How to Write a Bio For Personal or Professional Use

howtowriteabiographyYou’re relaxing in your corner office after a powerhouse meeting of upper management. Your secretary comes walking in and breaks the relaxing mood by telling you that the advertising department needs professional bios from everyone in the office, and they need it by yesterday. Many people have issues talking about themselves, wondering where the line between bragging and facts is. Bios are used in company newsletters, promotional material, articles in magazines, website About Me sections, and countless other situations. When you learn how to write a good bio, you control exactly how you present yourself to the world at large.

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Identifying Relevant Facts

Unless you’re writing a complete book about your life, you can’t include every single detail of your personal or professional life. One of the most difficult parts of writing your bio is figuring out what you need to include. For professional bios, choose important career highlights and significant statistics. Practice a “show, don’t tell” method that uses facts instead of empty buzz words to show your impact on a company. Here are a few examples of facts to include in a business bio:

  • Your highest job title
  • Revenue numbers that you bring into a business
  • The amount of clients you brought to a company
  • Products and research you are involved in
  • Publications that you’ve been published in
  • Your business specialty area
  • Trade shows that you present at
  • Books you have published
  • Awards you’ve won
  • Educational background
  • Certifications (particularly in the technical field)

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Personal bios are a bit different. You’re generally using these on personal websites and blogs, for family events, and other informal situations. You don’t have to worry about your image quite as much with these bios, but it’s harder to avoid feeling like you’re bragging in the bio. Here are a few things to consider including on a personal bio:

  • A brief section about your career and business success
  • Information about your relationship and family
  • Your favorite hobbies
  • Recent places you’ve traveled to
  • Where you’re currently living
  • Any major life goals you’re working on
  • Educational accomplishments
  • Awards and acknowledgments
  • Certifications

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Consider Your Audience

When you’re sorting through the facts you want to present in your bio, consider your audience. Career information that would be impressive to mid-management might not be as interesting to upper management. The reverse is true as well. Information appealing to CEOs might come off as bragging to the middle management crew. It’s a balancing act that takes some trial and error to get right, but if you can find out where the bio is going to appear, take the time to tailor it to the audience. It might not seem like a bio is a big deal, but when you do it right, you build your authority, make connections, and improve your career.

Take Advantage of Resource Links

Another advantage of creating a compelling bio is driving click through rates on your resource links. If your bio is going up on a website about me page or at the end of an article, the website may allow you to include resource links. These links contribute to your inbound marketing efforts and allow you to call attention to websites that appeal to the audience viewing your bio. All of these small marketing efforts add up, especially if you need to push a newer project that doesn’t have a great deal of momentum.