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How to Script a Great Video CV

How to Script a Great Video CV

October 19, 2021

A video CV offers a much-needed update to the current CV format. Instead of listing your work and education history across two pages of A4 paper, applicants can share their passion for their work in video format. 

Employers love it because they get a feel for the applicants before inviting them for an interview. And applicants love it because they can allow their personality and passion to shine through.

Before getting started creating your video CV, it’s essential to plan out your script. A script will help to ensure you hit all of the essential points and leave nothing out. It will also help you to avoid waffling or going off-topic.

Writing a script for your video CV doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ll run through a few different tips for crafting the ideal script for your video CV in this guide.

Take cues from your CV

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can still use your CV as the basis for your script. Your CV might offer the ideal structure for your video. Make sure you include the following points in your video script:

  • Education history
  • Work history
  • Relevant skills and experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Your motivation for working in this sector
  • Contact details for the best place to reach you
  • A thank you note at the end

Write how you speak

When writing a professional CV or cover letter, you might bring out some fancy language that you wouldn’t typically use in everyday life. But when it comes to writing a script for your CV, you need to write how you speak or risk sounding very unnatural.

You should also aim to be genuine in your delivery. If your words don’t match your behaviour, this will be jarring for the viewer. For example, if you claim to be a confident communicator, but your delivery says otherwise, this might raise doubts for the hiring manager.

Hiring managers love video CVs as it is far more difficult to lie or stretch the truth. If you can’t talk confidently about a topic, this will be evident in your delivery. 

Research the company

Like any other job application, you have to tailor your CV and cover letter to the role. Do your research on the company to find out what they do and what they are proud of. You’ll also get a feel for the company culture. If they are very formal, you want your video CV to match their style. Your video CV should be an opportunity for the hiring manager to picture you in the role.

Focus on brevity

Your video CV should last between 30 seconds and two minutes. A recruiter doesn’t want to watch the feature film of your life story, so try to keep things concise. Focus on sharing the information that is more relevant to the job role. 

For example, try: “I graduated in 2008 from the University of Manchester with a 2:1 in Engineering.”

Your most recent qualification is the most relevant, so don’t feel the need to rattle off your A-Levels and GCSE grades.

The same goes for your work history. If you’ve worked for multiple companies or had many different job titles, you can summarise your experience and then focus on the most recent role.

For example, you could say, “For the past 8 years I’ve been working in various roles for the same engineering firm, working my way from an entry-level junior role up to a senior project manager.”

Don’t be afraid to show personality

Recruiters are often looking for a culture fit as much as they are looking for skills and experience, so don’t be afraid to show your personality. This could include mentioning hobbies outside of work, the favourite part of your job, or a personal story about why you are pursuing a particular career path.

Get some feedback

Once you’ve completed your script, quickly record a run-through to get an idea of the length of your speech. You can then ask for feedback on the script from a close friend or family member. Finally, refine your final script until you land on something that fits the time frame while still hitting all of your major points. Feedback on your delivery will also help you avoid any nervous body language, such as playing with your hair or glasses. 

Get off-script

When filming your video CV, you need to be able to speak directly into the camera, so you can’t keep glancing down at your notes. Practice, practice and practice your script until you can say it with confidence. Don’t worry about the occasional cut; you can always neaten up the delivery and add transitions when editing your video.

When creating a video CV, it’s worth making one just for LinkedIn and then another one that is specific to the role you are applying for.

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