There are a few simple rules for making an effective video: prepare, be precise and practise.

Before you start, consider how you will be using the Video Profile and who its audience will be. Will it be a general introduction with a link to your CV posted on your LinkedIn page, or a job-specific video to be submitted with an application? This, in turn, affects the content and structure- an elevator pitch to get employers to view your CV or a more in-depth demonstration of your industry knowledge? Just like submitting a tailored CV to every job you apply for, it may be necessary to create more than one Video Profile to fit each audience and purpose.

Write a Script
Do not read directly from your CV or narrate your “autobiography.” Your content needs to be engaging, reflective of your personality and demonstrate what makes you the best person for the job that cannot be written on paper. Showing your personality is not unprofessional. There will always be someone more experienced, more educated or more qualified for the job than you but there is not another you and that is your selling point.

Adequate preparation will minimise mistakes and help you show yourself in the best light. The advantage of a Video Profile is that you have time to prepare your best answers. Make a script or write a list of prompts but ensure that you can still make the video sound genuine and be a real reflection of yourself. By following a script and preparing correctly it cuts down on rambling and helps you get to the point more effectively.

5QLive’s Industry-Based Questions
5QLive is structured around the premise of five questions that help you be descriptive yet succinct enough to capture the attention of employers. These questions, or whatever you choose to input into the text boxes, will appear at the bottom of your video.The content of these five questions is up to you to decide… but we haven’t abandoned you completely.

After conferring with HR managers, recruitment consultants and experts in the field we have question suggestions to help you create responses which directly appeals to what employers are really looking for. Adapt these to your specific knowledge base and experience, and reorder them for a flowing narrative you are comfortable with.

“But I am fresh out of education with no experience!”
Making a Video Profile is an excellent way to kickstart your career. Some graduates often despair at their thin CV because their strengths are “soft skills” which are hard to demonstrated in text form.

For the content of your Video Profile, focus on: transferable skills from your education, your future ambitions, and demonstrate knowledge about the industry you wish to work in. It will also allow potential employers to see that you are driven and passionate- traits that can make you a strong contender for the job. For example, what current trends are there in the job sphere you want to end up in? Are there any new technologies or developments advancing this field? What insights or new ideas can you bring?

You have a few seconds to convince the employer to keep watching so your first sentence really matters.Your first few seconds of screen time is where the employer will make their first impression of you. Before you start to speak, the viewer will notice your tone, body language, and attire — all of which should convey confidence, character, and professionalism. Introduce yourself and your intentions clearly and precisely. For example: “Hello, my name is ____ and I’m your next social media marketing director.”

It’s very direct and specific but ensure it is authentic to you. You should immediately address your aims and how are you different to all of the other applications they have received (and not just that you have made a video). Incorporate keywords from the job description so you’re tailoring your experience to what they are seeking. Keep it straightforward and the message clear to grab attention. Take this for example: “I’ve produced campaigns that created awareness for XYZ company by promoting multimedia content across networks which have increased unique visitors to the company website by 30 per cent after the launch. I’m driven, creative, and I will bring solutions to the challenges at your company.”

Finish strong by summarising your key message and prompt the employer to act. A concluding statement like this could work great: “Thank you for watching my Video Profile. I’m confident my skills and previous experience will help me produce even more results for your company. If you’re interested or have any questions, feel free to connect with me or invite me to an interview. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Final tips
Most importantly: practice. Rehearse before recording, ask friends and family for feedback, and review the final product to make sure it is the best version. Videos which sound overly scripted and unnatural or full of hesitation will negatively impact your employment prospects. Having confidence, just like in an interview, will not only get you more attention, but it will instil a sense of trust from potential employers. Chances are you are not going to get it right the first time so keep recording, reviewing and improving. Slow down and relax as well. Most of us tend to speed up when we’re nervous or uncomfortable. The advantage of a video CV is that you can keep trying until its perfect.

Dress for a real job interview but avoid patterns which might be distracting or distorted on video. Watch out for the lighting and keep your face out of shadows as well. Try to ensure you have a neutral background and make sure there are no disturbances as much as you are able (unless they are adorable interruptions which will make your video go viral, then by all means go right on ahead).

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