Should I Make A Video Cover Letter? The Pros & Cons

Job searching can be an arduous marathon ending in a loss of hope after months without success. If you are looking for a way to stand out among your competitors and land great roles in a more efficient manner, consider making a video cover letter.

As we discussed last month, video cover letters are a fantastic way to project your personality and qualifications to prospective employers. When used well, they can be the difference between another six months of tedious job searching and getting started in a wonderful new position. Here are eight pros and cons to consider when deciding if a video cover letter will help you land interviews and ultimately advance your career.

PROS:

  1. Video cover letters are unique. The hiring process has remained stagnant over the past decade despite the dramatic evolution of other workplace processes. This means that unless employers have specifically requested a video cover letter, your application will stand out. By including a video, you are effectively piquing the interest of your prospective employers and setting yourself aside from your peers.

  2. Video cover letters are a controlled presentation. If you are unhappy with how you are coming across, you can re-tape your video as many times as you like before sending it away. They imbue a reduced amount of pressure than that of a job interview because you are answering questions you have set for yourself, and you have the chance to initially rehearse with a script.

  3. You are projecting confidence from the beginning. If you know that your prospective employers have requested an interview after viewing your video cover letter, you can walk into that meeting with a stronger sense of confidence knowing they already have optimism about your placement in this role.

  4. You are demonstrating initiative and your ability to learn. Great leaders, the kind you want to be working for, hire people who are innovative and keen learners. Even though it is unlikely that you are going for a job in film production or broadcast journalism, letting your personality shine on screen and submitting a carefully executed video will demonstrate that you are forward-thinking and open to self-education.

  5. By using a video cover letter, you are already saving your prospective employers time. Ultimately, employers want to hire people who are highly efficient. By allowing them to sit back and absorb your information in 60 seconds rather than forcing them to pore over a multi-paged resume, you are already saving them precious time and creating a great first impression.

CONS:

  1. Some employers consider clicking through to a video to be a difficult process. To overcome this, choose either to not submit a video cover letter or to ensure that the process of watching it is easy and unobtrusive. Eliminate video passwords and resist creating a rabbit-hole process with too many links.

  2. If you are not willing to put in the time, video cover letters can feel unprofessional. Video cover letters require the same level of careful consideration that you would bring to a job interview. You will need to present yourself well and exert the effort to find good lighting and a quiet space to film. If this is too far outside of your comfort zone or skill set, it may be beneficial to request the help of a more technologically savvy friend.

  3. It is not as easy to refer to video cover letters as it is traditional resumes. When you have a paper resume in front of you, it is easy to look down and quickly refer to information. When you are watching a video, it can be difficult to go back to confirm or replay desired information points on demand. Ensure that your video cover letter is always accompanied by a traditional cover letter and resume for ease of reference.

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