August 2, 2020

How I Use Video To Hack The Job Search Process

It takes more than just a great resume & cover letter to land the job you want

Job searching sucks! It’s pretty much a full-time job. You’re either too tired from working that crappy job all day or too overwhelmed with submitting multiple applications, customizing your resume for each one, and trying to keep track of everything. Each rejection email hurts a little more than the previous one.

And to top it all off, they’re thousands of other people searching for jobs, so you have competition. Trust me; we’ve all been there!

I didn’t always know how to get the career I wanted and had worked so hard for

A few years after moving to the U.S., I realized I was at a job I hated & this was not the American dream. I started applying to jobs & either wouldn’t hear back or would get rejection emails, I wasn’t getting interviews. I tried everything! One day I decided to take matters into my own hands. If they weren’t going to invite me to an interview, I was going to invite myself! That’s when I created my first video cover letter.

The video was about my background, my experience, and included details about why people enjoyed working with me. I quickly learned that the video allowed recruiters & hiring managers to see the human behind the application. The best part was it worked! I started getting interviews and eventually landed one of the most life-changing jobs I’ve had so far.

5 things I’ve noticed after I started using a video cover letter

The Job Search has changed for me since using a video cover letter. Becoming a human to recruiters & hiring managers has made me enjoy the job search.

  1. When I walk-in (or dial-in) to an interview, the person interviewing me acts as if they already know me.
  2. Interviewers treat me like you would treat a colleague that you like and want to get to know more of.
  3. Most of the time, they are trying to convince me to work for them, as opposed to having me work hard to convince them that they should hire me.
  4. Even when I get a rejection email after an application, it is personalized. Recruiters usually mention that they loved my video; they also let me know why I didn’t get invited to an interview. So my video helps me get feedback!
  5. When recruiters see my video cover letter on LinkedIn, and they decide to reach out, they know what I’m qualified for and what I’m looking for. I get very little InMails about roles I’m not interested in.

What You Say is Important. How you say it matters!

As a recruiter, I’ve come across a few video cover letters, and I’ve seen how they can go wrong. Just like with anything you use during your job search, you want to make sure that it is an accurate representation of who you are. You also want it to be something that will impress a potential employer.

When I created my first video cover letter, back in 2013, I didn’t realize it, but that was the beginning of my personal brand. I’m lucky to be married to a man that has been making movies since he was a kid. Video has always been a major part of Jonathan’s life. He was able to help me film and edit a professional-looking video. We used very simple equipment back then, and my script was super basic. Over the years, I’ve created different video cover letters. When it comes to the script, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. The same goes for the actual video edit.

All the years I’ve spent hiring people in the Software Industry has shown me what employers are looking to know about a candidate before deciding to invite them to an interview. As an Engineering Manager, when I worked with recruiters, I was very specific about what information they needed to send me about a candidate. As a Recruiter, I’ve worked with hiring managers that were even more demanding and specific than I was. As a Career Coach, I’ve taken this knowledge and used it to with all of the developers and PMs that I’ve coached; to help them know what parts of their experience they should highlight when talking to a potential employer.

I started How To Level Up because I truly believe in the power of using video to tell your career story. There’s a lot of competition out there, and you really have to stand out to get noticed. Apply for 1:1 Coaching Today, and I’ll show you how to get noticed by employers.

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