It was 2am. I was sitting like a mouse in my in-laws kitchen — gross computer light glowing on my face. I saw the ad for a "Social Media Assistant" at creativeLIVE and I was sold. What would set me apart? I HAD TO GET THIS JOB! It was kinda scary but I made a video. I did one take and told myself that even though it wasn't very professional or polished, it would show my personality and hopefully win them over. Well, I had the job in less than 48hrs.
Two years later, I applied for another job with a video. Less than 48hrs, I had the job. 10 months later (i.e. yesterday), I applied for yet another job with yet another video and boom, they liked me and I'm hired.
When it comes to applying for jobs, sending a video with the application is valuable because 1) it does make you stand out and 2) it's basically an interview — they get to see your face, listen to you speak, hear a little about you etc... before they even ask for an interview, you hand (a.k.a. send) it to them. Now you're already at the next stage of the application process — leaps ahead of anyone else who has applied. It worked for Elle Woods after all. ;)
With "normal" jobs, you're usually the one that approaches the business and you hope they hire you. With photography jobs, your clients are approaching you and you hope they hire you.
Either way, you're trying to sell yourself and win people over and get them to say, "You're hired."
I send little 2min "hello, i'm Chamonix" videos to almost all my potential clients (sometimes it's hard to produce if the computer isn't behaving). They usually love it and make some comment about how they "loved the personal response." These videos are my way of creating that personal connection quickly before they move on and hire someone else.
When I started making videos it was awkward and embarrassing. But with practice came comfort and with comfort came fun. Now I love making these little videos and I would encourage everyone to try it. Maybe one day someone will send me a video... ;) I can't wait.