The cover letter is used to help the job seeker stand out from the crowd. With the widespread and acceptable use of technology in business, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using video...

The cover letter is used to help the job seeker stand out from the crowd. With the widespread and acceptable use of technology in business, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using video cover letters and other creative but unconventional job-application strategies.

Expert Answers
kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Depending on the audience and the job the applicant is seeking, the use of a video cover letter or other creative technique can be very effective.  Particularly in the case of a creative position or one that involves the use of video or another technique that can be used in a "cover letter," the demonstration of the applicant's skill can add another dimension to the application.  It can help to separate the candidate from a sea of cover letters given that almost any job in this employment environment will generate a host of applications.

But it is vital that the applicant is aware of the audience and confident that they will respond positively to something that may be "outside the box" and not take it as impertinent or in some way disrespectful of the process.  In many more conservative environments, it is vital that every applicant follow the guidelines set out by the potential employer who will need to check certain boxes to move any application forward.  This may more frequently be the case in large corporations, particularly those with a more entrenched culture that may not be open to innovative approaches before an applicant or employee  has demonstrated their value in order to gain the freedom or leeway to take a more innovative approach.

The composition of a video cover letter is also vital to the chances of its success.  They should be short, well edited and composed, and provide the same information that would be present in a cover letter so that the potential employer will not need to seek additional information.

So it is a bit of a hit or miss approach unless the applicant can be confident that the recipient of the video or other unconventional cover letter will react positively to it.

chrisyhsun | Student

The advantages and disadvantages of these more creative methods in the job-seeking process both stem from the fact that it's "something different", and whether this is a positive or a negative I think oftentimes depends on the job and its associated hiring manager, company, and industry. If the job or industry as a whole has a strong creative slant, then this type of method would not be too ridiculous and could actually be beneficial in terms of communicating your work to the employer. While it is true that maybe such a move would interest individual hiring managers in other, possibly more conservative industries, that's a toss-up and might not be as good as the traditional cover letter route. On the other hand, if the company/industry the job is in is on the more conservative side or gives off a more "serious" aura, the traditional method would probably be better. Firstly, there wouldn't be too much about your strengths for that position that can only be communicated through video and not paper. Secondly, this extra dose of creativity might make you stand out, but not necessarily in a positive way if they are not looking for that specific quality.

rachellopez | Student

A video cover letter is a creative way to tell employers about yourself while also making it entertaining. Since video cover letters aren't used that much it will be a nice change for the employers and show them you are ambitious. However, if you are looking to work in a very professional environment, it may not be best to do a video cover letter. Places that are professional aren't looking for creativity; they are looking for someone who can follow rules and act in a professional, business-like manner.

skylobster | Student

Straight up, its QTY over Quality. Send them out like you're a crazy person. Make them laugh. Make them want to at least meet you. What we hate to receive are cooky cutter BS!!! Just be real.