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How college students can create a great video cover letter

Updated: May 6, 2019

A couple of videos back, we talked about the importance of creating a great resume and also preparing yourself for the interviewing process. One of the topics that we covered in that video was the importance of creating video cover letters. So, today I’m to going elaborate a bit more and provide you with some additional tips on how to create a great video cover letter.

Do you know that an average recruiter spends only about six seconds - that’s right, six seconds looking at your resume.

How do you stand out from hundreds, if not, thousands of other resumes? A Video cover letter is a great way to make a first great impression and is a great way to catch the attention of the hiring manager.

So here are some additional tips on how to write and record a great cover letter using video.

  1. Create a script or at least write down some talking points before you start recording a video. You only have 2 minutes or less to make a first great impression so you don’t wan to be stumbling for words and thinking on the fly while delivering your message. Make sure to write down some talking points.

I suggest writing down 3 main things:

  • Introduce yourself and state the position you’re applying for.

  • Express in a couple of bullet points what interested you about this position. Be very succinct. You can just say the top 3 things that interested you about this position.

  • Here is your moment to shine - this is probably the most important thing in a cover letter - how and what type of value you will be delivering to this position based on your skillset, your experiences and the passions that you have. Many people spend all their time talking about skillset alone, but here is the thing: skillset is really important but it is more important to talk about how you’re going to be helping the company achieve its higher mission.

To do so, you need to spend some time doing some research, look at the website of the company, look at their social media channels and see what their mission is, what their goals, short or long-term objectives are. And then try to weave them into your answers based on understanding what type of value you can deliver to the organization based on the objectives and mission that they have.

That will set you apart from everyone else.

This brings us to point number two,

  1. Practice and practice before you record. You want to sound natural as if you’re having a conversation. You don’t want sound as if you’re scripted and reading a script. Because this video is only 2 minutes long, you want to avoid having awkward pauses and also ‘uhms’ and ‘ahms’ in your video. So, give it a try in front of a mirror a couple of times before you actually hit the record button.

  2. This is your time to shine where we call for lights, camera and action. Set it up, set your camera or your phone on a tripod or stack of books in front of natural light and hit record button. Make sure you’re able to capture your head, your shoulders and have a neutral background in the back that’s not going to be distracting. You can have it in your study, in the library or just a plain white background on the wall will work just as well.

So we just created the first cover letter using video. Let’s recap what goes in your video.

  1. You’re stating your name and the job position you’re applying for.

  2. What interested you specifically about the job description

  3. How you’re planning to add value to the job and the organization you’re applying for.

Now that you’ve created the video, it’s time to obviously share it with the hiring manager. There are a variety of ways you can do that. Youtube is a very simple tool for that. You can upload the video, set it to a private mode and then share the link with the hiring manager.

In the meantime, happy interviewing!

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