Between the pandemic eliminating in-person interviews and shifts in social media trends, video has recently become an integral part of the hiring process for many companies around the world.
From Zoom interviews to pre-recorded video cover letters, it seems that video is only becoming a more and more popular aspect of the job hunt. As of April 2020, 86% of organizations were using virtual interviews almost exclusively in the hiring process. These numbers are predicted to increase, and in many cases, remain high moving forward.
LinkedIn is all but confirming these predictions by introducing several new video-oriented features to their platform. The rollout started with LinkedIn stories and has now expanded to the LinkedIn Cover Story, which gives you the opportunity to introduce your profile via video.
What is a LinkedIn Cover Story Video?
One of the new LinkedIn features in 2021 is the Linkedin Cover Story Video. These videos can be a maximum of 20 seconds long and live on your LinkedIn profile.
Similar to the video profile image function on Facebook, your LinkedIn Cover Story Video will reside in the same area as your profile photo. It doesn’t replace your profile picture, per se, but they exist in the same space.
After uploading your cover video, you’ll see an orange-colored circle appear on the edges of your profile image. In search functions, your profile photo will still appear as usual. However, when a viewer clicks on your profile, your Cover Story Video will automatically begin to play silently in your profile image bubble. Users can then choose to click on the video to activate the sound.
Where can I access the LinkedIn Cover Story Video?
At the time of publishing this article, you must use the LinkedIn phone app to upload or record the Cover Story. However, after saving the video, it should be viewable on both desktop and mobile.
Can the LinkedIn Banner be a video?
Unfortunately, the Cover Story Video feature only applies to your profile image, not your profile background photo or banner. However, if you’re on the Creator mode on LinkedIn and choose to stream live videos, they will temporarily appear in the banner section of your profile for the duration of your LinkedIn live stream.
Pros and Cons of a Linkedin Cover Story Video
Like all new technological advances, there are a few pros and cons of this new LinkedIn feature. Those who have embraced video content will likely be excited to take their skills to the next level, while others might cringe at the idea of having to speak on camera. Many recruiters are also wary of the potential biases that can come into play when incorporating video into the staffing process. Here’s a quick list of the pros and cons of this new element:
- Opportunity to share your personality
- Bring resume to life
- Easier to provide context for career gaps and changes
- Show off public speaking and video content skills
- Potential for bias in recruiting process based on appearance, race, or speaking skills
- Disadvantages for less technically savvy folks
- A poorly scripted or produced video might actually hurt your chances of achieving your goals
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How to make a video cover story
Whether you’re a video pro or a little nervous about diving in, these 10 steps will set you up for success when creating your LinkedIn Cover Story Video:
- Determine your primary goal for the cover video. Are you looking for new job opportunities? Do you want to establish yourself as a thought leader and grow your following on LinkedIn? Getting clear on the purpose of the video will help give you clear direction for the following steps.
- Outline your video script. Make note of key phrases for your introduction, the main point you want to get across, and your quick conclusion to the LinkedIn video. No need to write out all the details or make it perfect. This should be a bare-bones outline.
- Write your script. Once you’ve settled on the most important points to note, flesh out your outline into a full script. Test out the sentences aloud as you write to make sure it sounds natural.
- Have 2-3 trusted sources review your script. Seek out feedback from a few different people. These could be work colleagues, friends, or family. Take their notes into consideration and make adjustments to your LinkedIn cover video story script as you see fit.
- Practice your script. Be sure to review your script several times before attempting to shoot the video. The more comfortable you are with your lines, the more natural you’ll appear on camera, and you’ll have far fewer recording attempts.
- Set up your video shoot space. While you don’t need to hire an entire film crew for a LinkedIn video, you should pay attention to the quality of your lighting, sound, and video. Always be sure to have sufficient light (natural or artificial) coming from in front of you, remove any audio or visual distractions from your space (kids, pets, clutter in your office), and practice propping up your smartphone, camera, or webcam so you’re capturing the most flattering angle.
- Wear a professional outfit you feel confident in. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, right? Be sure that your outfit speaks to your sense of professionalism while also giving you a little extra confidence boost on camera. Wear something that makes you happy (and stand out in a good way).
- Shoot your video. And, action! Shoot your LinkedIn cover video in your prepared space. Try holding for a few seconds at the beginning and end of your video to allow room for editing. Feel free to record the script a few times so you can select your favorite option.
- Edit your video. Most job seekers won’t need to edit their video, but if you feel compelled, you can use tools like iMovie, InShot, or Premiere Pro to adjust the visual and audio aspects of your video after recording.
- Upload your video. Once you’re happy with your video, save it to your desktop or phone and upload to the LinkedIn Cover Story Video section of your profile. It will auto-play when visitors check out your profile.
What to Talk About In Your Video Cover Story (5 Ideas)
Feeling stumped when it comes to what to say in your LinkedIn Covery Story Video? Depending on your primary goal for the video, there are several topics to discuss. Here are five ideas to consider when writing your video script.
Outline your career highlights
What are you most proud of in your career? Share a few quick statistics from recent projects, a recent award you received, or a story about how your team pulled off a big accomplishment. This is an ideal inclusion for anyone seeking new job opportunities.
Share your passions and personal brand niche
Let viewers know about the topics you care about and what they can expect to see from you in your posts on LinkedIn. This topic is a good choice if you’re hoping to use LinkedIn to grow your personal brand and professional network.
Highlight your area of expertise
What are your top three most valuable skills or credentials? Feel free to brag a little and share what they are along with any special training or certifications you have. This prompt can be helpful for both job seekers and brand builders alike.
Show off your personality
No matter what your primary goal is with your LinkedIn Cover Video, sharing your personality is always a bonus. This can help viewers get a sense of who you are and if you’re a good culture fit for their business.
Share your services / offers
This topic is particularly useful for freelancers or contractors who are seeking work from their LinkedIn community. Give a brief overview of your offerings and direct viewers to where they can connect with you for booking inquiries.
Tips for making a LinkedIn Cover Story Video
- Make sure you are well-lit from the front when recording your video.
- Record away from any loud sounds such as a busy street, noisy pets, or children so that your audio is loud and clear.
- Be mindful of any clutter or items you don’t wish to be captured in your video and remove them from view.
- Write a video script in advance so you know exactly what you’ll be saying and why.
- Make sure your script is engaging, clear, and to the point
- Have a trusted source (or three) review your script before you record your LinkedIn Cover Story video.
- Don’t forget to breathe and try to relax when you record your video so that your personality can shine through.
- A little extra smiling goes a long way! Imagine that you’re meeting a friend for coffee if you need a little help with this.
- If needed, edit the video to avoid delayed start and stopping points.
- Double-check the audio and visual quality of your LinkedIn Cover Story before uploading.