6 ways to make a professional video CV

When applying to jobs, one of the easiest ways to get yourself noticed is to have an eye-catching CV, and what better way to show off your skills than with a video?

Lots of companies now prefer or even require video CVs. Even if they don’t, attaching a well-produced showreel to your application will let the employer really get a feel for your personality and potential.

Of course a creative endeavour like this is more appropriate in certain industries like media, marketing, sales and advertising. But even for those less creative sectors, adding a video to your regular application could just be that extra thing that gets you in the door.

So whatever your skill level when it comes to filming and editing, here are some top tips to make sure that your video CV will impress the hiring managers.


Don’t do this…

1. Keep it short

No employer wants to watch you ramble on for 10 minutes, and they’re probably too busy to make it all the way through anyway. Keep it short enough that you don’t lose their attention, but long enough to get your message across. We think one to three minutes is ideal.

2. Show confident body language

Keeping eye contact with the camera and sitting or standing up straight is super important in a video like this. There’s no reason to be nervous, and you want to present yourself at your best. Smiling and dressing like you’re at an interview will help you feel and look confident on camera.

3. Get your point across

This is your chance to really sell yourself, so introduce yourself clearly and tell – or better yet, show – them why you’re the best person for the job. Write and memorise a script of what you want to say, and make sure you have a clear beginning, middle and end. Cut out the words “like”, “um” and “so”.

Focus on highlighting the best examples of your skills or any major achievements you’re proud of. You can even add in your hobbies, if they’re relevant. The key is just to keep it short and to the point.


Don’t try anything too wacky…

4. Get the right tech

Whether you’re shooting the video on your iPhone or on some fancy, expensive equipment, you need to know the programmes that will help make it great.

Sign up for a free trial for professional software like Final Cut Pro or Premiere. If you’re a total newbie, try Apple’s iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. There’s also tons of free editing software to be found online. Most of these programmes also allow for adding in some cool special effects.

Also watch out for good, even sound quality and a steady shot. Think about renting a tripod or a microphone if you need to. Good quality is essential.

5. Don’t be afraid to get creative
6. Ask for some feedback

Before you send your video off into the ether, ask your friends and family to watch the clip. Get an expert’s opinion if you can. Just as you would want someone to check a paper CV for typos, you want to make sure the video is as good as it can be and that there are no glaring mistakes.

Although the chances are slim, imagine how you’d feel if the video somehow went viral. If the thought of any of that makes you cringe, then don’t submit it. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with it , because the internet is forever.