How to Write a Short Bio for Work: 9 Tips
Compose a professional bio that presents your best side
A short professional bio has multiple uses. You can add it to a LinkedIn summary, About the Author section of your blog or book, About Us section of the corporate website, online portfolio or a job application. In any case, its goal is to quickly introduce your accomplishments and qualifications to the reader as well as throw light on your personality.
The biggest challenge about writing a bio is that it affects heavily how the target audience will perceive you. A vague and humble or, on the contrary, overly self-promotional biography might spoil the reader’s impression about you. At the same time, creating an attention-grabbing short bio is fairly simple – all you need to do is to follow the below advice from a career expert of our online resume services.
In today’s guide, we’ll show you:
✓ How to write an impressive short bio for any platform
✓ What your professional bio should absolutely contain, and
✓ An example of a good bio for your inspiration.
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How to write a professional bio?
The final look of your bio will depend on the purpose you’re writing it for. Obviously, a bio for your company website or a listing in a professional directory will look differently from the one for your LinkedIn page. However, the writing process and the essential biography elements remain pretty much the same. The major difference is in the tone of voice, length, and writing style.
If you’re currently in the process of writing a bio, take the following steps:
1. Choose whether you will use third or first person
There are two main approaches to writing a bio: writing it in the first and the third person. First person is reserved for online bios mostly, for instance, the one you write for Twitter or LinkedIn profile. Third person writing sounds more formal, and should be reserved for job applications, About the Author section of your books, or corporate website. Thus, this point depends on where you plan to use this bio and who is your audience.
Also, when choosing between the first and third person, keep in mind the effect it makes on the reader. The first person writing sounds more personal, friendly and open, and if it’s the impression you’re trying to make, give this approach a shot.
2. Stick to the classic biography structure
Whether your bio is 100 or 1,000 words in length, its structure remains pretty much the same. You start with an introduction that presents you to the reader briefly and contains your name and job title. Then, you proceed to the body of the bio where you explain where you currently are in your career. This may include the key professional accomplishments, projects you work on, areas of research or educational credentials. And finally, you end with describing your career goals, aspirations and projects you’d like to work on.
The only thing that is different depending on the bio length is the level of detail you include. In a short bio for a social media, you can only list 1-2 accomplishments briefly, whereas in a longer bio you may want to include figures and specify how you achieved great results and which qualities of a good employee helped you succeed.
3. Watch the word count
Every online platform, website or the employer requesting you to apply with a professional bio has their length limitations. Your biggest challenge here is to mention the key milestones of your career as well as reveal your personality without exceeding the limit.
The experts suggest that you aim for 500+ words when writing a bio for work or professional website. This is good for SEO purposes when you publish that bio online. For a human reader, this length is sufficient to throw light on your course of career, accomplishments, interests, and approach to work. But again, everything depends on the platform and the purpose. If you are only allowed to write 2-3 sentences for About the Author section, you’ll need to leave out the secondary details and concentrate on what matters most.
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4. Show where you currently are in your career
After you’ve introduced yourself, proceed to describing current state of things in your career. This may include your job title, the employer’s name, names of your most well-known clients if you’re a freelancer or independent contractor. You also need to mention the most notable accomplishments and credentials such as awards, professional certifications, or an advanced degree. After that, you may want to list your career interests and share what kind of projects you’re most passionate about. If you’re currently unemployed, it’s okay to list details from your most recent employment.
Why is this important? A person considering to cooperate with you (i.e. recruiter, prospective employer or client) needs to make sure that your background and strengths fit their requirements. A detailed career description will answer all questions they may have.
5. Share your professional philosophy and values
While your Twitter bio may not allow the sufficient space for that, this element is absolutely essential for longer bios. When evaluating candidates, employers want to know more than the skills, achievements and experience that you possess. Your approach to work, professional philosophy, and values which are defining in your daily work also determine what kind of employee you’ll be once you’re hired. For instance, if you prefer working individually in an aggressive and competitive environment, you’ll need a company that has similar philosophy.
