The CV Debate (Round 5): Traditional vs. Video


When should you use a video CV? Is it effective? While there is no definitive answer to that, your approach will largely depend on the job on offer, the industry and the employer you are contacting. Essentially this is one of the reasons why it is always good practice to research the employer before applying, becoming more familiar with the culture of the company and what they are looking for.

Whether the company is creative or a more traditional firm actually makes a big difference to the CV format you will need. This suggests that a video CV may be more appropriate for a job at Google or Facebook rather Deloitte or any other accounting, consulting or law firm.

See Also: The CV Debate (Round 6): Career Objective VS Summary

To help you decide which CV format is the best for you, check out the following information and tips about each CV type and get your answer to this ongoing debate once and for all:

Traditional CV

A lot of people claim that the traditional CV is dead nonetheless this is not the case. The traditional CV here still refers to the standard one-page or two-page CV paper most employers are asking for. Since the majority of big companies are using applicant tracking system (ATS), they prefer the traditional CV format over any other non-conventional applying method. Due to the large volume of applicants businesses will discard any non-traditional CV that does not comply with their standards, which means the traditional CV is still in fashion.

Now, let’s go over the benefits of using a traditional CV:

Benefits of a Traditional CV

  • It applies to any job.
  • It provides a concise summary of your credentials.
  • It includes all of the information employers need.
  • If written well, it can help you make a great first impression.

Video CV

A video CV is an effective non-traditional method of applying for a job. Unlike a traditional CV, the video CV allows employers to see you and hear what you have to say and assess your communication skills and personality on the spot. The video CV is ideal for you if you are applying for a job in any creative industry such as design, photography, media or marketing. This is because it allows employers to assess your job-specific skills especially if you are into filming!

In certain cases, you may even be asked to send a video introducing yourself. However, there is a risk of doing that. When employers require a video CV, it means they generally pay a lot of attention to whether it is done well, and they are looking for innovation and creativity. If the video is done poorly, then chances are you come off as unprofessional and you risk losing everything.  

An effective way of using a video CV is to enhance the traditional CV instead of replacing it. Essentially, this way the video allows you to expand on those skills you have mentioned on in the document demonstrating the value you have to offer to the company.

If you are not sure whether a video CV is ideal, check out the value it offers to your job application:

Benefits of a Video CV

  • It makes you stand out from the competition.
  • It helps employers remember you.
  • It allows you to verbally demonstrate your skills.
  • If done well, it can help you make a great first impression.
  • It is ideal if you don’t have much work experience.


Although the video CV is the way forward, the traditional CV still remains the most popular method of applying for a job and most preferable for recruiters. If you wish to send your video CV to employers, the best way to do it is to include yours as a supplement to your traditional CV rather as a replacement.

See Also: The CV Debate (Round 4): First vs. Third Person

Which one do you think of as the winner? Are you in favor of the traditional or the video CV? Let us know what you think in the comment section below and get involved in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TheCVDebate.