Some employers will give the option to create a video cover letter instead of a traditional cover letter. You might opt for a video cover letter to showcase ingenuity, creativity, and personality - all traits that are hard to display in a traditional resume and cover letter. Specifically, you might opt for a video cover letter to stand out in a crowd - if you are applying for a job with many applicants, consider a video cover letter to add an ‘X-factor’ to your application.
Here are some tips to planning, recording, and submitting a highly effective and engaging video cover letter.
Your video cover letter should be no more than 60 seconds. Think of the video as a trailer, and the movie is your career. Give the highlights, but don’t give the whole backstory. You want to grab the attention of the employer quickly to get an interview, when you can then elaborate on details you could not mention in the video.
Create two versions.
When you are job searching, it is a great idea to create a generic video to post on your LinkedIn and other social media platforms if you are generally job searching. When you are applying for one specific job, you will want to tailor your video to the job-specific skills.
Choose your headlines wisely.
Think of your top three-to-five most relevant and impressive factors to include. You can choose whether this means highlighting your most applicable skills, or mentioning a previous role. Just be careful not to include too much - you want to avoid a lengthy video and speaking too quickly.
Be unique and avoid repetition.
The video cover letter is not an extension of your resume - be careful not to simply recite your qualifications and experience. Employers who ask for a video cover letter are looking for energy and personality - two things they could not gather from a professional resume. Take this opportunity to show employers who you are beyond what can be found on paper.
Be deliberate with your language.
The video cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your personality, so there is no need to script out every word. However, employers will want to see your understanding of the field, so be sure to use job-specific terms that reflect your experience.
Plan a strong ending!
Some examples of a strong closing line are “I look forward to meeting with you for an interview,” or “Thank you so much for your time.” Both of these statements show confidence, which employers will be looking for.