Thanks to the internet, advances in technology and social media, most notably, LinkedIn, the executive search industry has been forever changed. Whereas ten years ago, organisations received 25 printed CVs, organisations are dealing with anywhere from one hundred to thousands of online CVs after a single search.
For organisations, managing a vast influx of CVs creates pressure on resources to process and vet CVs. For candidates, standing out in a mass of CVs is challenging.
Over the years, cunning jobhunters have added their own unique twist to their CV to help them stand out. From QR codes to portfolio links, adding infographics to even presenting CVs in pizza boxes – candidates have been working hard to showcase their personality in their CV.
A new trend for CVs now makes it easier for candidates to stand out with their personality, and that’s by digitising their applications with a video CV.
What Is A Video CV?
The video CV can be described as answering the ‘tell me about yourself’ interview question. This is where job candidates get to introduce their background and state their experience and qualifications briefly.
You can talk about your current employment or education, what your current role involves, and any past experiences that are in some way relevant to the job you are applying for.
It’s much like a traditional CV, except your prospective employer can see and hear you. This gives them a taste of your personality and enthusiasm for the job you applied for.
Do You Still Need A Summary?
One of the recent developments in CVs is using summaries – a concise overview that helps to attract and retain the attention of time-poor recruiters. While these are still popular, video CVs are a progression that can really help you stand out.
Video CVs And LinkedIn
LinkedIn are advocates of the video CV, so much so they’ve released the function, Cover Story, to each profile. The Cover Story allows members to upload a short, snappy video to their individual profile page. For jobseekers, this is a great way to showcase personality and share stories of accomplishments.
For recruiters and hiring managers, a Cover Story is a fantastic way to assess a candidate’s soft skills and give a glimpse as to whether they’d be the right for an organisation.
Should You Create A LinkedIn Cover Story?
Whether it’s a Cover Story on LinkedIn or a video CV – people are divided.
For some, the thought of sitting in front of a camera to talk about their career is cringeworthy. But others are intrigued by this format and its potential to let creativity and personality shine through.
According to data from LinkedIn, 62% of job seekers think a video sharing experience and career goals can help them land a job. This is backed up by the fact 79% of hiring managers also believe video is important for vetting candidates.
What’s more, the majority of job seekers and recruiters believe that videos will eventually replace the traditional cover letter.
So, while videos may not be for everyone, it seems this is a direction that job seeking is heading.
What Are The Benefits Of A Video CV?
As well as giving the prospective employer a rundown of why you are the ideal candidate for the job and showing off your personality and confidence, a video CV shows that the candidate is tech-savvy and plugged in.
For candidates applying for jobs in marketing or public relations, this can show you are aware of the latest trends.
It’s also an excellent opportunity for candidates to show off their communication skills. In sales and management positions, being an outstanding communicator is a desirable trait. In addition, if you are applying for an international position, it also gives you a chance to show how well you speak the local language, giving you the edge during the selection process.
One of the key benefits of submitting a video CV is that it shows that you are not afraid to take a risk and do something different to other candidates, hoping that it could land you an interview.
“It is widely known that the vast majority of information in a conversation is not transmitted in words, but in the tone of voice, the facial expressions and the gestures of a communicator. Therefore, a video is an extremely valuable add-on to a written CV. In particular, it gives candidates a chance who might not tick all the boxes of a formal requirement profile.” – Dr Monika Becker, Business Unit Director & Sector Head IT & Digitalisation – Horton International Germany
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Video CV?
Some employers see the benefits of seeing and hearing their prospective candidates before meeting for an interview. However, others are concerned it will create bias in the recruitment process based on how a candidate looks and sounds rather than initially focusing on their experience, skills and competencies.
As well as the danger that the prospective employer may not be a fan of video CVs, creating one also requires a significant time investment. Each application needs a unique, professional-quality video, in much the same way you would tailor a written CV to the job you are applying for.
“Video CVs can be a very useful tool, especially for those working in creative industries and customer-facing roles. However, If you are considering sending a video CV, it should be an accompaniment to a traditional CV, not a replacement. Showing your writing ability is still an important skill to highlight.” – Alice Phan, Principal Consultant – Horton International Vietnam
While video CVs are undoubtedly an exciting new concept, it is still very new and maybe just a bit too far out of the box for some employers to take seriously. If you are considering sending a video CV, by all means, do so, but it should for now be an accompaniment to a traditional CV, not a replacement.
Top Tips To Create A Video CV
Keep it short – A video should be no longer than 90 seconds. To keep people interested, aim for 45-60 seconds.
Add something new – Don’t use your video CV to say what’s already in your CV/application. Use it to share your unique experience and how it will benefit the organisation. A handy tip is that if the content in your video could be said by someone else, it’s not unique enough.
Be specific – A video should be short, so it’s wise to eliminate all of the fluff. Instead of sharing that you’re a great team player or leader, give an accomplishment in that space.
Take your time – A video could be the first interaction with you, so consider this a fantastic first impression. From the video and audio quality to your presentation, take time to focus on getting it right.
Feel comfortable – If you’re not comfortable on camera, you can still make a video CV. Instead, you may prefer to create a short presentation, use stock images, or use photographs relating to your profession.
Tailor it – Like you would edit a CV to suit each recruiter, it is wise to personalise the video for them. You can do this by uploading it to YouTube as a private and unlisted video, and then you can send the recruiter a link to their unique video.
With 80% of jobseekers understanding that job searches have become more competitive and that 75% of hiring managers believe a standard CV isn’t sufficient to evaluate soft skills, a short video could be just what job seekers need to stand out and make an impact.