The Do’s and Don’ts of a Video CV

A Video CV is akin to meeting a potential employer face-to-face. First impression matters.

Aparna Pengat
October 2, 2017

A Video CV is akin to meeting a potential employer face-to-face. First impression matters.

You want to find a job in the UAE and you’re going through your CV. You have triple spell checked your resume. The margins on your word document are bleeding white after umpteen resets. The bullet point alignment has been vetted with a ruler stuck to your computer screen. And now you are ready to click the “Upload CV” button and pat your back on crossing the first hurdle in a job hunt.

Except, the employer also wants a Video CV.

Before you whip out your smartphone and mull over your best profile, here are some pointers to consider when making a Video CV.

But first, what is a Video CV?

Consider it a sales pitch for yourself. A 90 to 120 seconds elevator pitch on who you are, what’s your personality and how you are a great fit to the company culture.

What it isn’t is a verbatim read through of your written CV or a rambling of your hobbies or favourite holiday destination.

Here’s what an employer is looking to assess through a video CV:

1) How you present yourself. Do not mistake this for looks or beauty. This involves your behaviour – are you friendly, is your appearance professional and sharp?

2) How you speak. This includes your tone, clarity in speech and thought.

3) Your body language. Are you tense, nervous, fidgety or calm and composed?

4) How original can you get when you are presenting about yourself, without sounding like you are reading a script?

What makes for a good Video CV?

Unlike a written CV, there is no set format for a Video CV. A lot of it is about presentation.

a. Prepare a script

At least jot down the points you wish to elaborate in the video. You may have the confidence to wing it, but it’s better if you know beforehand what and in which order you wish to speak.

b. Research on the company culture

Go through the company website, social media profiles to glean a picture of the culture, the people. Gather reference material to reflect the tone and look in your video. For instance, from your research, you realised it is a formal Suit and Tie Company with official get-togethers. In that case, opt for a suit and tie look for the video, keep the content straightforward. Show that you are a good cultural fit.

c. Invest in the right equipment

Your snappy 12-megapixel smartphone camera might be perfect for the Insta photographer in you. But when it comes to a good quality video, a smartphone may not be enough. Per chance, you decide to stick with your smartphone, invest in a tripod to avoid a Blair Witch Project the movie look to your final cut.

d. Set the ambience

It could be the coffee table next to your classic bookshelf or your dining table with a backdrop of your potted plants for a touch of nature. Ensure there is enough lighting and little to no background noise. Scout the perfect location through your video lens.

e. Practice until you get it right

Do multiple dress rehearsals on screen, in front of your family and friends until you are fluent and feel confident. Recording yourself will give you a better idea in terms of your tone, pacing, video length and the ambience. You can also tweak and perfect your attire and look for the screen, based on these practice sessions.

Common mistakes to avoid in your Video CV

Consider it as a face-to-face interview. First impression matters. So focus on pulling all stops to get it right.

a. Do not ramble about a topic or overshoot the 120 second time limit.

b. Don’t make this a read through of your written CV. Summarise your work history briefly, followed by a small glimpse into your personality with some interesting background information.

c. Don’t crowd your screen with unnecessary props. A Garfield coffee mug on the table is quirky and cool but superfluous.

d. Don’t fidget or look off the camera. Yes, it is nerve-wracking, but an uneasy attitude is visible on camera.


A Video CV is a great way to showcase who you are as a person and is the perfect vehicle to make an impact with an employer. A well put Video CV tells the recruiter that you are willing to go the extra mile.

Read our guide on how to prepare for a job interview in UAE so when you’re called in for the interview, you’re 100% ready!

Check out hundreds of Jobs in Dubai, Jobs in Abu Dhabi and Jobs in Sharjah right here on where everything is within easy reach!



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