Narrative psychology, a term was introduced by Theodore R. Sarbin in Narrative Psychology: The Storied Nature of Human Conduct , investigates the value of stories and storytelling in giving meaning to individuals’ experiences. It’s an especially relevant topic for job seekers, especially late blooming career changers, when it comes to writing your summary for your LinkedIn About section. According to legendary film professor Howard Suber, “You seek your destiny; you succumb to your fate. Destiny originates within the self; fate comes from outside. Fate is the force that lies beyond individual will and control; it pushes you from behind. Destiny is the attracting force in front of you that acts like a magnet and that you choose to acquire.” Controlling your career destiny should shape the story you tell in your LinkedIn Profile About section.

LinkedIn gives you the gift that keeps on giving in the 2,000 characters available in the About section. It should be your strong personal narrative that weaves together your relevant experience and achievements into a future-directed, next career step story. Don’t fall back into a fateful rehash of your work history. Take the time to define what you want your next career step to be, research the in-demand skills and competencies required for it, extract these from your experience and then shape them into a strong story that will powerfully convey the value you can bring to prospective employers. Incorporate optimized search terms, inject some personality and utilize as much of the 2,000 characters as possible.

Unless someone is connected to you, even at the 3rd level, they will not see the contact information you have included in the Contact info section. So, when you want to be easily reached by someone who is not connected to you (like a recruiter or hiring manager), add a sentence to the About section of your Profile and include your contact information. Make it easy for recruiters, hiring managers, and headhunters to reach out to you.

Since your About section is not fully displayed in your Profile, make sure your first 300 characters read like a strong newspaper story and draw the reader in. A trailer to a new action movie motivates viewers to see the film. Use the same logic in your opening sentences. Keep your content relevant to your next career step and avoid the temptation to include everything from your first job to the present. RELEVANCE and RECENCY should be your drivers.

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