Ways to stand out in your job search: Video CVs

to stand out in your job search: Video CVs

One of the basic bits of advice being given to job seekers is to 'stand out.' It's good enough advice; you do need to be noticed to get the job, after all.

But how?

There's an obvious need to get attention, but it has to be positive attention. For this reason, many in the employment industry recommend using Video CVs as a way of'imparting your personality and presence' in job applications.

Let's be fair about this; some people are great presenters. They do brilliantly with this form of presentation and they're terrific on camera. They're the exceptions, about 5% of the average population. Anybody who's ever done video production, at any level, can also tell you that any number of things can go wrong with a video CV, worst of which is the terrible'doesn't feel right' result.

People have a hard time getting used to themselves on camera at first, which isn't all bad, because a bit of healthy paranoia can prevent you from making mistakes. The basic advice here is to get comfortable with the medium before you try sending anything to anyone.

Anybody who's ever found themselves on Take 12 of the same thing will know exactly what that means.'Getting comfortable' means'getting fluent.' Anything, from a basic camera angle to lighting issues, can easily use up a day or so.

Don't get upset about these glitches. There's no such thing as an actor who's never fluffed a line. This is all learning, and you will learn quicker than you might think. After some creative cursing and impatience, you'll find that you start doing things right automatically.

You know what's needed, without even having to think about it. The sound's right, the camera's right, your appearance is clean and you really don't sound like you're reading from a prompter. In fact, you'll have memorized and made definite improvements to your 2 minutes by this point. It works, because it's become you in your normal mode.

Now you've finally achieved a decent presentation standard. Now you can do your video CV without risking your credibility and self-respect. Better yet, the presentation will do what you want it to do, and will deliver a person, not a semi-scripted mess, to the employer at the other end.

OK, so what do you achieve with your video CV?

A lot, and you do it in 2 minutes.

This works well in all digital formats, it's emailable, and you get to do a real sales pitch. The video CV was developed from a very common practice in media, where these video presentations are used to evaluate production issues for actors. They're now major assets for sales people, public speakers, presenters, corporate executives and media pros who use them to provide a lot of visual information in a short presentation.

This is actual marketing, and when done well, it's invaluable.

Get it right, and your Video CV will get you the job.