Are you trying to get noticed by clients or hiring managers? A professional bio can help you stand out from the crowd by showcasing a bit about who you are and what you strive for in your work. However, writing a professional biography is easier said than done. It can feel awkward to write about yourself and express your worth fluently, so here are a few tips to help you get the process started.
Here are some essential elements in any professional bio:
— Your name and professional title.
— What you do in your current position.
— Your branding statement.
— One to two outstanding professional accomplishments with measurable results.
— One to two personal details to describe your personality.
You can post your professional bio on your personal website, your personal blog, your company’s website, your professional portfolio, your LinkedIn “about” section, your Facebook business page and on other social media pages such as Instagram. While the length of your bio will vary depending on where you are wanting to publish it, using that outline of elements will help you create a complete bio.
For example, if you post your bio in your “about” section on LinkedIn, you are limited to about 2,000 characters; your own website could include a lengthier bio on its own page. A short professional bio would work best on your social media pages; consider including your professional title and branding statement.
How to Start a Biography
You may know who you are professionally, but it can be hard to articulate this clearly and precisely, especially in writing. To start, create an outline of what you want to include in your bio using the elements above. You can use your resume and other documents where you’ve tracked your professional accomplishments to help you, but avoid copying and pasting from there.
You can also look up the professional bios of successful professionals that you admire. What items do they include? What impresses you about their bios? While you don’t want to copy their bios, you can take note of the elements that speak to you and then try to emulate that in your own bio.
To help you come across authentically in your bio, think about what you would say out loud to someone if they asked you about the items on the list above. For example, how would you explain what you do for work or what your branding statement is? Write down what you would say. This can help you to “see” your voice on paper.
Keep in mind that, generally, a professional bio should be written in third person, especially if it’s for a company website. However, there are exceptions to this. For example, your “about” section on LinkedIn should be written in first person.
Your Name and Professional Title
Include your full name and your title. If you don’t have a job currently, list your last title or what you are certified for. For example: John Doe, Marketing Director.
What You Do in Your Current Position
This helps the reader understand what you do and if you would be a good fit for their organization. For example: John specializes in all forms of digital marketing including social media marketing, online advertising and search engine optimization.
[READ: How to Write an Elevator Pitch.]
List Your Branding Statement
This is a sentence or two that reflects your professional values and how you stand out from others in the industry. For example: John is diligent and adapts seamlessly to constantly evolving processes and technologies. This allows him to provide the best service possible to his customers.
List Outstanding Professional Accomplishments
Listing a few accomplishments allows readers to understand your level of expertise and how you positively contribute to your organization or industry. Examples could include how you have helped the company save money, increased visibility or attained positive results for your clients.
List Personal Details
Listing a few personal details can help the reader connect with you on a more personal level. If they connect with you, they will be more likely to reach out to you. Examples could include hobbies, pets, a favorite movie or interesting details about your background. Of course, make sure that you feel comfortable with any personal details that you choose to share with your readers.
How to Write a Bio for Work
If your company has asked you to write a professional bio for their webpage, make sure you include the requested elements. If you are unsure, ask your supervisor for additional information. Also, check the “about” page of your company and take note of what those in higher positions have included in their bios. Try to follow that same format and order of information. This shows attention to detail on your part and also speaks to your professional worth. When you have finished your professional bio, ask someone you trust to proofread it for grammatical errors and clarity.
[Read: How to Write a Business Letter]
Professional Bio Examples
Here are a few examples of what a short professional bio could look like:
Sample 1: Empathetic family medicine physician leveraging 10+ years of experience promoting health and improving the quality of patients through changes in research, medical education and patient care across organizations and the community. Known for innovative, tactical thinking, and an authentic, influential leadership style. Skilled in building the relationships, consensus and strategic partnerships needed to move large-scale and challenging initiatives forward.
Sample 2: Certified career coach, speaker, author and national career expert with over 21 years of experience. Her company Create Your Career Path is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. She is regularly featured in the media and has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois. With over 1,500 success stories, her team of coaches and resume writers help professionals find jobs that make them want to jump out of bed in the morning to go to work.
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Update 07/16/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.