarily follow it), time to prepare where you’re going to film (don’t film it in your messy kitchen), time to present and allow for several takes and time for editing.

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