Your professional bio is, arguably, the most important piece of copy you’ll ever write about yourself. It’s the first introduction to who you are, what you do, and what you’re interested in—whether a blurb on a social media platform, a personal website, or company team page. What you choose to highlight may play a role in others deciding to follow you, call you in for an interview, or invite you to participate in an event. It’s an opportunity for you to—in a few lines—showcase your work, competence, and areas of expertise. In short, it’s the first look at your personality.
Because of this, writing it is not only important, it’s also really hard. Contemplating who you are as a human being is like practicing mental gymnastics. You’re basically tasked with trying to distill who you are and what you do in a way that’s compelling to job seekers, potential clients, colleagues, and influencers all at once.
In spite of the myriad ways to write a bio—from super serious to light and fun—fortunately, the standard ones all follow a similar format and are somewhat formulaic in their approach. Check out the easy-to-follow template below for getting started on writing your own.
[Name] is a [title] who works with [who you help] to [how you help them].
[First name] [knows/believes] [what you know/believe about the work you do].
[First name] has [landed/secured/garnered/worked at/supported] [insert your most compelling experiences and wins].
[First name] is a [trained/certified/awarded] [insert relevant trainings, awards, honors, etc].
[First name] holds a [insert degree] in [insert area of study] from [insert university].
Note: That second sentence is the most important—in addition to listing your credentials, you want to give people a sense of why you do what you do. If you’re not sure how to answer this, ask yourself: Why do I do what I do? What inspires me to do this work? What do I believe about it?
What This Sounds Like
Alex Honeysett is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with CEOs, executives and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands, human-to-human. After spending nearly a decade working in PR and marketing for multimillion dollar brands and startups, Alex knows what truly drives conversions, sold-out launches, and New York Times interviews—and it’s not mastering the marketing flavor of the week. It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them.
Alex has landed coverage in print and broadcast outlets around the world, including the Today Show, Wall Street Journal, Mashable, BBC, NPR, and CNN. Her own articles have been featured in The Muse, Forbes, Inc., Mashable, DailyWorth, and Newsweek. In addition to her extensive PR and marketing experience, Alex is a trained business coach.
Alex holds a BA in communications and journalism from the University of Delaware.
A few last things to keep in mind as you finalize your bio: One, this template is meant to offer you a general framework only—if you find that you need to add an extra couple of sentences or determine that a section I’ve included doesn’t feel relevant to how you wish to present yourself, feel free to tweak it. Just don’t make it too long; more than 10 sentences, and you’re starting to get wordy.
Two, if you’re looking for a bio for your social media platforms, this example is going to be several sentences too long. But instead of starting from scratch, grab the first two sentences of the bio we just drafted. We’ve crammed a lot of great info in there: who you are, what you do, who you do it for, how you do it, and what you believe about the work you do.
Finally, this bio should evolve as you do. (I’m on my fourth iteration in two years.) If you start looking for jobs in different industries, have a new, exciting accomplishment to note, or if you just feel ready to update it, go for it.
Good news? Now that you’ve got this draft down, it’ll be easy—and less harrowing—to rework it from time to time as your interests grow and change and you get more comfortable describing who you are and what you do.