Do's and Don'ts for a Video Cover Letter

Nancy Anderson
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Looking to get a hiring manager's attention? Try supplementing your traditional cover letter with a fun and informative video cover letter. A short video clip is an excellent way to introduce yourself to a potential employer, giving the hiring manager a glimpse at your personality along with an overview of your strengths. Here are a few do's and don'ts to help you produce a great video cover letter to advertise yourself during your job search.

Do Add New Information

Keep your video cover letter interesting by adding information that is not on your resume. The best videos have a hook that pulls the viewers in and helps them remember who you are. Emphasize the qualities that make you different from the other job candidates. What unique qualifications, skills or attitudes make you the ideal person for the position? Feel free to show your personality through the information your provide. A funny story that shows your determination or a passionate speech about your volunteer work further your personal branding and give the hiring manager a reason to call you in for an interview to learn more.

Don't Make It Too Long

Hiring managers are busy professionals who don't have a lot of time for wading through video content. For best results, aim for a 60-second video with two minutes being the absolute maximum length. Try to place the most important or interesting material right at the beginning of the video to grab the viewer's attention right away.

Do Sell Yourself

A great video cover letter is a commercial for you. Make it the kind of commercial that keeps you from muting the sound or switching to another station. Focus on keeping the energy level high, your voice animated and your body language positive. Avoid reading from a script. Instead, practice your material until you know it well, and deliver a put-together performance that shows the viewer who you are. When you are done, watch the video critically. If you find it boring, it is likely others will too. Keep working on your performance until you produce a video that incorporates your personal branding and makes you smile.

Don't Be Too Informal

Although you want your personality to show, it is also important to avoid being too informal. Dress professionally just like you would at a job interview. Avoid slang and watch your grammar. When incorporating humor, keep the company culture in mind. More humor is acceptable at a company that emphasizes creativity and playfulness rather than at a company with a strict professional focus.

Do Finish Strong

Just like traditional cover letters, video cover letters need a strong close. Let the hiring manager know that you look forward to meeting with him and how it is best to reach you. Thank the viewer, and be assertive about your desire to move on in the hiring process. A strong closing reminds the hiring manager to take note of your contact information and get in touch to schedule an interview.

With many positions having applicant pools in the hundreds, you need every tool possible to stand out in a positive way. A video cover letter provides a way for you to sell yourself directly to the hiring manager. Remember to add new information that shows your shine to help you land the interview.

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