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Video CV’s – what are they and are they effective?

Video CV

by Nicki Wilson, Managing Director at Genie

Want to stand out, make an impact and show who you are… read on!

With the developments in technology and the advancements of social media i.e., Tik Tok, reels, and even with the more common use of remote video calling, this natural progression has meant videos have popped up everywhere including when seeking a new career move.

It may not be the course of action for everyone or for all industries but a well thought out video can get you noticed and even help you land a job. As someone who is sent hundreds of CVs daily. I have been sent a total of 6 video CV’s…ever.

Even as a write this I think that’s quite shocking, but you know what, I remember every single one (including the bad ones!).

Video CVs can be a great way for you to get noticed by recruiters as it still is something that is not common practice. Clearly with me anyway! A recruiter knows the client, their likes/dislikes and their personality so could read the situation well and send them onto clients who they know will appreciate a video along with an application.

For creative or customer-facing roles like sales, media, marketing, PR, fashion, digital and advertising it could give you the edge. Perhaps not so appropriate for some industries such as engineering, medicine, construction, law… but then again research the culture of the company because regardless of the role everyone likes to see personality.

One of the best I received was an animation where the candidate had turned themselves into a cartoon character. It was no more than 2 minutes long; it was not only really amusing but it was super factual in a really watchable way. I must have watched it 10x over. This was sent to the client along with her CV and within a week she had snapped up the role! This particular video was for a training role in fashion, and I sent it round to the team as an example of best practice when it came to not just video CVs but also as a way a candidate can differentiate themselves from the rest.

It shows potential employers your personality, being able to think outside of the box along with creativity. It can even be a chance to show off skills in animation, editing, public speaking, communication and even marketing! Instead of replacing a CV or application, a video can actually supplement the submission. In a sea of often thousands of applicants it’s a sure way to get noticed.

There are so many tools out there to create the perfect video from just shooting on your phone to online templates and utilising video editing software. A quick google will bring about many options.


Plan – write down a script or key words

Be concise – no one wants to hear about every job you ever did since you were in college

Take 5 – (or 20 if you need) practice makes perfect

Keep relevant - highlighting experience, responsibilities, up to date skills you have that are in demand

Show your personality – bring humour, hobbies and some achievements to the table

Location – make sure there is good lighting, a nice background and that you are wearing something appropriate

Editing – Whether it features you or an animation ensure a professional finish and edit. If you cannot do it yourself there are many people out there that can!

Authentic – be you, authenticity always shines through


Overthink it – its between you and the camera lens, if you don’t like the first try… try again!

Waffle on – keep the content meaningful, interesting and summarised, the viewer will not want to watch an episode of ‘This is Your Life!’

Be monotone – show some passion, and show off who you are

Bother – if it really does not work for your industry

All in all, it’s still a rather untapped area, it could be the future, or it may just carry on a little exclusive.

Either way there’s a lot you can take from the way a person creates content and the words they use that can indicate if they’d be a good fit.

Remember: there isn’t a robot on the other side of the application link!


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