Professional biographies are important tools to have at your disposal. They tell people about yourself, your expertise, and your experience. Professional bios average about 250 words in length and exist to sell yourself — to get yourself noticed and attract clients, customers, followers, what have you. But as with many things, there’s a right way and a wrong way to write a professional biography. Check out the following tips to find out what a professional biography should look like.
Write your name. Not a nickname, but the name that you prefer people to associate you with. Start your bio by writing your name and, as your write begin to think of things to write in your bio. Do so with the assumption that people know absolutely nothing about you.
Opt for third person. There’s been much debate over whether or not professional bios should assume the first or third person. Writing in the first person may come of a bit egotistical, while the third person tends to make your bio sound more objective, like it hasn’t been written by yourself. Many experts actually advise that you write in the third person, and it is the best route to go if you’re trying to appeal to a diverse audience.
Who is your audience and what is your purpose? You need to know these two things before you start writing, because it will set the tone for your entire biography. After all, for many people, your biography will be the first glimpse they get of you, so it should be a concise, effective summary of who you are and what it is you do. But bear in mind your audience. You wouldn’t write the same biography for your personal yoga blog as you would for a job application. Depending on the audience, you might need to make adjustments to the tone.
Why are you important? People reading your bio will want to know basic questions, like what you’re known for, what you do, and what kind of experience or expertise you have. Don’t leave them guessing; mention this information early on in your bio. In fact, it should make up your first couple sentences. If you don’t reveal this information soon enough, it will be easy for readers to lose interest and move one. An easy way to incorporate this information is with your name at the very beginning, like: Caitlin Rayes is a journalist for the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Be relatable. Add bits and pieces of personal details throughout your bio that makes you sound more human. It makes the reader care about you, and can also be a good chance for you to personalize the bio a bit. Avoid overly personal or embarrassing details, though.
Don’t forget your important accomplishments. Readers will also want to know of any important accomplishments, if any, that you’ve achieved. But don’t simply list them, describe them because readers might not know anything about the accomplishments you’ve received. Don’t spend too much time on describing your accomplishments, though. Remember, this is a bio, not a job resume.
Mention any current projects. Tie up your biography with a couple short sentences describing an projects you might be working on. If you’re a writer, mention the title of a new book in the works. If you’re a painter, mention what style painting you’re working one.
Conclude with your contact information. This is typically done in the very last sentence. If you have room, mentions several ways that readers can contact you: email, Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook, and more.
EDIT. Do not hit that publish button until you’ve thoroughly read through your bio and corrected and spelling or grammar mistakes. To help make sure that it truly does make sense, have a friend or family member read it. They might find a thing or two that you missed.
By following these helpful tips, you’ll have a well written, professional biography in no time.