Video CVs: Are they really worth your time and effort?

By Amy @BubbleJobs

When it comes to creating your CV, as you should already know by now, it’s all about standing out from the crowd and offering something different. From using your face as a background for your CV (please, don’t ever do this!) to using a range of wacky tones and fonts, creativity can be the name of the game with certain CVs and it’s really no different in the digital sector.

One of the most common (and controversial) ways to get yourself noticed is to send in a video CV instead of/as well as your standard CV. From creating a mahoosive VCV which is literally just a visual video version of your normal CV to creating a segmented VCV where employers can skip to the part they’re interested in, there are shed-loads of ways to put together a video CV – and with there being no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ formats, the possibilities seem to be endless.

Now, VCVs went a bit viral a few years ago but just recently it all seems to have gone a bit quiet on the old video CV front – what does that mean? Are they past their sell by date already or have candidates just given up of them because they require a lot more time and effort than a standard paper job?

First up, the argument against VCVs; there are loads of employers and recruitment gurus who haven’t held back when it comes to voicing their opinion on video CVs and it’s not good! They argue that when recruiting for new candidates, they need to be able to filter through candidates at an incredible rate of knots – easy with paper CVs, not so easy with 10 minute long video CVs that just go on and on… and on… and on!

OK, so they’re not practical for recruiters, what else? Well thanks to the amount of time and effort required to put together a decent VCV, they might not be practical for candidates either. OK, so you might argue that they’re pretty easy to put together and edit, particularly if you’ve got editing facilities to hand, but remember, it’s all about quality – if you don’t have the resources to put together a quality VCV, it might not be worth putting one together at all! Similarly, a video CV is a great place to show off your personality and the best of you but if you’re just planning on reading off a sheet of paper, again, it’s probably not worth the effort!

OK, enough  of the negativity; what about the good aspects of video CVs? Well, like I said earlier, if you manage to produce a really great standout video CV, it’s highly likely you could catch the eye of a potential employer who might not have given your CV a second glance if you’d sent it in in a paper format. Remember, a video CV is the place to really show off your creative side and your personality!

Similarly, if you’re applying for a very client-facing role in the digital industry, a video CV is the perfect platform for showcasing your ‘people’ skills or if you’re applying for a sales job, video CVs are the ideal place to illustrate your sales skills – after all, you need to ‘sell’ yourself on a video CV!

Like it or not, by sending in a video CV where recruiters can actually see what you look like and how you behave, you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of discrimination that wouldn’t necessarily raise its head if you’d send in a paper CV. Whether it’s done subconsciously or not, recruiters can sometimes discount candidates based on what they see so by sending in a video CV, you could be restricting you chances of bagging that new job.

If you’re really keen on the idea of producing a video CV but you don’t want to run the risk of producing a charming but not very professional-looking effort, you’ll be pleased to know there are some companies out  there that offer this as a service. Now, we’re not recommending any of these companies (which is why we’re not going to name names!) – we’re just saying they’re out there if you want to look them up!

Hmm, so all in all video CVs can be effective (check this guy’s story out if you don’t believe me!), however they’re not always the right option for all candidates and they might be past their sell by date, particularly if you’re applying for a job advertised by a busy recruiter! VCVs are definitely something to consider if you’re looking to go into the creative, broadcast and sales industries but if you’re applying for jobs in any other sector, you might be best sticking with good old Microsoft Word (note: there are other word processing packages available! :))

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