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Can a video help you land your dream job?

17 Mar 2020 / 10:47 H.

    GETTING work takes work: writing a cover letter, updating your CV, finding your references. Younger candidates might wonder why finding a job in the high-tech workspace is still so old-school.

    “They’re used to doing everything mobile on their smartphones,” says Inga Rottlaender, a career expert with jobs platform Stepstone.

    Recruiting is getting smarter. In a time when professional talent is so in-demand, companies must compete for candidates’ attention. Some firms are encouraging applicants to use the medium of video.

    On YouTube, for example, you can see many videos uploaded by young people applying for trainee positions at sports giant Adidas. “Trainees and students can use a video for their application, or they might use other creative formats such as a PowerPoint presentation, a story or an interview,” says Kristina Schulte, a recruiter at Adidas. “We get to know the applicant better through a video than through a cover letter, which often says little about the person.”

    The application video concept has been around for a while, but it’s much easier today to produce a high-quality video than it was a few years ago.

    Hendrik Seiler, co-founder and managing director of HR company Talentcube, notes that a short video clip is rarely the sole criterion for an employer’s decision. His company has developed a tool for companies to request videos from applicants.

    The application process that video recruiting providers such as Talentcube, Jobufo and Viasto propose is very simple. The respective company provides questions for the applicant to answer in short video sequences, such as, “What do you hope to achieve with us?” The recordings result in a time-shifted video interview.

    If you apply for a job using video, you should not be tempted to rush through the interview. A little practice and the right location will make a better impression. “You should dress for the job, but not dress up,” recommends Seiler. And a room where you can face a good light source is better than a position where you’re backlit.

    Don’t be too worried about being perfect. Videos help show your authentic self. Applicants can upload their certificates and CVs along with the video, and the job application is complete.

    HR expert Silvia Haenig says job seekers should be serious when shooting a video. After all, it should give your potential employers a competent and likeable impression of you. “Creative excesses like wiggles or dancing emojis have no place there,” she says.

    Look on YouTube for good examples of video job applications. “There are a whole range of good instructions and how-to pieces for creating such short and concise application videos,” Haenig says. She also stresses that the video is only one part of the application: The video opens the door, but the CV is what will get HR professionals to welcome you in.

    One last tip: If you’re going to shoot the video on your own, you need a story to tell, just like a good director does. “This story should describe briefly and concisely who the applicant is, what they can do and why they fit into the company,” Rottlaender says. – dpa

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