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If you’re looking for creative job application ideas, here’s one — make a self-introduction video for the job. Even just a 60-second video for a job application can help you stand out from the competition and connect with a hiring manager.

In fact, some companies like video CV apps so much that they require one during the application process. But whether an employer asks for it or not, it can be really tough to know what to say in a video resume.

Before sending off any video resumes or applications, take a look at our top tips for creating a video that will stand out from the crowd.

7 steps for an impressive video job application

While a hastily thrown together video probably won’t win you any points with a hiring manager, a thoughtful and well-planned video could be the reason you get invited in for an interview. By taking these seven steps, you can figure out what to say in your video resume and create a video application that will impress.

1. Plan your video

During the planning phase, you will determine the most important aspects of your video. Review the job description so you can reflect it in your video.

Most applicants stick to a 60-second video for their job application, so you’ll need to highlight your most important talking points in that short time.

Depending on the role, you may need a fancy video that highlights your talents and skills, or you may just need to simply make a self-introduction video for the job in which you talk about who you are and why you’re applying for the job.

2. Write a script

First impressions are crucial, so don’t plan on just reading your resume. Many recruiters and hiring managers won’t watch the full video of every single applicant, so you’ll want to make an impact as early as possible. Start by introducing yourself, and then dazzle them with one to three reasons why you’re the best person for this role.

Don’t forget to add a call-to-action at the end of your video. Ask the viewer to check out your website or LinkedIn profile.  Choose something that will keep them engaged with your application and keep you top of mind.

video job application samples

3. Test your video and audio

When you’re ready to record, you need to test the video and audio to make sure you look and sound your best. Even if you don’t have a professional camera, you can still film a high-quality video on a phone or computer.

Choose a brightly lit room, preferably with natural light, with no noise or distractions. Sit down in a chair, so you won’t fidget or shift your weight on each foot. Set up your camera so it’s filming from your shoulders up (you may need a tripod).

You could also place your camera on a bookshelf, ledge, or anything that’s close to eye level. Once you’ve set up your filming spot, record a few seconds of yourself talking.

Review the footage and make sure you’re clearly heard and seen. Make any needed adjustments until everything looks right.

4. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

While you want to have a script prepared, you also don’t want to seem like you are reading directly from it. Practice running through your video a few times. Make sure you sound natural and are speaking clearly and slowly. Record each rehearsal so you’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera when it comes time to shoot the real thing.

5. Shoot your video

Once you’re ready to film your job application video, make sure you’ve set aside enough time, silenced your phone, and eliminated any distractions. Don’t be afraid to record multiple times. Keep filming until you feel like you’ve clearly communicated who you are and why you’re the perfect person for the position.

It may seem silly to spend a few hours on a one-minute video, but all this effort will be worth it in the end.

video job application samples 1

6. Edit your video

You don’t need to have professional software to edit your video — most computers come with pre-installed video editing software that beginners can easily use. If you recorded your video on your phone, look for an app that will let you add a title, your name, and contact details.

Don’t get caught up in adding animations or graphics. While they can be a nice touch, you’re ultimately trying to show off your personality and skills, not your editing abilities (unless, of course, you’re applying for a job as a video editor!).

Save your video in a commonly supported format (MP4, MOV, or AVI). If the file is too large to send through email, upload it to to YouTube or Vimeo and send the hiring manager a link.

7. Land the job

Well, it may not be a simple as that. But by following these steps, you will have created an outstanding video application that will surely set you apart from the rest and win you an interview.

The key is knowing what to say in a video resume and ensuring that it comes across in a professional and engaging manner while showing your personality. And don’t be afraid to be creative, if the opportunity feels right.

Is a video job application the right move for you?

When you’re competing with lots of other candidates for a single job opening, it’s smart to think of ways to stand out. A video application could go a long way toward catching the attention of a hiring manager.

Even if you’re camera shy or new to video, you can make an effective video job application. Make sure to plan out your script, feature your skills, check the lighting and sound, and rehearse until you feel ready. 

As long as you put the same level of thought and creativity into the rest of the hiring process, you’ll be a serious contender for the job.