“Send us a bio!” A terrifying phrase. But it doesn’t have to be. Writing your bio, whether it’s for your organization’s website, your personal LinkedIn, or for a project you’re part of, can be anxiety-inducing and frustrating. Bios can be a powerful job-seeking tool if leveraged the right way. These tips will help you tell your story the best way possible.
First Things First
Your name and professional title are the most prominent features of your bio (apart from the photo – see last paragraph). However, depending on your profession, this may differ between platforms. For example, a doctor could choose to keep her maiden name after marriage because of the familiarity factor, even if she chooses to adopt her partner’s family name for legal purposes.
Cater to the Platform
Your bio is a version of you for the world to see … on one platform. Unsurprisingly, user demographics vary wildly between platforms; the average age, income bracket, and professional status of the average Facebook fan is remarkably different from the average TikTok user’s.
Even less surprisingly, different groups will respond differently to what they read. In fact, some may not be bothered to read at all and prefer a video bio. Your objective in creating any bio is to create a connection with your target audience.
Adjust your language and tone accordingly. If it’s helpful, create a completely different version for each platform. Try different versions on the same platform to compare the response. Tweak.
Your bio is not your resumé; it is much briefer but more personal. However, you can use that formal document as the launchpad.
Choose two or three highlights to be the anchor points and weave a personal story between them. Unlike the prim and proper resumé, your bio should lean at least slightly towards the informal. Quirky facts and humor are more than welcome – they give the reader an insight into the person behind the profession.
Bios are also often written in the third person as opposed to the common first-person language that you will find in a resumé (and almost everywhere else).
Borrow and Adapt
Whether people admit to it or not, most bios are amalgams of others’ that they previously read and enjoyed. Do the same thing. Read and note down which you liked and why.
Would the bits that made you think or made you smile be suitable for someone in your role, company and industry? Would they be appropriate for your prospective employers or clients?
Put your own version together using your unique voice and story as the glue. Ask yourself those questions again when you finish your first draft. Tweak the text until you can answer all those questions affirmatively.
Done? Not Quite.
Your bio is never really done unless you are comfortably retired. No matter your age, keep every version of your bio on every platform updated with your latest roles and achievements. You may also wish to include a more current photo every couple of years or so. For help with totally revamping your bio or just a few last minute tweaks, contact me today.