Video CVs add a creative twist to your job application by diving into aspects of your personality and qualifications that a traditional CV wouldn’t show.
However, knowing how and when to make a professional video CV is important because not all companies will appreciate them.
What is a video CV?
A video CV is a short recording that introduces your job-specific qualifications to employers.
Filming a video CV with your phone, webcam, or camera provides employers with a few minutes of valuable information about the relevant experience and skills you’d bring to their company.
Whether you’re using professional equipment or making a simple TikTok CV with your phone, an effective video CV can help you:
- speak directly to a recruiter and explain why you’re a top candidate
- apply your technical skills (such as using animations or video editing to enhance your video CV)
- demonstrate your excellent soft skills (for example, presentation and communication abilities are valuable skills for a CV)
- reveal more of your character and show employers you’d be a good cultural fit
When should you make a video CV?
You should make a video CV when a company specifically asks for one. Additionally, a video CV is ideal if you want to highlight your creativity, filming and editing skills, or ability to present information to others.
For instance, providing visual cues, cutaways, and dynamic footage shows employers in tech-related or creative fields (e.g., advertising, fashion, marketing, and media) you have an eye for detail and a passion for your target industry.
Including a video CV with your application is also a good option if you:
- don’t have much work experience and want to highlight other skills and accomplishments instead
- are applying for jobs in a different city or country (so employers abroad have a better sense of what you’d be like to work with)
- want to stand out in a job opening with many applicants
However, a video CV isn’t suitable for every position. For instance, traditional companies with a formal hiring process might find a video CV inappropriate or unprofessional. And if your video is poorly made or contains errors, employers will reject your job application.
Also, some companies avoid discriminating against an applicant’s age, gender, or race, so they might discard your job application if it contains a video CV.
So ensure the company you’re applying to is receptive to video CVs by asking the recruiter or HR manager directly or by closely reviewing the job advert requirements.
Additionally, research your target company’s website, values, and social media platforms beforehand to see how open they are to nontraditional job applications.
How to make a video CV in 5 steps
Ready to produce an impressive video CV showcasing your personality and top skills in action?
Below are 5 steps for creating a video CV that leaves a lasting impression on employers:
1. Decide what your message will be
Creating a video CV can seem challenging at first, but taking some time to define your key message will make the process simpler.
Understanding why you’re creating a video CV gives you a clearer direction to follow as you’re brainstorming ideas.
So try answering these questions to identify your video CV’s message:
- What are the job requirements your target employer is looking for?
- What tone do you want to portray in your video CV? (e.g., casual and conversational, or professional and formal)
- What strengths or qualifications do you want employers to know about you?
- Do you want to include additional elements in your video? (e.g., a portfolio, projects, testimonials from previous managers, a mock interview)
Making a list of ideas will help you better understand the message you want to use to boost your video job application.
2. Choose the most suitable format
Using a format that successfully delivers the message of your video CV is important.
Here are some video CV format ideas that can highlight your strengths:
- Narration (speaking directly to the camera)
- Interview (playing both the role of an interviewer and interviewee or asking someone else to interview you)
- Project showcase (emphasising your previous work)
- Combination (mixing different formats can be effective, but be careful not to make the video too cluttered)
3. Write a brief and informative video script
Preparing a script is a great way to keep your video CV structured and concise. Because employers have limited time and several applications to look through, we recommend keeping your video between 60 and 120 seconds.
Planning out what you’ll say helps you stay on track and ensures your video CV contains a clear introduction, an explanation of your top qualifications, and a conclusion.
Let’s dive into each section:
Your video CV’s introduction should be concise while clearly stating your full name, job title, and work goals. Try personalising your video CV to the viewer by explaining where you’re from, where you went to uni, and what your interests are.
If you’re tailoring your video CV to a specific company, explain why you want to work for them here. And if you’re applying to several jobs at once, try summarising your reasons behind applying for your target industry and why you’d be a great fit.
The qualifications section of your video CV is your biggest selling point because it gives you the chance to tell employers what makes you a star candidate and why they should hire you.
Here are some key elements to include:
Remember to treat your video CV like a real interview and ensure you’re presenting your most professional self, so avoid adding these aspects to your video CV:
- personal information that isn’t relevant to the job
- negative information about yourself or your work
- false information
- swearing or inappropriate language
End your video CV by reiterating why a company should hire you and how you can benefit them.
Add contact information such as your email, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, and phone number, and thank the viewer for their time.
3. Record your video in a professional environment
Before filming a video CV, setting up a professional environment is essential so that your recording looks and sounds its best.
Follow these tips to help you make a great video CV:
- Rehearse your video CV script. Be sure to practise before recording your video CV to ensure you look and sound confident when presenting yourself on camera.
- Dress professionally. Ensure you look neat and professional as you’re recording. Although it’ll depend on your target company’s culture, you should err on the side of caution and wear professional, neutral coloured clothing (e.g., a shirt or blazer) to show employers you’re a professional candidate.
- Use appropriate lighting. Try filming in a well-lit area with a neutral background so employers can focus clearly on your video. Natural lighting works best but you can also use an affordable ring light to brighten up your environment.
- Use a good quality camera. You can film the video yourself or ask someone else to help you. Also, investing in an expensive camera isn’t necessary as long as your smartphone camera isn’t grainy or out of focus.
- Find a place with no distractions and noise. Employers will notice if your audio quality is poor or if there are other background noises in your video CV. So speak clearly to the camera and ensure any music you use complements your video — and doesn’t drown out your voice.
