Whether you’re looking for a job or already have one its helpful to have a selection of bios ready to go. Here you will learn how to write a bio and the three types to have on hand.
Bio Rules and Formatting
1. Know Your Audience
Just like a resume and cover letter, you’ll want to write your bio according to the purpose of the bio or who is going to read it. A company profile bio should contain only work for that company. LinkedIn can focus on your main career experience and goals, but may also highlight additional areas you work in. An author’s bio for blogs and/or articles you write most commonly include your work related to that area, but can also include what you do full time.
2. Be Specific and Concise
Being specific and concise with your bio will keep it short and easy to follow. Instead of saying worked in management, say what type of management. To be concise narrow down what accomplishments and experience you want to include. Choosing the three most impressive achievements is a great way to decide on what to include.
3. Write in Third Person
There is some debate about whether or not writing in the third person is always necessary. I personally like writing in the third person for my bios, especially when my bio is going to be featured on a site that is not mine. Look at examples of other similar bios that you’re writing for. If most of them are not written in the third person, then I would suggest writing in first person.
4. Edit, Edit, Edit
Be sure to proofread your bio at least three times. Ask a friend or colleague to look over it. Having someone else read your bio is a great way to see if it flows nicely and conveys what you wanted.
5. Keep Updating
Keep your bio up to date. If you start a new job, add it to your bio. The same goes for new accomplishments and other experience. It’s a good idea to go back to review your bio every 3-6 months. Keeping your bio up to date also shows your professional progress and keeps your written professional appearance fresh.
What to Include
1. Full Professional Name
You will want to start your bio with your full professional name. My full first name is Katie, but if it was short for Katherine I might choose to start with Katherine Robinson. Although, if you name is Patrick but you have always gone by Pat, then it is acceptable to use your shortened name as well. The key here is to keep consistency and stay professional.
2. Current Position(s)
Include the position and company you currently work for. You may also include, depending on what you are writing this bio for, side job or projects. For example, I include my Production Assistant job at Sesame Workshop and this blog, Ask the Young Professional.
3. Most Important Accomplishments
In addition to where you currently work you want to talk about your accomplishments and experience so the reader will understand where your expertise lie. Like stated above, choosing three accomplishments to include is a good number to aim for. Limiting yourself to three also helps keep your bio concise.
4. Contact Info
It is common practice for the last line of the bio to include your contact information. There are numerous ways to do this. Some include an email address and twitter handle. Others hyperlink to a LinkedIn profile, website or other social media.
5. Something Unique and Personal (Optional)
If you have room in your bio you can write some fun unrelated work facts about yourself. It can show off some of your personality and can add an unique way to stand out. If someone has something in common with you or thinks one of your hobbies is interesting it may be an easy for the reader to remember you.
Types of Bios
When someone asks for your bio they may have a size requirement. It is good to have these three bio sizes prepared.
1. One Sentence Bio
A one sentence bio can be used for an email signature, profile caption or a “one liner” for a profile featured on someone else’s site. To keep the bio short and not a run on sentence limit your self to the use of your full name, current position and one or maybe two accomplishments.
2. 100 Word Bio
Someone may ask for a 100 word bio simply because of their own limited space or perhaps there are other bios to be featured along side yours. 100 words may seem like a lot, but you’ll quickly fine it difficult to keep within the restriction. Try taking out description words to be more precise and use only the work related to the use of the particular bio.
3. 250 Word Bio
A 250 word bio is great for creating a full image of who you are, what you can do and what you can offer. Use the space to give more details about projects you work on and your responsibilities at jobs. This is also a great opportunity to select key terms to describe your current position and career path.
Here are some helpful articles I used to write my bios:
- WikiHow- Write a Personal Bio
- Brand Yourself – Tips for Building Your Personal Brand and How To Write a Personal Biography
- Brand Yourself – 8 Tips on How to Write a Personal Biography
Do you have a bio? What helped you write your bio?