Have you been asked to submit a video as part of a job application? Read on for our top tips to help you create a winning video. Note this is different to a video interview. If you’re looking for tips on video interviews, see this post from an employer and this post with our tips.
Many employers now ask applicants to submit a video as part of the recruitment process. We are aware of companies from all sorts of sectors doing so, ranging from perhaps the more obvious (PR, Marketing, Media) to the less so (including Estate Agents, Cosmetics and FMCG brands), to the downright unusual (e.g. First Choice’s Water Slide Tester recruitment, which a Leeds student eventually landed, helped by this video entry).
You may be given specific instructions about what is expected from your video, or you may simply be asked to produce a brief video outlining why you should be considered, or perhaps addressing a couple of specific questions. The tips below will help you whatever the format.
First think about why they might have asked you to produce a video. Are they likely to be looking at your technical video-making skills, your creativity or ability to engage an audience, or do they simply want to check out your interpersonal or communication skills?
Consider the role, the industry, the company, their values and culture. For some roles you will be able to push the envelope a bit more in terms of creativity and humour (e.g. like in the First Choice example above), whereas for others, it might need to be more conservative
Make sure you provide what they ask for – as with any part of an application process, always try and relate what you are saying back to the job in question. As well as following any specific instructions for the video, refer back to the person specification and job description to see if there are ways you can demonstrate requisite skills or attributes in your video.
Treat it as a performance. Submitting a video is a great way for you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the post – make the most of it. The benefit of a video over a written application is that you can show how you feel about the role through non-verbal communication as well as what you’re actually saying. As with any form of performance you almost need to over-act to convey a real sense of enthusiasm; though probably not to the extent of a kids’ TV presenter (unless of course that is the job you are going for!).
Even 2 minutes of one person talking straight to camera can get dull really quickly. Put some variety into your video; for example filming in different locations, involving other people, or consider other ways of breaking it up. Pictures, other clips and text are all quite simple ways of varying your video and will help keep the viewer’s attention.
Both Windows and Mac have basic video editing functionality as standard on new machines. There are also lots of free video editing software available online and even YouTube provides basic editing functionality.
Ask friends or family (or anyone else) who has not been involved in the making of the video to watch it and give an honest opinion about it. It might be helpful to ask them to look out for the above points in particular, as well as giving them a copy of the job description and any specific requirements for the video.