Evaluating a Video Cover Letter and What to Look For

Video can be used to replace the traditional written cover letter or resume, but what are some important things to look for?

Carly Chalmers

TikTok Resumes recently launched, following in the footsteps of other video-based job applications such as Snapchat's Snapplications and HigherMe's Video Cover Letter.

Having candidates record a short video replaces the traditional written cover letter or resume, and offers hiring managers a direct glimpse at the candidate’s personality and disposition.

Here are some helpful guidelines for evaluating a candidate if you're watching a video application for the first time

How prepared are they? It’s easy to tell if someone took time to prepare talking points or decided to ramble to the camera on a whim. Furthermore, did they take time to set up their background and lighting? Are they wearing an appropriate outfit for a job application?

What keywords do they use? Listen for the descriptors they use towards their personality and work-ethic. Do they align with what you’re looking for in this role? Are they consistent with the messaging in their accompanying application?

What kind of personality do they have? A video cover letter is great for predicting the way a potential employee will approach relationships and work situations. Are they calculated and analytical? Social and a relationship builder? Or a combination?

When evaluating a Video Cover Letter on HigherMe, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

Video Cover Letters can be specific for each role. Take note of how much the candidate mentions the specific role and how their experience is relevant to the job they're applying for.

Creating a Video Cover Letter is optional for HigherMe candidates, and should not be considered a mandatory component of the application.

While a Video Cover Letter is by no means an exhaustive evaluation of your candidate, it’s useful for gaining a first impression and making notes on their performance, which can be delved into later in the hiring process. It’s also a fantastic pre-screening tool that allows you to make more informed decisions before inviting a candidate for interview, which will save you valuable time and resources.

To see an example of a video cover letter, watch HigherMe's demo video.