In other words, your personality extends beyond your set of skills and fancy job titles. If you’ve never given this idea much consideration, it’s time to reflect on it. What drives you most in your daily job? What people notice in the first place about collaborating with you? How do you approach the daily duties? Once you’ve answered these questions, be sure to touch upon the results in a bio.
6. Add links to your samples of work
A perfect closing for your bio (if the format allows for it) is a link to your online portfolio or samples of work. ‘Show, don’t tell’ is the best philosophy when it comes to showcasing what you’re capable of professionally. This is particularly important for professionals whose nature of work allows for showing the specific results – designers, web writers, programmers, etc. If your work lies beyond these occupations, you can show off the results differently – for instance, by having a professional blog or describing case studies about your work with clients.
Publishing samples of your work in a bio online increases the chance that you’ll be contacted. So, think of the ways to present your most impressive work to anyone who could be potentially interested.
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7. Don’t list the accomplishments – tell a story
If you’re new to writing professional bios, it’s easy to fall into trap of reiterating your job titles, accomplishments, and clients. However, keeping the track of your jobs and achievements should be reserved for a resume. A bio should read like a holistic story that describes your career course and explains who you are professionally.
So, after you’ve identified what your key selling points are, find a way to connect them in a story that would engage the target audience and show your human side. For instance, you might want to tell how an occasional meeting with an old friend encouraged you to start your own company. You don’t need to turn a professional bio into an entertaining article. But mentioning 1-2 facts that have determined your course of career or became a foundation for your accomplishments will liven up your bio and make it more appealing for the readers.
8. Consider adding personal details
In addition to listing formal, career-related facts such as job titles, achievements and career goals, you might want to throw light on what inspires you outside of work. Some professionals mention personal hobbies, interests, fun facts or anything else that shows their human side. Some experts say that these details can serve as an ice-breaker between you and the audience or hiring person and help establish human contact.
In either way, whether you should include personal details or not depends on your goals and the audience. If you’re filling out an online application on a corporate website, telling that you’re a cat lover and baseball enthusiast won’t probably help you stand out. On the flip side, sharing the same details in About the author section of your guest blog may encourage the readers to learn more about you.
9. Go beyond your professional bio
Your bio, whether it’s a 100-word story for social media or a comprehensive executive biography, should be up to scratch. But don’t neglect other career-related documents as well. Your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile should be flawless as well. More importantly, they need to be created in line with your bio, so that all career sources tell the same story about you.
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How to write a short bio?
Want to create a brief and concise bio for Twitter or Facebook page? Condensing years of experience into a couple of sentences is challenging but possible. Your bio should contain the information as follows:
· Your name and job title (or the profession if you’re a freelancer or unemployed)
· Company name (if currently employed)
· 1-2 most notable achievements (such as award-winning sales rep)
· Ultimate career goal (for instance, if you’re job-seeking or eager to work on a particular type of project)
· 1-2 hobbies and interests (optional).
An example of a professional bio
Above, we’ve listed all the elements for writing an attention-grabbing bio. Yet, it’s better to learn writing your bio with an example. Let’s take a look at this sample of a professional bio for LinkedIn page:
- I am a creative, result-driven Web Developer with 5+ years of experience designing and building user interfaces, testing, and overseeing development teams. Currently, I work for XYZ company developing user-centered websites for nationwide retailers and real estate companies.
My accomplishments include optimizing website performance resulting in 15% increase in sales and creating dynamic sites that give businesses a competitive advantage. Currently, I am looking for a Team Leader role to leverage my leadership skills, business acumen and drive teams in development of cutting-edge web solutions.
Note that this example is written from first person as recommended for LinkedIn bios. The candidate also shares their position, company names and explain what their current responsibilities are. This summary also presents their strengths and accomplishments as well as explain what kind of the position they are looking for.
Get an expert resume review for free
Once you’ve created a short professional bio, it’s time to make sure that your resume positions you well for the jobs you’re aiming for. On our website, you can have your resume reviewed by an American or British resume maker. Send us your resume, and receive a detailed report covering its strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommendations for improvement. It’s free of charge.
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