What can Zoella teach you about job hunting in 21st Century?
We are all Digital Natives. We are the first generation to be totally online. Our age bracket is the first to be completely on point with the internet, technology and the digital world. We were the first on Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, along with Instagram. We've done it all and have more exposure to information and media that our parents could have dreamt about at our age.
But this as develops, it is slowly coming to play a part in what we do next. Graduate employers are beginning to harness technology and utilise what it offers to help them in their recruitment process. According to a report by Right Management highlighted in Forbes Magazine, 18% of applicants undertook a video interview within that year, up twice-over on the year before.
While this is not entirely widespread across all employers, it won't be long. Graduates need to be aware that they may face innovative testing and screening techniques by more switched-on and inventive companies.
For many of us who are pretty competent with getting to grips with new bits of software or programmes, the problem is that there is little help surrounding how graduates can make best use of this. The tricky part is that while this new technology is fantastic for savings on things like travel and convenience, there is little written to help you through it.
Technology has once again raced ahead leaving everyone panicking and feeling unprepared and anxious about this unchartered territory.
Nearly gone are the days of submitting a CV and waiting for a telephone call to invite you down for a panel based interview. This is not helped by growing demand on the behalf of employers who are having to manage unprecedented volumes of applications and are struggling the separate the very, very best from the chuffing outstanding.
Video killed the interview star
This is an obvious one and there are countless companies out there trying to cash in on the concept. Video CVs and "Skype" interviews have become a thing and in an increasingly visual world, graduates can now responded to traditional interview question in the comfort of their own home. Usually mixing a dapper combination of shirt, tie and tracky bottoms below the camera line - the dream surely?
Much of the information around this is usually concerning on the production of the interview. By this I mean, getting the lighting right, ensuring they are not disturbed or there's not empty gin bottles in view. But this is all common sense.
Graduates would be advised to take note of how many people have taken to videos to show their personal brand. While it might a struggle, try watching some of the mind-numbing but millionaire Vloggers. The Zoella types. See how they confident and direct with their recordings.
While the content of these videos can be slightly testing, Zoella can confidently and clearly transport her message or whatever she is has been paid handsomely to promote. There are initial tips you can take from her too. Beige backgrounds, nothing to eye catching except Zoella herself and what's she's discussing.
And this should be your focus too. Keeping background distractions to a minimum and centring the focus squarely on you, not trying to impress them with an erudite bookcase and great artwork.
The Camera loves you, Darling!
According to an infographic put together by PGi, a business video technology firm, they claim that only 7% of the information conveyed is by the words you use. Rather 55% is via the human face and 38% is by the tone of voice. Perhaps this sounds slightly dubious, if you strip away intonation and expression, there might be something in it.
When conducting these pre-recorded interviews or Video CVs, you are going to have to get over your squeamishness about yourself on camera. I know it is highly embarrassing and difficult to watch a video of you talking into a camera.
I'd hate it and it would make most people, who aren't darling luvvies and thespies, die with embarrassment, but you've got to do it and critique your performance. Submitting it without checking it just because you couldn't take the sound of your own tones or facial quirks is not going to lead to much if any successes.
Have a few test runs, just to get used to the idea of delivering answers to a machine. Sometimes it maybe a Skype-type call, but the for the most part you will be selling yourself in an empty room, with just a flashing red light for company. The initial embarrassment should be shrugged off at the earlier opportunity to help you shine.
Knowledgeable over novelty
The concept of it being an interview also should not be ignored. Whether you are pre-recording answers to questions, filming a 60 second summary of what you can offer or speaking to the employer over through cyber space, you need to get over the novelty and make sure you keep the professional tone.
Where the Zoella comparison might have been slightly lapse is her informal and personal approach. Yes, like normal interviews, you need to show yourself to be a friendly and interesting person but you're not Skyping a mate - the professional approach must always been maintained.
Zoella has managed to utilise YouTube to forge an incredible career. While I have limited understanding/appreciation for make-up and or fashion, graduates would be advised to take note of her approach to using video. Many graduates have their own Video CV set up and with virtually every laptop having a built in webcam it is easily done and if it is done well can be extremely impressive.
One thing there is to be sure of is that video interviews and video CVs are a massively growing part of recruitment and graduate recruitment is no different.
By James Howell