Bios serve an important purpose for professionals and business owners, offering a snapshot of the individual behind the success. Think of a bio as your own advertisement or infomercial that makes you come to life as a professional with an individual personality and voice. An extended “business card” of sorts, a bio provides an introduction of who you are, what you have achieved, and what you value.
In many ways, a bio is more functional and practical than a resume, especially if you are looking to present a well-rounded image that stretches beyond just showcasing career accomplishments, education, and job titles. Bios come in handy for websites, social media pages, and networking, as well as accompanying professional publications and presentations.
Depending on the use, a bio can range from a short paragraph (short form) to a full page. In addition to adapting the length, a bio can vary in content and voice, depending on its purpose and the audience receiving it.
Interested in writing or improving your own bio? Here are some useful tips to get you started on creating a compelling bio that grabs attention and stands out from the crowd.
Essential Elements of a Compelling Bio
General Writing Guidelines:
- Bios should be written in third person, so use your name and third person pronouns (he, she, his, hers, him, and her) rather than first person pronouns (I and me). Someone is writing it about you, even if you write it yourself.
- Use a friendly and conversational tone as if talking to someone who knows you in a professional setting. However, don’t be too casual: avoid slang, biased language, and texting lingo.
- Incorporate strong verbs that convey action and avoid using passive voice or too many “to be” verbs (such as am, is, are, was, were, be, being, and been).
- Write with descriptive words and specific details to keep the reader’s attention.
- Sentences should be well-constructed. Paragraphs should be concise (about five sentences) and focused on one concept or topic.
- Be sure to keep your bio to the point; avoid wordiness.
- Finally, proofread it thoroughly for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage errors.
Start with Who You Are: From the start, establish who you are, presenting your first and last names and current professional capacity or job title. After this point, you can use your first name (or last name, if you wish to be a bit more formal).
Share Your Relevant Personal and Professional Experiences: Go beyond just listing career accomplishments. Include information about your personal and professional goals, values, and influences. What and who has made a positive impact on you throughout your career and your life? Tell a bit of your background so readers know who you are and how you got to this point in your profession. Since a bio is a limited length (about a page, maximum), present what is of major importance in an interesting, unique way that makes you stand out from your competition.
Be Specific: Use specific examples, quantities, and projects to illustrate your success. Avoid speaking in general terms. Infuse your bio with a few concrete examples of your best projects, professional accomplishments, or work achievements.
Mention Your Personal Life Beyond Work: Here is your chance to present yourself as a well-rounded and actively involved person. Share a little information about your family, personal interests, hobbies, community service, organization memberships, and volunteerism. Again, remember to remain neutral so as not to alienate any of your audience. You can also showcase any civic awards or personal experiences that reinforce or tie to your professional skills and accomplishments.
Include Your Education, Degrees, and Training: Don’t forget to incorporate your education and professional training to further develop your expertise and knowledge.
Remember, All About Writing is here to help you create a compelling short or long-version bio, as well as to tweak and improve your existing bio. We also offer resume writing and rewriting services; cover letters, and references lists; and online and print business copywriting. In-person consultations allow us to fully understand each client’s specific goals, needs, and background, no matter what the writing project at hand.
Learn more about All About Writing and owner Christa Riddle at www.allaboutwritingconsulting.com. With All About Writing, writing help is just a call or click away!
-by Christa Riddle