Video CVs vs. Traditional CVs

George Turnbull is sure his approach for getting a job is the coolest thing and, like him, they are thousands trying to stand out, shooting themselves on the foot in the process.

I think it’s fair to say that technology shapes the way we interact with each other. No less so in the world of Human Resources and Recruitment. I’m obviously far too young to remember the days that all applications were made in a person’s own handwriting (although some old school employers like to see at least part of the application in handwriting,) then you would have typewritten CVs and letters, looking back this seems quite a laborious task. Good old Word Processors came along and made the job so much easier, copy and paste, multiple copy printing, a variety of fonts to choose from.

There is now a generation who never knew the world without the internet. Digital dependency is now the norm and so Digital CVs orVideo CVs have become used more and more nowadays and are incredibly easy to create and send out. Is this tool something for you to consider? Perhaps, but there are a number of issues to address before you decide to take this option. There are up sides and down sides to this job hunting tool.

As I am the eternal optimist, let’s take a look at some of the positives first.

It would certainly make your application stand out from the crowd. If there is anything a recruiter likes, it is a change from the norm. If you can imagine sifting through dozens of fairly similar documents trying to differentiate between them and pick the best. A visual CV would certainly jump out.

It gives you an opportunity to appear in person. Let’s face it, the whole idea of applying for work is to get in front
of the decision maker and pitch ourselves in a positive way.

It presents a professional image to support the application you have sent in and certainly it will be remembered.


It would be wise to weigh the pros and cons carefully. When you watch programs on TV such as X Factor and other talent shows, do you ever find yourself asking “what does this person hear when they sing?” What we may think is good and will help our application stand out, is not necessarily good and may make our application stand out for all the wrong reasons….in short, if you do take this option, make sure you have a few good friends to give you an honest appraisal of it before you make it available for general viewing.

On the point about being able to present yourself in person is that a recruiter may be able to form a wrong opinion about you that he would not be able to do if you merely sent a traditional CV. For example, we would never put our date of birth on a CV because it takes away the recruiters ability to discriminate. They may have in mind someone of a particular age. If we are outside that preference, our application may be discarded even though we could be otherwise perfect.

The other thing to remember is that a CV has just a few seconds to make a good impression, certainly under a minute. A busy person may love to browse through five minutes of CV footage, but just doesn’t have the time and for that reason, your application may not be successful.Really, the option of a visual CV would be better for those who wish to enter a job that involves presentation delivery or broadcasting, in which case a visual CV may be perfect for you. I’m willing to go out on a limb and suggest that the good old-fashioned paper-based or email transmittable CV is here to stay and even if you think a visual CV is the route to take, it would always be as a complement¬†of your CV which is on standby on your desktop…at least until holographic technology become cost effective.
Dave Smith Careers Visa

Dave Smith of Career Visa UK is our leading authority when it comes to personal careers advice.

He has worked in the UK recruitment industry since 1991 and is now an expert Jobsearch Consultant specialising in CV creation and improvement. If you need help in preparing to enter the Job Market for the first time or are planning on a career change – simply get in touch via his website You can also read more at his online blog at


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