Rather than requesting traditional resumes and cover letters, some companies are now asking job candidates to submit video cover letters. While the thought of creating a digital recording of yourself can be overwhelming, think of it as a summary of your story. Follow these tips to create an effective video cover letter.
1. Include Five Points
Plan your video cover letter so that it tells the hiring manager five things about you. Include three items about your professional life and two points that describe you on a personal level, including hobbies, interests or volunteer efforts.
2. Keep It Brief
If the job posting does not specify a time limit for video cover letters, limit yours to 60 seconds. Describe each of your five points in a clear and concise manner without including too much detail that loses the viewer's interest.
3. Show Your Personality
Rather than repeating all of the information included in your resume, be creative in your video cover letter. Take this opportunity to showcase your skills, talk up your work experience or brag about your accomplishments while giving the hiring manager a glimpse of your personality.
4. Incorporate Keywords
Make sure your video cover letter is tailored to the hiring organization's job posting. Jot down skills and qualifications that the company wants in an ideal candidate, and then weave them into your presentation to capture the hiring manager's attention and demonstrate your fit for the position.
5. Avoid Sounding Scripted
While you should plan ahead and know what topics you want to hit in your video cover letter, avoid reading directly from a script. Write a few bullet points on large cue cards so you can refer to them throughout your recording without reading word for word. Practice your speech until it's natural.
6. Include a Strong Conclusion
Finish your video with a strong closing. Thank the hiring manager for his time, and reassure him that you're looking forward to an interview. Be sure to project confidence during your closing statement.
7. Create a Generic Version
After you create a specific video cover letter tailored to the job posting of the hiring organization, consider creating a generic version to post on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Focus on your job skills, and make it clear what type of position you hope to find.
8. Consider Hosting Options
When you upload your generic video cover letter, pay attention to hosting options. Avoid using the same YouTube channel that you use for your personal videos.
Video cover letters require more planning and preparation than their paper counterparts. Pay attention to the hiring organization's job listing to ensure that your digital recording adheres to length requirements and includes all of the necessary information.
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