By Stephanie Stevens
Your short biography is one of the most essential pieces of writing you have in your professional toolkit. It’s a practical, helpful way to introduce yourself to potential employers, clients and peers. It can help you land a speaking engagement, drive business leads and raise awareness about your company. But how do you write a good one? Let’s take a look and learn how to build the perfect bio.
First, begin with your name and current job title or job title that you’re seeking. For example:
Elaine Benes is a Senior Copy Editor at Pendant Publishing.
Next, describe what you do.
Explain your primary job responsibilities by painting a picture of your daily work life, your interests and what you have to offer.
Elaine Benes is a Senior Copy Editor at Pendant Publishing who specializes in editing books and periodicals focused on the increasingly complex lives and careers of sports and entertainment figures.
Share one of your most significant professional accomplishments to build credibility.
You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. What makes you a valuable person to have on their team or working on their behalf?
She’s edited more than a thousand articles and more than one hundred books, including “How to Make a Home Run” by Babe Ruth and “The Life and Times of Bette Davis.”
Speak about your values or passions.
Explain why you do what you do. Did you get into this business for a reason? Help people understand what matters to you.
Elaine was inspired to become a copy editor in college, where she realized that she had a gift for finding typos and grammatical errors.
Talk briefly about your life outside of work.
When you’re relatable, people will reach out to connect. Tell us about your family, your hobbies and interests, your hometown. Whatever speaks to who you are when you’re not working.
When she’s not editing, Elaine spends time teaching freeform dance and yoga classes, along with competing in local and national dog shows with her Brussels Griffon, Farfel.
End on a good note (or a funny one, if possible).
By sharing something fun or quirky with your readers, you leave them with a positive and unique impression of you.
To date, while Farfel has not won any prizes, he’s still the bestest boy.
The best part is that when you put together a good basic biography, you won’t have to struggle at the last minute to write one, and you can edit it down to whatever length is necessary. For example:
Elaine Benes is a Senior Copy Editor at Pendant Publishing who has edited more than a thousand articles and more than one hundred books. She lives in New York City with her dog, a Brussels Griffon named Farfel.
Include a call-to-action (CTA).
What do you want your readers to do next? Do you want them to follow you on Twitter, connect with you on LinkedIn or check out your latest blog? Don’t forget to invite them! While a lot of us are hesitant to make the ask, a strategically created CTA can make the difference between a bio that introduces you versus one that does the work for you.
Make sure to follow Elaine on Twitter at firstname.lastname@example.org for writing tips and grammar guidance.
Where should you share your bio?
The possibilities are wide and varied, but here are some key places to post your short bio:
- Company website
- Guest blog posts
- Speaker profile
- Twitter bio
- Wikipedia page
- Instructor profile
- Author’s page
- Press releases
Last but not least, consider getting a professional headshot taken or taking a professional headshot at home to send along with your bio.