Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Laura Scott - M(Res) International Crisis Management - Loughborough University

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Jisc Aston was an incredibly productive few days for Team VCV. Not only did we finally have access to a captive market of students and JISC Advisors we could pilot our workshop model on, but we received really great advice which has inspired lots of new ideas for our project’s future. I think it is fair to say we were very much focusing on the altruistic provision of our workshop service prior to Aston. The Jisc summer school provided a much needed reality check to the fact that when our grant runs out, we would have no means to fund our workshop overheads.
Workshops were held at the Aston summer school and some of the feedback on our workshop can be summarised below. Holding the workshops confirmed we had a strong value proposition for our target audiences and that the outstanding challenge was to still provide a valuable service with a more scalable model.

VCV 123.jpg

The big question remained as to how we would envisage this scalable model working in reality. Discussions with the Jisc Community gave us great ideas which we now endeavour to research further.
·         Workshop provider- cost per head for participation
·         Franchise workshop model to be sold to other Institutions/Youth groups
·         Google Hangouts workshop
·         Web platform for video CV’s- individuals can pay a premium for workshop feedback. Team VCV to liaise with HR consultancy firms to consider the logistics of this.
·         Students to use the web platform to view other VCV’s to analyse themselves against their peers.
Following the summer school we feel more confident that our project has a solid value proposition. We now believe more firmly that our USP is the self-reflective process we stimulate in workshop participants, by making them critically analyse their own strengths, skills and attributes. Other sites focus on the semantics of constructing a video CV, whereas we operate at the step before this, where participants think about what they wish to convey. Our workshop gives students/graduates the opportunity to strive to consolidate their strengths into concise answers, before it is too late and there is a job on the line.
Follow VCV on our new Twitter account to keep up with our progress: @TeamVCV

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Our developmental approach

The vision for our project has been given a more realistic grounding since our previous post. A fundamental part of our proposal is to run workshops, designed to give students a rapid introduction to Video CV’s and how to put one together.  These workshops will help us fine-tune our approach to Video CV’s and build a bank of examples from a range of students.
In summary our vision is two-fold:

·         Our short-medium term goals are to deliver workshops introducing students in how to make a Video CV.
·         Our long-term goals are to have an online tool for building Video CV’s.

Carrying out practice workshops has given the team greater clarity on the structure needed to run a session with maximum impact. It became immediately apparent that our original aims were far too ambitious and that instead of introducing the students to four choices of video template we should focus all our attention on one. The interview style Video CV format was deemed the most user friendly and natural to film. This choice would not compromise creativity however, as students would still have the opportunity to adapt the questions asked to suit their personality and skill set.
The workshop dress-rehearsals were a great way to identify potential problems that could arise within a session. We acknowledged that many of our target audience may be sceptics to the idea of a Video CV, and we would have to think of techniques to engage students with this mind-set. We had great fun taking turns at being ‘the difficult student’, and thought of interactive activities to encourage everyone to have a go.

Our research has shown that students find it challenging to be reflective and think about what their skills are. We have found that this was much easier to achieve when students were required to have a conversation with a friend or peer, to stimulate the process of being self-reflective. This factor has been built into the session through pair work activities and as a result we hope that every student can have a worthwhile learning experience, ultimately increasing their self-awareness. As such, regardless of their technical editing ability the process of being interviewed talking about their skills is vital preparation for future job applications, and a lasting impact of participating in the session.

Our long term vision for the project is to have an online platform, accessed through a personalised log-in, where people can be guided through building their Video CV. The software would eliminate the need for complex software training, and would offer a standardized and professional video template. This is obviously a costly endeavour but by this time we hope to have the expertise and experience needed to offer a Video CV building service as an online business.
As a team we feel really positive about the future of the project, and have a more realistic and concise idea of where our project is headed following our recent work.


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Introducing the project and the team!

Video CVs

Standing out from the pack in crowded job markets is easier said than done. The Office of National Statistics estimates that nearly one in ten graduates are unemployed six months after completing their degrees. This is due to a number of reasons; the steadily increasing numbers of graduates since the 1990s has caused the number of graduate vacancies to dwindle stalling pay growth.  Hence, competition between graduates is intense and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.  Consequently, the standard expected by employers of today’s graduates is higher than ever and the ability to differentiate oneself from one’s peers is crucial. Employers are using more innovative techniques to ensure that the candidates whom they employ meet their exacting standards; video applications and video CVs are one way applicants can demonstrate this. They allow candidates to demonstrate their creativity, initiative and interpersonal skills at a much earlier stage of the application process than they might be able to otherwise, creating a personal interaction between the presenter and viewer. Though their use has up to now, been restricted to the creative and marketing sectors the format is showing signs of penetrating more ‘traditional’ business. With this in mind we believe that by embracing this growing trend we can create a workshop which will help students and the wider range of job-seekers to develop the skills required to create video CVs and thus, take advantage of a growing market.

The Team

The team behind the video CV project are:

Laura Scott (Postgraduate student, Loughborough University) - Student Researcher
Thomas Goodacre (Undergraduate student, Loughborough University) - Student Researcher
Laura Crawford (Loughborough Student Union) - Researcher and Student Union Contact
Marcus Collins (Lecturer, Loughborough University) - Lead academic contact
Thoralf Kelin (Lecturer, Loughborough University) - Academic contact

We are looking forward to an exciting and productive summer working with Jisc!