4 Simple Steps to Write a Better Professional Bio

4 Simple Steps to Write a Better Professional Bio

I make my living as a writer. Yet, every single time I’m asked to submit a professional bio for something, I end up tearing my hair out.

You too? It’s tough. Summarizing yourself in a few concise sentences — that still manage to pack a punch, no less — presents a unique challenge that’s usually enough to have you staring slack-jawed at that blinking text cursor. Plus, writing in the third person can be just plain awkward.

But, after having to scribble out my fair share of bio attempts, I think that I’ve finally landed on a formula that helps me quickly pull something together that’s impactful, memorable, and — perhaps most importantly — easy.

1. Start with what you do.

This part’s obvious. Any sort of professional bio or elevator pitch won’t bury the lead — it’ll start by explicitly stating who you are and what you do.

While it can be tempting to rely on buzzwords or flowery language to add some extra interest to your bio, a better strategy is to explain your role in as clear of terms as possible. Remember that your bio is a piece of your brand and reputation, so you don’t want any doubt that it’s sending the right message.

If necessary, your opening sentence is also a great place to touch on your geographic location, if that’s important or relevant.

What This Looks Like: “Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer specializing in career and self-development advice.”

2. Explain why you do it.

Typically, saying what you do isn’t quite enough to provide the whole picture. The very purpose of your bio is to give people a greater understanding of who you are, and that typically goes beyond the basics.

One way that you can do this — without going way beyond the character constraints of a notoriously short bio — is to talk about what drew you to that particular position or career field.

In addition to what inspired your career, you can also go one step further and discuss not only what you do, but also who you do it for. Everybody has a target customer or audience, and sharing yours can bring some much-needed clarity.

What This Looks Like: “After discovering a love of writing at an early age, she soon realized that brands and businesses could use the content she loved creating to engage and enlighten their own audiences.”

3. Touch on your most notable accomplishments.

Of course, you want your bio to be impressive — which means it’s the perfect place to pull out some of your most noteworthy accomplishments.

Whether it’s an award or recognition you received, a certification or degree you obtained, or something else entirely, dedicate one sentence of your bio to touting a few of the amazing things you’ve achieved.

What This Looks Like: “Today, her work has been published by numerous notable publications, including Inc., Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider, TIME, and many others.”

4. Add a little personality.

In most cases, your bio needs to be professional. However, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be stiff and cold.

People reading your bio are interested in learning more about you as a professional, yes. But, they’re also curious about you as a whole person.

So, don’t be afraid to inject a little personality and touch on a few of the things you like to do when you aren’t accomplishing big things in your career. It serves to make your bio a little less formal, and a little more personable.

What This Looks Like: “When she’s not hard at work on her next article, Kat enjoys reading, kayaking, golfing, baking, and spoiling her rescued terrier mutt.”

There you have it. Put those pieces together in order, and you’ll have a concise and impactful bio to use — with little stress required.

Tech

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