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How to write your professional bio

This task is widely loathed. I have worked with absolutely no executives who proactively chose to write their own biography ahead of an event, or who relished the idea of updating their LinkedIn summary of their own accord.

But as you climb the corporate ladder, or if your work will soon be published in an online magazine, you're going to need a concise description of your experience that sells you well. First, consider your reason to want a bio: Do you need to represent your company at an event, push your personal brand, or communicate your skills to recruiters? Let's go through each use case.

1. You've been asked to speak at an event on behalf of your company.

As a professional content marketer, this is the kind of bio we help people with the most. If left to our own devices, most of us will list our jobs, industry, and rely heavily on expressions like "passionate about" and "years of experience in" in our speaker bios.

How can you avoid this? Use these phrases:

  • My time in... drove me to specialise in...

  • My one true obsession is...

  • Roles in... were invaluable stepping stones to my current mission: ...

  • Today, I am a... Tomorrow, you'll see me...

  • I mentor in...

  • I stand out for...

  • ... recognised my expertise with the ... award.

Let these phrases inspire three short sentences about you and link them. Remember to mention your current company's industry or value prop.

  • My one true obsession is SEO.

  • Through roles in marketing, website design, and copywriting, I've garnered a portfolio of successful SEO projects and my current company saw this spark in me, back in 2010.

  • Since then, myself and the company have been recognised for our online prowess with 8 awards.

Lastly, put your bio into third person, if appropriate.

2. You're building a professional brand, with a view to freelance or launch a business.

Bios for your own brand are highly personal. The nice thing about writing for this purpose is that you can have more fun with it. Honesty is always the best policy but transparency is even more desirable when building a personal brand that you want to outlast you. You can also slip in a joke if that's indicative of your personality.

Here are some people who do an excellent job of establishing their brand with a short bio:

  • Louis Grenier - "I help fearless businesses to stand the f*ck out"

  • Rory Sutherland - "TED Global speaker | Author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Don't Make Sense"

Not sure where to get started? Drop me a line with thoughts on your personal brand.

3. You need to communicate your skills to recruiters effectively.

If you're trying to grab the attention of a certain recruiter or company, check out their C-Suite's bios and those of their talent team (great recruiter example below). If you can emulate that style, you're more likely to get them reading till the end of your bio.

Here are professionals with different styles but equally valuable approaches to attract hiring managers:

  • Jessica Swanson - "Partnering to deliver exceptional content for inspired projects."

Please note, Write Wiser has no personal affiliations with the above people, we simply admire their work and bios. We hope they're useful examples.

Want help creating your own personal bio for professional events and job-searches? Get in touch!



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