Changing the rules of the game: Video Cover Letters.



By YEUK Youth Ambassador Baiba

With the technological age ruling, many employers are looking to recruit and hire those who stand out in a crowd of a thousand.

Are you getting frustrated or feeling down because of the countless employers giving you the same “unfortunately we will not take your application further at this stage” response? I know I am.

Recently I applied for a role that demanded me to make a creative, short video cover letter explaining who I am, what I do and why essentially I think I would be suitable for the role. And now I suggest changing the rules of the game with a video cover letter that allows you to showcase your personality, enthusiasm and communication skills. A video cover letter is especially effective when applying to communication and creative roles but it should not be limited to that.

Here is my experience with it and a few suggestions you could take into account:

  •  Choose a good spot to shoot your video. Do not go for the extremely colourful or too bright/dark places. Best choosing a light one tone background with a decent lighting.
  • Write your “speech” and learn it, highlight strengths and good qualities first.  Talk about your education and include what type of position you are looking for.  Don’t forget to add some key words about your work ethic and personality. Do not read your cover letter! That gives an impression that you are not confident or sure why you are applying.
  • Pay attention to your smile and tone of voice. The employer seeing your video will first see your appearance and then hear your words. So if you come across as sad, boring and uninterested by looks and/or voice, the employer will not care if you have a brilliant resume. Treat your video cover letter as an interview.
  • Have fun and point out the qualities that make you different. Video cover letter is supposed to be creative; it is supposed to make you stand out from the crowd. But in comparison with the written cover letter you have the opportunity to show emotion, personalise it on a different level.
  • If allowed – edit the video. It will make your product look better and will accordingly “sell” you better. Put important things like contact information in writing during your video or at the end of it.
  • Publish your video – send in your video application and at the same time upload it to YouTube, LinkedIn etc., to raise your opportunities of getting noticed.
  • Camera shy? I was too, but after you film the content several times it becomes easier. Just imagine you are talking to a dear friend or have a friend record you. Obviously, if it is still a problem, there is alternative – create a creative video with the help of animation or ready templates online and narrate.

Still not convinced that video cover letters are important to have and publish? Here are some stats from YouTube:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
  • YouTube is available on hundreds of millions of devices

Countless possibilities of getting noticed, so get creative and make your video cover letter today!



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