Top Tips for Making a Video CVPosted on September 18, 2019
While still quite uncommon in the energy industry, video CVs are gaining in popularity and are a great way to separate yourself from the crowd. Rather than replacing a traditional written CV, the video format is used to supplement your written application and provide more insight into your personality and character.
If you’re applying for a customer facing, sales or media role a video CV is an excellent way to show your personality and presentation skills.
The purpose of a video CV is to be able to express yourself and show some creativity, so make sure you do! There is no point in recording yourself stood in front of a plain wall just reading straight from a script! One of the key skills you will be showing in creating a video is your presentation skills – treat the recording as you would presenting to a room full of your colleagues. Be engaging, speak clearly and look into the camera as if you are making eye contact. Body language is just as important as the words you are saying, so stand up straight, shoulders back and express confidence.
Just as you wouldn’t present a Power Point presentation by just reading from the screen, don’t use your video to just repeat what’s written in your application. Use the opportunity to give new information and refer back to the written CV.
Include stills, captions and show examples of what you’re talking about on screen, or add on screen graphics to emphasise what you’re saying. Add a title card at the end with your contact details, as they appear on your written CV.
Do multiple takes and use different angles so that you have options when you edit the video together. Even if you think you got it right first time, do another take “for safety” and thank yourself later!
Your video should have a clear beginning, middle and end. Decide in advance what you want to showcase and talk about, write down bullet points and practice so that you don’t need to rely on your notes.
Choose your location and outfit carefully. Dress as you would for an interview and make sure you’re filming in a suitable location; your living room is fine but make sure it is tidy and there’s nothing embarrassing or distracting in the background.
Frame yourself carefully to give the right tone, waist up is good - a full body shot makes you seem distant, and a close up of your face can be a bit intense. Practice with framing to see what looks right and gives you enough room to gesticulate and add graphics around you.
Unless you’re aiming for a cinema verité style, use a tripod. Whether you’re using professional camera, your mobile phone or a webcam – keep the camera steady.
Upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo and share a private link, or use Google Drive or Dropbox – whichever platform you choose make sure the file name is professional and contains your name. Include the link to the video in your cover letter or CV, but make sure it’s clear what you are linking to – you don’t want to look like you’re sending spam!
Audio quality is just as important as the camera quality. When you edit the video set the volume to 50% and test it on headphones and speakers to make sure that the recruiter will be able to hear you no matter what device they use.
Just as you would ask a friend to proofread your written CV, ask friends and family to watch your video and give you feedback.
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