Video Cover Letters

How to create an impactful video cover letter

If you are seeking a new career or looking for a fresh start with a different company, you might be surprised to learn of an emerging trend in the hiring process: video cover letters. Some businesses are asking applicants to submit these videos along with the usual documents, which can put a face with your resume, making for a more personalized hiring process. If you get asked to submit a cover letter video, here’s everything you need to know.

Understanding the format

If you’ve written a cover letter before, you are in luck, as the basic format of a video cover letter is nearly identical. Your video will need these key components:

  • Introduction: Briefly state your name and introduce yourself to the audience
  • Body: Dive into your experiences, traits, and attributes 
  • Closing: Wrap things up with a respectful and professional conclusion

Sounds easy enough, right? The basic layout is certainly straightforward. However, the key is to be genuine and authentic in your video cover letter. Hiring teams will be paying attention to everything from your tone of voice to your facial expression, demeanor, and overall vibe. 

However, don’t feel like you’ve got to hype yourself up or exaggerate your emotions. If you are a reserved or stoic person, that’s okay, so long as you demonstrate your passion and genuine interest in the position you are applying for. Perhaps most importantly, be confident in your abilities and what you bring to the table. If you are good at something, say so and back up your statement with facts or real-world stories.

Additionally, remember that a cover letter is supposed to complement your resume. The same rule applies when creating a video cover letter. If you are using resume templates, follow the same general flow in your video while minimizing overlap. 

For example, if you mention your education directly after your work experience on your resume, make sure to follow the same pattern in your video. There’s a good chance that hiring teams are going to be following along with your resume while watching your content. Therefore, you need to hit all of the key talking points.

Expert Tip:

Video cover letters provide an opportunity to make your application feel more personal. Don’t just rattle off the information on your resume. Add flair and personality to your video to make your audience believe you are someone they will love working with.

Preparing your video cover letter

Not sure what to say in a video cover letter? That’s understandable, as video cover letters are a relatively new development in the world of hiring. Fortunately, you can make the entire process much less stressful by following a few simple tips. Specifically, you need to: 

Create a script

You don’t want to “wing it” when filming a video cover letter. Create a script that outlines what points you should cover, including an introduction, relevant experiences, skills, and why you are a great fit for the company. Our cover letter templates can provide a general outline for your script. 

Use these tools and our cover letter articles to decide what to include in your script and how long to make your video. Make sure your script is long enough to hit all of the crucial points and provide a glimpse into your personality, but try not to ramble. 

Choose an environment

Hiring teams aren’t just going to be focused on you. They will notice everything that shows up on the screen, including what’s behind you in the video. Therefore, you need to choose a good background that is professional and well-lit. 

If you’ve got a home office space, use that room to film your video cover letter. If not, choose a clutter-free area of your home that has a non-distracting background. 

Alternatively, you can use a digital background. However, make sure that it isn’t distracting. Most importantly, choose somewhere quiet, as you don’t want any background noise interfering with your dialogue. 

Record and edit

What you say and how you say it will have the biggest impact on the quality of your video cover letter. Once you hit record, speak clearly and confidently. Maintain eye contact with the camera, but don’t be robotic or rigid. Imagine that you are speaking directly to your audience in a live interview. 

Be mindful of your tone and overall demeanor. While you shouldn’t embellish, make sure to show enthusiasm for the job and opportunity. If you aren’t excited about the position, why would the hiring team be excited about bringing you on board? 

Also, choose a good-quality recording device. If you have a newer smartphone with a high-resolution camera, that will suffice. Alternatively, you can use your laptop’s webcam or a dedicated blogging camera. 

Once you are satisfied with your video, don’t just hit “submit.” Edit the video to ensure it’s engaging and effectively communicates all of your main points. Make your video concise, limiting it to one to three minutes. However, don’t talk too fast. You should be easy to understand. 

If your video is too long, go back through it and eliminate any unnecessary information. Try to make each cut smooth so that it isn’t obvious. If necessary, film multiple takes. Keep in mind that this is your opportunity to set a great first impression. 

Upload and share

Carefully read the job description and application instructions. Each employer will have their own preferences regarding video uploads and submissions. 

For example, some businesses may ask you to publish the video on YouTube and provide them with a private link. This is one of the easiest options, as you can make your YouTube channel hidden, ensuring that only the link recipients can view the video.

Alternatively, the business may use a specialized Dropbox or submission tool. If they do, make sure you label the file and carefully follow their instructions. Making a mistake during your application can leave a negative first impression on your prospective boss. 

Be mindful of your tone and overall demeanor. While you shouldn’t embellish, make sure to show enthusiasm for the job and opportunity.”

Dos and Don’ts

Ready to create your video cover letter? Consider these dos and don’ts that can help you stand out. 


As you begin writing your script and planning your content, ensure that you:

  • Stay Authentic and Personable: Show your personality and enthusiasm for the position
  • Tailor Your Message to the Company: Research the role you are applying for, and customize the video accordingly 
  • Organize Your Points Clearly: Aim for brevity and clarity and avoid rambling
  • Demonstrate Your Skills and Accomplishments: Use specific examples to showcase your skills and accomplishments relevant to the job 
  • End With a CTA: Always end by expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview

Encourage follow-up conversations, and don’t end your video on a cliffhanger. Also, make sure to review cover letters and resume examples. These resources will help you get a feel for the type of content that needs to be in your video.  


Learning what not to do is just as important as mastering the basics. There are many hidden pitfalls that can make your video cover letter less impactful and engaging. Make sure that you don’t:

  • Ramble: Avoid reciting your resume verbatim or going off-topic 
  • Use Unprofessional Language or Attire: Maintain a professional demeanor and wear business attire 
  • Neglect Technical Quality: Consider lighting, sound quality, and the background environment 
  • Overlook Editing: Never skip preparation or submit raw video footage 
  • Forget to Proofread: Proofread the script for grammatical errors, typos, and factual inaccuracies

Most of all, don’t wing it. You wouldn’t walk into a job interview unprepared. Approach your video cover letter with the same diligence. Write a script, rehearse, and choose a great location, which can increase engagement and reach. 

Use Jobseeker’s resources to craft an engaging video cover letter 

Creating a video cover letter can be a fun but stressful experience. Fortunately, Jobseeker is here to help. We offer access to great resources, including resume articles, video cover letter examples, and personalized support designed to make you stand out in job applications. 

Are you ready to learn more about Jobseeker and how we can support your career goals? Check out our expansive content library or chat with one of our team members. Let’s get you hired! 

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