So you have found a great job opportunity that you want to apply to. To put all the chances on your side, you decide to record a video CV. How to record it with a smartphone or a laptop so that it looks professional and attractive to the hiring managers? Here are 6 simple tips.
1. Plan the talking points
- This is the point you really want to spend extra time on. If you haven't done so yet, do some brainstorming on what you have to offer as an employee and how you want to come across. If you need guidance in this process, take a look at our ebook "The Keys to Landing Your Dream Job."
2. Choose the best possible location
- Find a quiet, well-lit room, with as little disturbances as possible. Make sure to turn off all sources of white noise, such as air-conditioning, computers, radios, etc.
- Choose a good background, not too busy, but not necessarily an empty wall. Stay away from windows and glass walls, to avoid reflections showing in the back. If you are recording videos with multiple people, put them all in the same place. You may change the camera angle between recordings to add some variation.
3. If possible, use an external microphone
- Using your built-in microphone will most likely lead to poor audio (far more disturbing than poor video!) Instead, you can use a simple clip-on microphone, which works both on iOS and Android devices. Put the cable under the clothes and clip it to the collar. Make sure the mike doesn’t touch anything to avoid crackling sounds. Run a little test before starting to record the video to see if everything is OK.
4. Hold your device correctly
- First things first: if you’re using a smartphone or a tablet, hold it horizontally. If there is only one piece of advice we could give to our clients, it would be this one. Remember, viewers will see your movie either on a laptop with a horizontal screen, or on a mobile device they can tilt.
- Go ahead and use a tripod if you have one. Otherwise, hold the device steady with both hands, elbows resting on a table or propped against your chest.
5. Shoot at a medium distance
- Record at a distance that includes the subject’s head and torso, and does not cut off the tip of the head. Include the hands, gesturing makes the interview more interesting.
- Make sure the camera’s lens is at the same level as the subject’s eyes and it is focused on the face and not on the background.
6. Be natural
- Have main lines in mind but don’t script the answers, if you want the video to come across as spontaneous and genuine.
- Try to relax. Imagine that you are presenting yourself to a friend, or someone you feel comfortable with. You can even tape a photo next to the camera to help you!
Start a new video when ready to record.
- Use facial expressions and voice intonation to liven up the video. Hand gestures are another good way to add dynamism to your recording and avoid the "talking head" result.
- … And remember, you want to give the employer a good idea of what it would be like to work with you. Be natural and don’t forget to have fun as well!
A video CV with 20,000 views on LinkedIn
How do you put all the above into action? Learn from those who made a video CV work! A great example is Belgian student Julie Foubert, whose video was viewed over 20000 times on LinkedIn. Almost 30 companies contacted Julie, and a short time later she’s signed a contract to work with the one she decided suited her best.
Watch our short interview with Julie, where she explains how she made it happen. In her case, working with a video professional friend was an option, but with the right dose of guidance and creativity you can achieve great results using less advanced technology too!
Dont forget to also check the final result - Julie's video CV on LinkedIn.