Creating a Video CV: Script, Preparation & Tips
Written by Mike Potter, Author • Last updated on 6 May 2024

Creating a Video CV: Script, Preparation & Tips

If you’re looking for creative ways to make an impact with your job applications, you might consider making a video CV. Video CVs are becoming more common, and some employers now even ask candidates to submit one with their application. As such, it’s useful to know how to make a video CV that leaves a positive impression with hiring managers. In this article, we discuss when and why to choose a video CV, and describe the process of creating one.

Why a video CV can work

Video CVs can be very effective as a means of introducing yourself to employers and introducing your key skills and experience. They also showcase certain skills themselves, including presentation skills, attention to detail, and creative thinking.

Hiring managers may need to review hundreds of CVs for every job vacancy. The process of reading these can be long and laborious. As such, video CVs can be more engaging and immediate than traditional written CVs. Watching a candidate introduce themselves and describe their skills and experience requires less concentration and energy than reading a document.

A video CV can also help the employer to get a better sense of you as a person. Written CVs can easily become dry and impersonal documents that reveal very little about the true nature of the applicant. On the other hand, a video CV can reveal a lot about your personality, confidence and skills.

It’s worth considering, though, that video CVs aren’t necessarily suitable for all types of job. They’re not a substitute for a written CV, but you can use them to enhance your application. Before creating your video CV, think about whether it’s likely to increase your prospects of success.  

When to use a video CV

While video CVs are still a relatively niche element of the recruitment process, it’s important to consider whether it’s appropriate to create one or not. Video CVs tend to be popular for creative roles, sales positions or jobs where you’re likely to present to clients or face customers. On the other hand, a video CV might not increase your chances of success in some traditional professions.

Always check the job advert and the job description before creating a video CV. If the employer expects you to submit a video CV, they should mention it in the job advert. However, you may also want to create a video CV even if it’s not listed as a requirement for the application. Check whether the job description mentions video skills, presentation skills, creative skills or communication. These are all indications that a video CV might be useful for your application.

Making a video CV step-by-step

The steps below describe the process of making a video CV. If you think a video CV can help you get the job, follow these steps to get started:

1. Find inspiration

The first thing to do before making your video CV is to study examples and tutorials for inspiration. Review as many examples and styles as possible, and consider what would work best for your application, and as a reflection of your personality.

2. Choose a style

There are various styles of video CV to choose from. The style you select should reflect the skills required for the role you’re applying for, as well as giving your personality and skills the best chance to shine. You could opt for a video of yourself talking to the camera in the style of a presentation. Other approaches include animated CVs, stop-motion CVs or whiteboard and mind map CVs.

3. Create a script

Once you’ve settled on a style, writing a script and practicing delivering it before you film your CV is essential. Tweak your script to make the delivery sound as natural as possible. The final video should feel like you talking naturally, rather than reading from a script.

4. Create your set

Your set could be as simple as an office background, a room in your house, or your garden. Make sure your set is well-lit and doesn’t distract the viewer from what you’re saying.

Video CVs tend to be popular for creative roles, sales positions or jobs where you’re likely to present to clients or face customers. 

5. Be to the point

Like a written CV, a video CV should be concise and to the point. Aim to make your video no more than two minutes long. If you can get it down to under 60 seconds, this is even better. However, don’t rush your delivery. It’s better to edit your script down so you can deliver it at a relaxed pace, rather than cramming in as much information as possible within the time constraints.

6. Remain professional

Adopt a professional tone at all times on camera. Make sure you deliver your script clearly and with expression in your voice. Try to strike a balance between formal and relaxed that shows your human side, while remaining professional and confident.

7. Record multiple takes

While you might feel you’ve nailed it on the first attempt, it’s always beneficial to record multiple takes. When you watch it back, you might find yourself stumbling or pausing at certain times, interrupting the flow of the video. Multiple takes can help you ensure smooth, confident and uninterrupted delivery throughout your video CV.

8. Edit the video

You don’t need a degree in filmmaking to edit your video CV. There are many free video editing software packages and websites that make the process simple and straightforward. Some software enables screen recording, so you can deliver a presentation as part of your video. Keep the editing snappy and engaging, to hold the attention of the viewer.

9. Receive feedback

Watch your final, edited video back several times. You could also ask a colleague, friend or family member to watch it for you and provide feedback. Any constructive criticism can help you to refine your video CV for maximum impact.

Expert Tip:

Lighting and audio make all the difference when it comes to creating a professional CV video clip. Use natural lighting where possible and avoid contrasts of light and shade. Check the clarity of your audio and consider using a second sound recording device when you’re filming your clip, to ensure consistent audible volume.

Tips for your video CV

Following these tips can help you maximise the impact of your video CV:

Use free video editing apps

You might find your computer comes with basic video editing software. If not, you can find plenty of free editing tools online, or you can often download free trials for paid video editing apps. Experiment with different editing techniques to give your video CV a professional look and feel.

Add background music

Background music can help create the desired atmosphere for your video CV. Pick music that matches your personality and the type of role you’re applying for. When you add music in the editing process, make sure it doesn’t drown out your voice.

Pay attention to lighting

Good lighting can make all the difference between a professional video and one that looks amateurish. Make sure you’re well-lit from all angles, and avoid filming in settings with drastic contrasts between light and shade.

Use a microphone

If you’re filming yourself from a position close to your webcam or camera, the onboard microphone should suffice. However, if you’re standing a distance from your camera, consider recording your audio on another source closer to you, such as a microphone, or even a mobile phone’s audio recorder. You can overlay and sync the audio to your video clip in the edit. Clear, crisp audio is a game changer for the quality of your final video.

Overlay graphics and cutaway clips or images

If you’re creating a CV video clip that mainly features you talking to the camera, you can enhance it with simple graphics, such as a title screen, a nameplate and a closing call to action. Consider adding cutaway clips and images to break up your presence on screen and add interesting visual content to the video.

Key Takeaways for a Video CV

A video clip CV can be a great way to increase impact and make an impression with hiring managers. Write a script, practice your delivery and choose a suitable setting for filming your clip. Utilise free editing software to make your video CV look professional. Remember though, a video CV isn’t a substitute for a written CV. You can help your written CV to grab the attention of employers using CV templates and tools from CVwizard. Sign up today and start the simple process of creating a beautiful written CV to compliment your video CV.

Frequently asked questions about a video CV

1. Is a video CV professional?

If you shoot and edit it properly, a video CV can be a useful and professional tool to enhance your application. Video CVs are becoming increasingly popular for creative and client-facing roles. You may, however, find that some traditional professions prefer a formal written CV.

2. What should I say in a video CV?

Write a script for your video curriculum vitae and practice it before you shoot your clip. Introduce yourself and focus on describing your skills, experience and achievements. Like a written CV, everything you say in your video CV should reflect the job description and prove why you’re suitable for the role.

3. How should I film a video CV?

You can use various media in your CV, such as animation, presentation slides or graphics. If you’re filming yourself, you can use a phone camera or your computer’s webcam. Ensure your scene is well lit and test your audio before recording the full clip. If you’re standing far from the camera, consider recording your audio with an additional microphone on your person.

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Mike Potter
Mike Potter
Mike Potter is an experienced copywriter specialising in careers and professional development. He uses extensive knowledge of workplace culture to create insightful and actionable articles on CV writing and career pathways.

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