Video has become central to how we connect, collaborate, and learn from one another, especially in the virtual world of work. If you’re on the hunt for a new job, video can be a powerful way to introduce yourself to hiring managers. It provides a peek at your personality and showcases your soft skills, which more than 75% of hiring managers find difficult to assess from a standard resume.
That’s why we introduced Cover Story, a tool on your LinkedIn Profile that lets you upload a short video to personalize your first “hello,” engage hirers and bring your professional story to life. Here are four steps to create a Cover Story that will help you stand out in your job search.
Step 1: Outline your key talking points in advance
Doing a bit of prep prior to posting your Cover Story can go a long way. Before hitting the record button, think about what you want to accomplish with your video. Are you looking for a new job? Are you interested in making a career pivot? Not sure about your current career path, and want to network with professionals from other industries before exploring new opportunities? Once you’ve identified your objective, write out a few key points to get it across clearly and concisely. A good rule of thumb is to categorize your supporting points into three buckets: background, skills, and a call to action.
Step 2: Highlight your background
Start your Cover Story by briefly introducing yourself and touching on your experience. You can list one or two key strengths, an accomplishment you’re proud of, or an area of expertise that fits the type of role you’re looking for. If you’re a student or just entering the workforce, use volunteer work, an internship, or extra-curricular activities to give hirers insight into your background, passions, and how your skills could translate for a particular role.
And, if you’ve added any work samples to the Featured section of your LinkedIn Profile, call those out in your Cover Story so recruiters can easily scan your portfolio after watching your video.
Step 3: Spotlight your top skills
Eighty-seven percent of hiring managers believe skills are crucial during the vetting process, so don’t forget to pepper some of your top hard and soft skills into your Cover Story. If you’re not sure which skills to feature, take a look at job descriptions for roles that interest you and call out any skills matches in your video. Cover Stories are also particularly helpful for showcasing your soft skills like communication which will naturally come through on video (remember, a smile goes a long way).
Step 4: Include a call to action
If you’re actively looking for recruiters to reach out to you and feel comfortable sharing that in your Cover Story, say it out loud. End your Cover Story letting people know you’re open to new opportunities and invite them to reach out to you. If you’re not quite ready to shout from the rooftops that you’re looking for something new, simply encourage viewers to check out your Profile to learn more about you. And don’t forget to turn on the Open to Work feature on your profile to signal to recruiters only that you’re interested in new opportunities.
This might seem like a lot to cover in a 30-second video, but you can do it if you are clear and concise. More importantly, have fun with it and let your personality shine. For inspiration on how to bring your Cover Story to life, check out the video on our LinkedIn blog. And remember, your first Cover Story doesn’t have to be your last. Just like your LinkedIn profile, you can always refresh your Cover Story as you continue through your career journey.
Camilla Han-He is product manager for Profile at LinkedIn.