Ready to take centre stage? Here's everything that you need to know

Is a video CV a good idea? If you're looking for a new job and want to stand out, you may wish to try something different. Rather than sending a standard CV or application to potential employers, it's worth considering your options. Taking the time to shoot and edit a video CV could help you to make a real impact on potential employers. Fancy giving it a shot? Here's everything you need to know about how to make a video CV.

What is a video CV?

First things first, let's talk about what a video CV is. While these types of applications aren't suitable for all job roles out there, they're a savvy way to stand out from the crowd. Video CVs are what they say on the tin - you use a short video to apply for a role. That means that you can dazzle potential employers with your unique brand in minutes. 

However, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is merely about translating your existing CV into video format. Spoiler: nobody wants to see you read out your education history in a monotone. That's unlikely to cut the mustard. Instead, this is about showing off who you are, what you bring to the company, and your personality. 

Pros of making a video CV:

  • You can share your personality 

  • You'll stand out from the crowd

  • It shows a level of uniqueness 

  • You can tailor-make each video

  • You can demonstrate your skill set

  • You can address the employer directly

Cons of making a video CV: 

  • Not all employers appreciate video CVs

  • You might find that you get camera shy

  • You could sell yourself short in this format

  • Employers may not watch video CVs

Before you decide whether a video CV is right for you or not, you should make sure that you weigh up the pros and cons. If, for example, you're applying for a professional role, you may find that a video CV is not the right format. On the other hand, if you're looking at landing your creative dream job, this type of CV might help you to turn recruiters' heads. 

What should you include in a video CV?

Ready, set, action! If you're thinking of making a video CV, you're going to want to know what to include in the clip. There's a fine art to getting this right. With that in mind, here are some of the secret ingredients you may want to put in there to create the perfect video CV. 

Your unique selling point 

What is it that makes you unique? Why should an employer hire you over the competition? When you're making your video CV, you'll want to lead with this vital piece of information. Take the time to consider why you're a cut above the rest and open the video with that. 

Your story (so far!)

What do you say in a video CV? You need to tell a story. Think about it - when a recruiter watches your clip, you need to share information with them but you also need to entertain them too. You'll want to grab the hiring manager's attention in the first seven seconds. That's how long recruiters spend looking at CVs on average and the same rule applies to videos. 

Your skills 

What skills are you bringing to the table? Bonus points here if you can show off your skill set as a part of the video. For example, if you say that you are an excellent mathematician, you might quickly solve a complex equation for the camera. Backing up what you have to say through a quick demonstration makes all the difference. 


Towards the end of the video, be sure to summarise all that you've covered. The aim is to finish strong — give the recruiter a reason to call you. You might want to reaffirm the skills that you have, give some final thoughts, or reiterate what you'll bring to the team.

How do you make a video CV?

Ready to make your video CV? If you're itching to give this a go, you may be wondering what the steps are to get it right. The good news here is that you don't have to have a degree in film studies to whip up a short clip. Here's what you need to do: 

Figure out your run-time

Video CVs don't need to be cinematic experiences. You're not trying to win any awards here. Instead, you need to keep them short and sweet. Aim for around the two to three minute mark as a baseline guide. Anything longer than that is likely to lose the interest of an employer or recruiter. As long as you plan ahead well, you can fit everything in there.

Write a script first 

First things first, you should write a script. Keep in mind that the average reading speed is 200 - 250 words per minute. When you're writing your script, you can use that as a guideline. So, if you're looking to create a two-minute video, you should aim for roughly 400 words, taking into account that you'll have gaps too. 

Decide what to wear 

Next up, you need to decide what to wear. This step will depend greatly on what type of job you're going for. If you're looking to land a job as an illustrator, for example, you can afford to be creative with your wardrobe choices. On the other hand, if you're applying for a sales-centric role, you may want to adopt a more professional look. 

Look at editing software

Before you start filming, you may want to look at what editing software is out there. You may already be familiar with certain programs, such as Final Cut. However, if you've never edited a video before now, looking for a basic editor is the way to go. You may want to consider using Microsoft Movie Maker or Apple iMovie, for example. 

Choose a prime location 

What message are you trying to convey with your video CV? The answer to this question will help you to determine what location you use. Whatever is in the background of your video will make an impact on recruiters. Nobody wants to see your messy bedroom - so you should hide the laundry basket! Instead, choose a place that screams "professional."

Shoot your video CV

The final step is shooting your video CV. You might want to enlist the help of a friend to get going here. You can use a DSLR camera or even something more low-key, such as a smartphone. The choice is yours. Don't be surprised if it takes you several takes to get your video CV right. Unless you're Brad Pitt, it may take a while to get used to the camera.

Video CV Tips

  • Do write a script ahead of time 

  • Don't be too over-dramatic 

  • Do tailor your video CV to different roles

  • Don't try to squeeze too much in

  • Do keep things professional 

  • Don't make the video too long 


Ready to make a video CV for yourself? Within this guide, we've covered the basics that will help you to get started. Now that you've got them under your belt, why not grab a camera and get to work? Crafting your own video CV could help you to land a job interview!

Looking for a new job? Why not check out our CV writing services and make a splash.

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