Career Development

How to Write a Bio That Represents Your Professional Self

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Your professional biography is often the first way an industry member or a prospective employer learns about you. Writing one that clearly and effectively represents you and what you do is key to making an outstanding first impression. This article will provide tips and examples for writing a compelling professional bio.

What is a professional bio?

A professional biography is a statement that summarizes who you are and what you do as a professional. It might include information such as your current position, education, accomplishments and interests. People use professional biographies on social media pages, college applications, resumes, bylines and personal or company websites. When employers read your bio, they should be able to tell whether your experience and character fit within their company.

How to write a professional bio

Follow these steps to help you write a professional biography:

1. Identify your audience

Your audience should guide the tone of your bio. A professional bio for a resume will likely be far more formal than one for a social media platform. For guidance, look to descriptions of professionals in your field. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, read through employee bios on marketing company websites to see how they represent themselves.

2. Pick your point of view

To help your bio appear more objective, write it in the third person. First-person bios are more personal and tend to be better suited for social media profiles and private blogs.

3. Introduce yourself and your role

Start your bio with your full name and title. If you are employed, list your position and employer so your audience clearly understands your industry and experience level. If you are unemployed, you might list your previous position or years of experience in the field.

For example, ‘Adrian Holmes is a technical support specialist from Houston, Texas, with more than four years of experience helping businesses solve software problems.’

4. Share your strengths and accomplishments

State what you specialize in and one or two of your achievements or awards, if relevant. By describing what you are good at, you are telling your audience why you are well-qualified for this position and that you are more than just a job title.

For example, ‘Adrian specializes in data access and was a member of the support team that earned the Service Desk Institute’s 2018 Best Service Improvement Project award.’

5. List something you’re working on

If you are working on a special project or pursuing continuing education, share that information so people can see that you are motivated and hard-working.

For example, ‘Adrian is currently learning a third programming language.’

6. Add interesting but professional details

In some cases, you may want to show your personality by listing a few of your hobbies, interests, favorite books or movies or fun facts about yourself. These details give your professional bio a human touch and can be useful conversation starters during interviews or networking opportunities.

For example, ‘When Adrian’s not behind a computer screen, she is training for her first half-marathon and road-tripping around Texas.’

7. End your bio with contact info

If you want to give people a way to contact you, end your bio with your email address and, if appropriate, your professional social media handle, blog or website.

You can organize the details of your professional bio in a different order than what is listed here. You might also include other details, such as degrees and institutions where you received them, depending on your experience and your audience. If you have not been given a word count for your bio, try to keep it under 500 words.

Professional bio example

Here is an example of a third-person professional biography that follows the above steps:

‘Reagan Park is a technical editor with Journals Inc. who produces high-level scientific content for research organizations. Reagan works closely with researchers to publish accurate information in the applied science field and regularly attends technical communication conferences to stay current with the latest trends and tools. Reagan earned a Distinguished Community Service Award from the Society for Technical Communication for mentoring young scientists in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. He is currently completing a course in web coding to strengthen his desktop publishing skills. A 2009 graduate of the University of Louisville, Reagan is an active member of the local cycling community and enjoys perfecting his culinary skills in his free time.’

Tips for writing a professional bio

Here are popular tips that will help you write a compelling professional bio:

  • Use examples to show your experience. Rather than saying you are a successful graphic designer, for instance, share a significant project or two you have created the visuals for.
  • Avoid using industry jargon or slang.
  • Only include information that adds value to the bio.
  • Use active voice to keep your bio engaging, clear and concise.
  • Base the tone and organization of your professional bio on your audience and industry. 
  • Update your bio as you gain experience, accomplish new things or enter new jobs or industries. 

Practice writing a professional bio before you need one. Then you will have a template that you can perfect depending on the platform, tone and purpose. Your goal is to use concise and engaging language to make a strong first impression on prospective employers and other professionals in your industry.