What apprentices should know about video CVs

The rise of technology has quickly revolutionised the process of securing employment and it was only a matter of time before the revolution trickled down to the cornerstone of job applications- the CV.

Recently, recruiters and employers have started asking prospective apprentices and job applicants to make video CVs (VCVs) – sometimes instead of CVs but more frequently used as addendums that enhance the actual application.

VCVs are very useful and effective tools – if deployed under the right circumstances. They can add dimensions to your personality that paper CVs frequently struggle to convey, and you can use them to potentially highlight a particular aspect of your personality or a talent that you think makes you the best applicant.

When should you make a video CV?

It all depends on the sector. If you are applying for an apprenticeship in an industry where personality and teamwork are the most important factors then a video CV will be the best medium to showcase those characteristics. The same goes for digital industries that value presentation, clarity and creativity; your video CV can basically be a live demonstration of the qualities employers look for.

What are the drawbacks?

Some drawbacks are similar to the drawbacks one has with paper CVs: It can be hard to get across all the information such as academic background and other experience in a very short amount of time.

Furthermore, people may not stick around for the end. In some ways that drawback is actually increased – after all, it takes a lot more time and effort to watch a 2-3 minute than it does to have a quick glance at a one-page CV!

But there are drawbacks with everything, it’s just a question of good judgement – some companies may not be open to video CVs whilst others may absolutely love them.

What to bear in mind when making a video CV?

The main thing to remember is that this is your best shot at expressing your individuality and explaining why you want be in the industry.

Avoid making the video short than one minute or longer than three. Structure the video like a story: with a beginning, a middle and an end. Introduce yourself clearly at the beginning and say why you are the best applicant for the apprenticeship.

It is best to look over your paper CV before filming so you know exactly what to highlight. Creating a list of things to cover will also make the video tighter and underline your communication skills.

Don’t forget that just because you are filming in the comfort of your own room doesn’t mean it’s not serious! Treat it as an interview, look directly into the camera and wear appropriate clothes!

What should be avoided?

You’re making an important video so it is important to pick an appropriate location. A busy cafe or any loud spaces are clearly going to make it difficult for viewers to hear what you are saying and could be a source of distraction for you!

Your bedroom is fine, just make sure it’s not an absolute mess!

Remember that list? Don’t plan to look at it during filming! It’s very obvious if you look away from the camera, and even more obvious that you are doing so to remember what to say next!

What else should be borne in mind?

People can form opinions about other people in the first ten seconds of seeing them. That’s why many employers are very wary about video CVs, they are concerned about legal issues surrounding discrimination.

But if you truly believe that you have something special to offer that is best conveyed via a VCV then you should pursue it. You never know, it may just be the thing that tips you in front of other apprenticeship candidates!