Your CV is a YouTube Ad

February 21, 2023
5 min

I’m pretty sure almost everyone out there has watched YouTube videos. And many of you must have noticed that there are advertisements playing during a lengthy video or just before a video.

Most of these ads are skippable after a few seconds, usually around 5 seconds. For me, a vast majority of these ads are annoying and I’m desperately waiting for the ‘skip’ button to appear. It should be the same for you all as well. But interestingly, you may notice some of the ads are highly targeted specifically to you, making you interested in the product or the brand being advertised. It can be a T-shirt, a mobile app or a Cheese Kottu. But you have watched the ad for 30 seconds and have already gone ahead with the purchase decision, wow I should get this.

Think about the brand behind the product. The brand’s ad creator is trying to convey the message or to convince you to buy the product by explaining how good the product is and how valuable the qualities are.

Now assume you are applying for an opportunity and trying to prepare a CV or a Resume. Your idea is to pitch your skills, your attitudes to the employer through a piece of paper. You have your own personal brand. You are just presenting the attributes and qualities of your own brand. That is very much similar to a YouTube ad. You are essentially the person behind your own ad trying to convince the recruiter.

The probability you skip the YouTube ad and the recruiter skips your CV is almost the same.

The goal of this article is to understand how we can reduce the chances of getting skipped.


First quick impression

My first question, how long would you watch an ad if the ‘skip’ button is available? Just a couple of seconds. I think it’s the same with the recruiter. Usually, a recruiter can get hundreds and thousands of CVs and skims through just within 5-10 seconds each, specifically in 7.4 seconds according to the Study conducted by Ladder’s Inc. Therefore you need to grab the attention within the first few seconds.

Unnecessary Junk

If you are promoting a new restaurant via a YouTube ad, usually you don’t want to share the unnecessary details like business ID, Post office number. First you will show how tasty the food is, how nice it looks and then maybe the price and how to get to the outlet, not the reverse order.

CV should follow the same process. When a recruiter checks the CV, most important things about your passion, interests, skills and attitudes should be highlighted within the first glance. Yes, you should indicate how to contact you, your email ID, but they do not need to be highlighted in the first few seconds. Once you get enough attention, they will definitely find the place and will contact you. Boom!


Coming back to my original example, YouTube ad. Another reason why we watch YouTube Ads is the relevance. Of course, YouTube, being a Google product itself has its comprehensive algorithm to show you the most relevant ad for you, but again the creator has a responsibility to make it more relevant. Choosing the correct audience and placing the ad targeting the expected user segments will generate more results in terms of positive sales.

This can be applied to the CV as well. Usually, when you are applying for a vacancy, you need to research about the company, the recent developments, recent news, what they are doing, to make the conversation bit friendlier and effective. It will not only show the genuine interest towards joining that company but also will create a positive vibe during the interview. No matter what effort it takes, the day will be yours!

Build trust

When it’s a brand, it’s always the trust you build with your client or the customer. If you are presenting a product via a video ad, you will need to make sure you build trust. Same concept will apply to your CV as well. It’s quite challenging to make someone trust you with just a piece of paper. But how you present yourself will definitely make an impact.

There are rules, best practices, but there will be a sweet formula for your own way of preparing your CV. It’s your life, your brand, it’s just you are the best person to know about you, your brand.

Therefore, it would be great if you can take ample time preparing your CV and keep it improving everyday. Ultimately you need to make sure the skip button is not tapped. Good luck if you are preparing a CV these days!