Why (and how) I applied to a job with a video

I recently made the tough decision to get back into the job market. I’m not ashamed to admit that I need a financial helping hand while I attempt to embark on my own. And honestly, a job at an established company at least somewhat related to what I’d like to do as a career is a great way to make some lifelong connections and learn some valuable skills.

Thusly, I found myself perusing craigslist earlier today. Much to my delight, I find a post:

“Super Star Social Marketing Assistant Wanted”

Turns out online marketing is a huge part of developing one’s personal brand (what I want to do) and growing businesses (also what I want to do). I read through the post and investigated the company a little bit. Seems whoever wrote the post had a sense of humor; I hope that is indicative of the overall culture of the company. Anyhow, it checks out and I’m like, this is awesome. I’ve got to apply right now.

I start digging up some old shitty resume from back in the day to polish up and I’m struck by this thought:

It’s 2017. We stream live gaming. We watch live video on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Why in the hell are we still passing around pieces of paper to apply for jobs?

Which led me to record an application video and send it off in lieu of a super lame pdf.

Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Write out what you’re going to say

I spent some time touching on many of the requirements they were requesting in the post, but also injected a few bits of my personality and personal life. Any employer worth a damn these days is going to be more interested in who you are as a person and you soft skills (communication, adaptability, problem solving) than your hard skills (coding, painting, cooking).

Periodically while writing out your script, actually try delivering it verbally to yourself to see if it flows well and sounds natural as you say it.

Step 2: Set up your camera and sit your ass in front of it

This one is easy. You’ve got a smartphone. Prop it up somewhere, make sure the lighting is decent (no harsh light or deep shadows on your face), and position your head somewhere inside the square that the camera is going to capture.

Nice. On to step 3.

Step 3: Record

This one is a bit trickier because it’s hard for a lot of people, myself included, to feel comfortable talking to an inanimate object.

Even more difficult is projecting confidence and delivering naturally. Just practice a few times. It’s so important to relax and really imagine you’re speaking directly to the company owner on the other side of the lens.

Be confident, even if you aren’t. Play recordings back to yourself. Once you the natural delivery clicks, you’ll instantly recognize it when you watch it for yourself.

Step 4: Upload and edit

Congrats on making it through the hard part! It’s a cake walk from here.

Either plug your phone into your computer and transfer the file or, if you’re on wifi, share the file wirelessly (but expect to wait awhile).

I personally save my files to my Google Drive account, but there’s a million different file management workflows out there. You’re a smart cookie. Figure yours out.

As for editing, I just dropped my video into iMovie (mac) and used the most basic of auto sound and image correction (Google is your friend), before exporting the file back to my desktop.

Just like with file management systems, there are about a hundred different basic video editing programs you can use, all of them with numerous how-to’s on youtube. This isn’t a tech blog. Go pick a program, spend 30 minutes to figure out how to use it, and make the damn video.

Step 5: Upload and send it

Youtube is a solid choice for hosting, because they’re owned by Google and Google can do no wrong, right?…………..

I do use Youtube though.

Upload your edited video, add a title like “Video application for [insert company name here]” and make sure to set the visibility to “unlisted”. This will ensure that your public channel isn’t mucked up wit some random video that only about 3 other people are meant to see, while still allowing you to use a publicly accessible link to view the video.

Once that’s done, you can head over to your favorite mail client, write up a short but sweet email explaining why you believe a video application is a million times better than an old-fashioned pdf file, and paste that unique Youtube link to your video directly in the email.


Congratulations, you’ve just entered the 21st century. Welcome to the new way of doing things.

I hope this post has proven helpful and inspired you to be a bit more creative with your job applications (or any proposals, really) in the future. As I said before, people these days are much more interested in you as a person than you as a robot. Show your prospective associates, employers, partners, etc. who you really are with video and watch the magic unfold.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Have you ever submitted a video application or proposal? How did you go about it? What were the results? Let’s talk in the comments!

2 Replies to “Why (and how) I applied to a job with a video”

    1. Kevin,

      I thought about sharing the video but it contains the company’s name,so I figured I’d keep it under wraps until I saw the results and got a go ahead from them to share.

      There is an update though: I’ve got a phone call with the CEO Friday morning 👌

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