Three reasons why you should start a YouTube channel

This week on Social Media for Success: harnessing YouTube to strengthen your graduate job hunt.

YouTube is one of the most popular websites in the world, and offers a range of unique ways for you to bring a little imagination and creativity to your graduate job hunt. Don't be intimidated - you don't need to become the next Zoella or Joe Sugg to make use of the site. There are plenty of ways you can use a YouTube channel to impress employers. Here are our top three:

1. 21st Century CVs

If you can get past the toe-curling agony of filming yourself, making a video CV can be a great way to impress employers and get noticed.

The first thing to consider when you are creating your video CV is what you are going to say. Unlike a paper or digital CV, you won't be able to tailor your video to suit each job application - so plan what you're going to say and figure out how to best cover all the essentials.

The most effective video CVs are short, no more than one or two minutes. Be concise with your script - employers are unlikely to sit through a long video when wading through a mountain of applications.

And make the most of the medium! Don't just read your CV in front of the camera. You've got to hold the viewer's attention, so get creative with the presentation and make use of videography and editing techniques.

Try and think of creative ways to convey your experience. Graeme Anthony took a particularly novel approach to explaining the clients he has worked with:

Another strategy to make your video interesting is to build a narrative which runs throughout, keeping the viewer engaged from start to finish. Take a look at Mark Leruste's video CV - he covers his experience quickly and creatively, and isn't afraid to show that he doesn't take himself too seriously.

2. The early demo tapes

Many employers worry that graduates fresh out of university are not ready for the work place - if only there was a way you could show them you know the deal…

A YouTube channel gives you the chance to give hard evidence of your job preparedness. Interactive and attractive videos showing your skills can be an excellent way to demonstrate to employers that you're ready to make the step up.

Be creative and think about how you can best show dedication to the profession as well as your skills. Here are a few examples:

For other ways to demonstrate your skills, try taking a page out of Bob Dylan's book - just like Graeme Anthony did here.

3. Lights! Camera! You!

The biggest advantage of using videos and a YouTube channel is they give you the chance to show off the real you - something which is close to impossible to do on two sides of A4.

A question we are frequently asked by graduates about job hunting is how to stand out from the crowd. As we all know, the graduate job market is competitive, and making your own 60 second video can put you head and shoulders above the rest.

Showing employers "the real you" may sound a bit abstract, but there are plenty of ways to use the video medium to your advantage:

  • Shiny happy people – Be bright, engaging and welcoming on your YouTube channel - it isn't the shipping forecast!
  • The Hollywood studio – Be aware of the set you choose for your video. Clean and tidy will do nicely, and take the opportunity to leave pointers to your character in shot. Once again, we refer you to Graeme Anthony who uses his mise en scène effectively
  • Channel style – You may want to create a running style on your channel which links to your wider personal brand, perhaps through an opening credit sequence which summarises you and your aims.
  • Bloopers – Showing you have a sense of humour can endear you to employers. Video CVs especially can be vastly improved with a blooper real set to the credits of your video.

Harnessing YouTube takes a bit of effort, but don't be daunted by the technical aspects - there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you learn the basics of videography and editing, and you'll come away with another skill to add to your CV.

And don't forget to let employers know about your YouTube channel - how else can they be impressed by your commitment, enthusiasm and creativity? Happy filming!