The more involved you become with various groups and projects, the more you need a professional bio. They are massively useful in a variety of settings – for example, if someone needs to post a description about you on a website, newsletter or article. Since people who don’t know you may only ever see your bio, you need to make it count. The following tips will help teach you how to write a professional bio on yourself:
1. Make three versions: short, medium and long. Most of the time, someone else will dictate the length of your bio. They will likely tell you how many words you can use to ensure that yours is the same length as other bios. Because of this, one bio will not do. You need three bios:
- One sentence bio
- 100 word bio
- 250 word bio
Each bio has its place. You will save you time and energy when the time comes time to post it, and establish consistency between every professional bio about you that is published.
2. Introduce yourself as if you’re meeting a stranger. Lead in with your name. People need to know who you are before they hear what you’re all about.
3. Immediately state what you do. If you are “Portrait Photographer,” don’t wait until the last moment to say it. Your most important details should go in the first sentence. Remember: people on the web rarely read more than the first and last sentence.
4. Touch upon your most important accomplishments. Don’t list them, and make sure they fit. A bio is not a resume; it is simply a quick summary of who you are. If you have space, mention them. If not, ignore them.
5. Include your contact information. You should have a line in your bio that makes it easy for people to contact you. Stick to the norm and put your contact info in the last sentence.
6. Talk in the third person. Since your bio is something other people use to describe you, make it sound like someone else is talking about you. Good: “John Doe is a portrait photographer with six years of hands-on experience working with clients… etc.” Bad: “I am a portrait photographer… etc.”
7. Get feedback from a friend. A great way to test your bio is to have someone else read it. Ask for their feedback. Does it accurately state who you are and what you do? If after reading your bio they still don’t understand what value you provide, revise it until they do.
8. Keep it up to date. You’re constantly moving forward in your career, and your bio should reflect that. Never send out your bio if it still says you work for a former employer. The next step: Join me as I analyze Dan Schawbel’s biography in How to Write a Bio.
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