- Reshoot your video CV a few times. Shooting good video CVs take practise. Don’t be afraid to do multiple takes while filming until you’re happy with it and have enough footage to work with.
5. Edit your video CV
After recording your video CV, it’s time to edit it to perfection. Remember to remove any mistakes you made and any pauses or filler words.
You should also ensure the video is the correct length and flows smoothly. Also, take this time to include visual elements such as infographics or text and overlays or cutaways to make your video CV stand out.
If you’re unsure how to edit a video CV, there are many free online resources (e.g., Invideo) that can help you.
6. Get someone to review your video CV before submitting it
Remember to ask someone you trust to look over your video and provide you with some feedback before you submit it to employers.
Asking for another opinion can help you adjust your video CV so your final product is concise and engaging.
7 excellent video CV examples
We’ve compiled our favourite video CVs below and explain why we like them:
1. Modern and digitally savvy
Our recent graduate Kirsten proves she’s a true digital native by providing her target employers with a high-quality TikTok CV that concisely describes her best education, accomplishments, and job-specific skills in 46 seconds.
Overall, she does a great job sharing her story of how she got started coding and where she’s at now as a work-ready software developer.
2. Crisp and straightforward
In 58 seconds, Ramona Valiukaitė’s self-introduction provides employers with a solid understanding of her education and previous work history.
Ramona wears formal clothing for her video CV and uses a straight camera angle to look directly at the viewer. She also uses text on the side of her video CV to highlight job-specific personality traits that make her a top candidate.
And although Ramona lists several of her abilities (e.g., IT skills, basic bookkeeping, managerial skills), we’d recommend expanding on these skills by providing examples using hard numbers or achievements to provide specific evidence of how she’s benefited her previous companies.
3. Detailed and accomplishment-oriented
Arthur Coppens’s video CV uses multiple sound effects and visuals to stand out among other applicants and keep employers engaged.
As a recent graduate, he begins by describing his education and internships which tell employers he’s learnt many technical skills in the last few years. Then, Arthur lists his top skills and how he mastered the software he knows to create new products, logos, and magazines.
Additionally, he presents his most impressive visual design work by quantifying his accomplishments using hard numbers and placing these words and figures strategically throughout his shots.
4. Visually creative and personable
Even though we don’t hear Cristina Castro’s voice, her video CV does all the talking because of the effective stop motion, subtle background music, and colourful graphics she strategically places in each scene.
Cristina begins by introducing her language skills and experience as a translator. Then, she uses handmade signs and photographs to give her video CV a cheerful atmosphere while describing her education details, skills, and previous work experience.
In two minutes and 16 seconds, Cristina shows employers she’s highly qualified, artistic, and ready to succeed in the travel industry.
5. Fast-paced and impactful
This applicant’s video CV is a good example of how recording your face and voice isn’t always necessary. Kristiyan Despodov uses exciting music and few words in every shot and his message is clear from the start: he wants to make employers feel impressed.
Kristiyan switches between a black and white background to keep his viewers’ attention. He also provides several examples of his design work and mentions the software he’s experienced with.
Finally, Kristiyan ends his video clip with a clear call-to-action (CTA) by inviting viewers to look at more of his portfolio work on Behance.
6. Text-rich and informative
Josep Arroyo uses stop motion and text to create his video CV. He immediately lists his personality traits so employers will understand what type of applicant he is and how his key technical skills (e.g., music production, web design, and e-commerce) make him a versatile candidate.
Josep also directly answers valuable questions employers want to know, including why they should hire him and exactly what he can offer their company.
Best of all, Josep provides two specific examples of his key achievements for each role and uses powerful action verbs to begin each statement.
7. Interactive and communicative
Graeme Anthony links to several sections in his interactive YouTube video CV introduction, including ‘About Me, Portfolio, Skills, Timeline, Contact’. He also speaks clearly and looks directly at the camera so employers can tell he’s got a professional presence and demeanour.
And while Graeme dresses formally for the majority of the video, he also changes outfits briefly and includes props (such as a guitar and vinyl records) so employers can catch a glimpse of Graeme’s personality and interests.
However, Graeme’s entire video CV series runs over 10 minutes. While we wouldn’t recommend recording video CVs longer than 120 seconds, Graeme separates his ‘CV sections’ into different videos so employers can select the YouTube link they’re most interested in seeing.
Short video CV script example
Unsure how to start your video script? Don’t worry. Use these three steps as a quick guide to writing a compelling video CV script:
- Introduce yourself and your education details.
- Talk about your skills and qualifications using accomplishments and hard numbers.
- Invite the employer to contact you or view your additional profiles.
Have a look at our recent graduate’s concise video CV script using the above criteria:
120-second long video CV script from a recent graduate
Hello, I’m Max Bridgers and I’m a recent graduate from Newcastle University with a first-class honours degree in English. I also received the School of English Language prize.
My degree taught me the importance of communicating with different audiences, time management, and creativity. I’m interested in a role with Beesknees Media because of its focus on current lifestyle trends and inclusivity for all.
I spent two years working as a football commentator for Alan March Sport (AMS), including presenting at 7 pre-season and 3 cup games. It was here where I honed my ability to speak with conviction and learnt how to think on the spot.
I also spent three months as a Media Relations intern for Pumbly Health and provided 100+ pieces of static and video content for four social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube. Even though it was a short time, I grew our following to over 2K subscribers for each platform.
I’d love to contribute positively to [Company Name] and speak more through an interview. You can reach me by email or phone number.
I look forward to hearing from you soon, thank you.