Who needs a professional bio? Most likely, you do. A professional bio is the story-based version of your professional life Your bio includes some information that can be found in your CV or resume but the format is somewhat less formal. It highlights areas of your career or work and academic history that you’re proud to share, and omits the irrelevant or not-so-impressive Your bio should be something that engages readers and leaves them wanting to know you better,
It’s all about presenting the career highlights and accomplishments that best demonstrate your skills and experience, and also providing a bit of insight about your interests and inspirations outside of the workplace. Employers and others who read your professional bio are more inclined to want to connect when your story is relatable.
Think of your bio as a brand-building marketing tool that should entice a reader to contact you, You’re your brand, and the goal is to market those qualities that set you apart from the crowd.
Why do you need a bio if you already have a comprehensive resume or CV?
Ask any recruiter or hiring manager tasked with weeding through dozens or even hundreds of resumes on a regular basis and they’ll tell you there’s a 30-second (or less) window of opportunity for a resume or CV to grab their attention.
Unfortunately, the very nature of resume and CV development leaves little room for originality, although clear and concise is always a plus. .A well-written professional bio, on the other hand, offers more leeway to distinguish yourself on a more relatable level.
The best professional bios present one’s work and career history through a third-person narrative describing the candidate’s journey down the career path that brought them to this point. Bios also make room for a glimpse or two of what makes the career-seeker tick outside of the workplace. A passion for instance, for long-distance cycling. Frequent trips to a tattoo artist to indulge a penchant for creative expression, Volunteering for a pet shelter.
Most job seekers know it’s important to have a strong resume when starting a job search. But the need for a professional bio has become increasingly common. Once considered a tool for authors and speakers, a professional bio is now an important tool for job seekers, career climbers, business owners, professionals, innovators, and new graduates – and has a number of uses:
√ The bio section of your social media profiles. You will need a longer bio for sites like LinkedIn and a shorter version for Twitter. √ Job search – employers routinely look at job seekers’ online bio and will sometimes request it along with your resume. √Marketing materials, proposals, and quotes you send to prospective customers. √Pitches for public speaking, presenting and/or training. √Publications such as books, e-books, reports, professional documents, and guest blog posts. √The “about us” page on your personal website and/or blog.
Bios that work
A professional bio is an opportunity to make a great first impression on a prospective employer, customer, or industry network. Your professional bio should be comprehensive and give readers a good idea of who you are and what you stand for. People who read your professional bio should come away feeling a connection with you and a sense of trust that working with you would be advantageous. While a professionally crafted resume or CV is also important, a growing number of employers are requesting job seekers to also submit a professional bio. Recruiters search professional bios for desirable job applicants routinely—in fact, a professional bio is usually the first thing they look for.
As a professional journalist and content writer, I have viewed hundreds of bios from business owners and professionals in a wide range of markets and industries to cull background for a story or article or develop website content. I look for peoples’ bios for a number of reasons—to create boilerplates for press releases or simply to learn more about someone’s career history.
I’m always surprised to find that only a small percentage of the bios I receive from accomplished professionals are good reads. The rest translate like a boring resume with rote bullet points. Many are wordy, boring, stuffy, packed with meaningless business jargon or thrown together with little thought about piquing readers’ interest.
The bios that capture my attention are those that motivate me to want to know more about the person, and this is my approach to writing professional bios.
Granted, the purpose of a bio is to highlight your skills and expertise, but it also serves as a marketing tool to promote you and your brand and attract business. This is accomplished by including information that tells readers what sets you apart and is especially effective when it’s written in an engaging manner. Depending on your goals and audience, your bio can make readers smile, relate, and feel compelled to contact you.
I start the process with an interview and the basics—anything you’d like to send me—a CV or resume, and news articles in which you’ve been featured or quoted. We’ll discuss the writing style and your goals for the bio. I’ll take narrative license to make your bio engaging while keeping it professional. Then I’ll send you a draft to review, at which time you can decide what works for you, and where applicable, what doesn’t. Next, I’ll edit the draft bio according to your feedback. You have the final say in the finished product, natch.
By working together, we can achieve the bio that sets you apart, intrigues readers, and motivates people to want to learn more about you and your professional chops.
1._The professional (long) bio
There are 3 types of bios: the professional (long) version, the short bio, and the social media bio. Everyonewho is currently (or soon-to-be) in the workforce and expects to compete effectively for the best positions and salaries can benefit from having all three.
Employers are increasingly requesting a professional bio along with applicants’ resumes or CVs, In a competitive job market, it makes sense to impress a potential employer with a professional bio even if it;’s unsolicited, especially when the applicant ahead of you and the one behind you do not
A few things are important to include in your long bio:
Verify with whom you are trying to connect. The long bio should strive to make a genuine connection with that specific audience. This is where the bio should convey what you do and how you do it differently than everyone. An innovative approach always gets attention.
The one-paragraph “short” bio usually accompanies your work when it’s shared on the internet or in print—outside of your own site or blog. You may also want a condensed version of your long bio on the front page of your website, at the end of every blog post or in a press release boilerplate. You’ll find there are a wide variety of uses for the one-paragraph version, especially during book launches, conferences, speaking or teaching opportunities, and interviews.
Short bios are written in a more casual voice and in the first person. This one can be used as a social media bio as well, provided it’s within character count limits.
3. The social media bio (micro bio)
The Social media bio or micro biography is basically one- or two- sentences that tell readers who you are and what is currently going on in your life. These are used for social media sites and are most successful with a bit of humor injected.
For many individuals, writing their own bio is uncomfortable. If you’re one of these people, your best bet is to hire a professional bio writerwho knows what they’re doing. Bios written by folks who are squeamish about writing about themselves are usually ineffective. Your bio is a professional tool with an important purpose. Trusting a professional to get it done right is the best way to achieve results.
OK, so who needs a professional bio and why? Job seekers, career professionals, business owners—anyone who needs to stay professional and credible in the eyes of current and potential employers, customers or clients. A professional bio can be one of the most essential tools you have on hand to build your company or personal brand. I’ve helped dozens of clients bolster their value in their respective fields and markets by crafting their professional, short, and social media bios. I can do the same for you.
Need a resume or CV? Click on the button at right for information on my resume and CV writing services.