Joining the leagues of Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, LinkedIn is expanding its site capabilities and generating easily digestible ways to network using cover stories. This rollout of a cover story feature is for mobile users and shows up as a peach ring around your image when someone lands on your profile. Cover stories offer the ability to post a 30-second clip introducing yourself to connections and potential employers.
Video has taken off tremendously over the years, and it’s not hard to see why. Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and image content combined, according to Wordstream. As a best practice, you should optimize and update your LinkedIn profile regularly and indicate whether you’re open to work opportunities or outreach from recruiters. These cover stories are a great way to showcase your personality, give your elevator pitch for what you do and optimize your profile.
Before we go into how to shoot a cover story, here are some good examples and things to know:
Examples of great LinkedIn cover stories
What a LinkedIn cover story is
- A 30-second snapshot of what you do (it shows up as a peach ring around your profile picture)
- An addition to your profile picture
- A way to share how you can solve someone’s challenges
- A personal connection opportunity
- A way to showcase your skills and personality
What a LinkedIn cover story is not
- A Facebook or Instagram story reel (It does not disappear!)
- A listicle of your work experience
- A place to be salesy, impersonal or inauthentic
Step 1: Outline what you’re going to say
While you can shoot your cover story directly from the LinkedIn app, we recommend pre-recording. This is especially helpful if you want to add any extra visuals, backgrounds or text captions to your video after the fact (nice, but not a requirement!). The concept of the cover story is the same for everyone, but as you’ve seen, the execution can vary greatly depending on someone’s personal brand. What a bookkeeper does will be different from a video editor.
Remember, you’re there to give life and dimension to your profile. What once was simply a picture with text can now function as a billboard for your personal brand.
Consider writing out a template of what you want to say and doing a few takes to see how it feels. If you’re stumped on where to start, use this:
Thanks for dropping by! I’m [NAME], a [JOB YOU DO]. When I’m not [HOBBY], I’m helping people [SOLVE FOR PAIN POINT]. Send me a DM, and let’s connect on how I can [ROI TIE IN].
Let’s see how this looks for Suzie, a life coach:
Thanks for dropping by! I’m Suzie, a life coach for over 10 years. When I’m not training for my next triathlon, I’m helping business owners balance their personal and professional lives through proven behavioral techniques and science. Send me a DM and let’s connect on how I can help you get more time back in your day for the things that really matter. Follow me for free mentoring workshops and advice.
Step 2: Record your video
Tips for recording your LinkedIn cover story
- Record vertically, not horizontally so the picture fits on a smartphone
- Make eye contact with your camera, not at your face on the screen
- Use good lighting – stand facing your window, as natural lighting is often best
- Smile! That first impression is everything
- Put your phone on a stand to avoid wobbles
- Do a few takes, and make sure after you trim that it fits the 30-second requirement
Many times, your smartphone’s photo app is perfect for editing. So, unless you’re doing any heavy editing or adding graphics, there’s no need to import it into another program.
Step 3: Now it’s time to make your cover story
We hope this was a helpful resource on creating a LinkedIn cover story. This coexists with your profile image on mobile and is a great way to welcome new networking opportunities and connections in need of your services. Feel free to comment if you’ve got any questions about the feature – and happy recording!
Other how-to articles you may like:
How to prepare for a video interview
How resolving to exercise more will make you a better business leader
5 Common mistakes recruiters make (and how to avoid them)