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How to: Make a professional bio

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

Is your bio as good as it can be? Do you even have a professional bio?


In this blog, we will try to guide you through a few steps to take when creating your own bio, and we’ll even share some templates for you to use and get started.


The majority of people don't think about their bio until they're asked to send one over and then you have only a few hours to knock one up. That's when we scramble around, trying google bio examples and our bio ends up reading like a boring, vanilla paragraph that wouldn’t excite Mr Bean!


Dropping the traditional format of listing your accomplishments like a robot and cramming as much professional-sounding jargon in there as you can is now common place and does not make you stand out in a world of “vanilla”.



How to write a professional bio


Start your bio by using your first and last name.Cover your current position and what you do.Include all your professional achievements.Detail your personal values and how this is forming your career.Cover what makes defines you and who you are outside of work.Create an 'About' section on your website or profile.Consider using humor or a personal story to make your professional bio stand out.



Start your bio by using your first and last name


If the reader doesn’t remember anything else about your bio, make sure they remember your name.


The best way to achieve this is to make sure the first two words of your professional bio are your first and last name. Even if your name is written above the bio (which it should) still do this because your bio can be cut and pasted by anyone therefore by putting your name in the actual bio it will always there.


For example, if I were writing my own bio, I would start it like this:


Michael Foster

Michael Foster is the founder and CEO of Purple Yak as well as an active Non Executive Director (NED) in the charity sector.



Cover your current position and what you do


Your readers may not know what your job title entails so make your primary responsibilities known, this will help them paint a picture of who you are during the day and what you have to offer the sector you’re in.



Include all your professional achievements


Your professional bio should let your readers know what you've achieved. What have you done for yourself and others, that makes you a valuable player in your industry?



Detail your personal values and how this is forming your career


Why do you do what you do?


What might make your contribution to the market different than your colleagues?


Better yet, what values do you and your colleagues share that would make your business a worthwhile investment to others? Start to wrap up your professional bio by simply explaining what gets you up in the morning.



Cover what makes defines you and who you are outside of work


Transition from describing your values in work to describing who you are outside of work.


This should include:

  • Your family

  • Where you reside

  • Sports, hobbies and interests

  • Music and bands

  • Travel destinations

  • Side hustles you're working on


People like to connect with people so the more transparent you are about who you are personally, the more likeable you'll be to the people reading about who you are professionally.



Create an 'About' section on your website or profile


Before publishing your professional bio, you need a public space for it.


  • Here are a few to examples:

  • Facebook (business)

  • LinkedIn

  • Instagram

  • Personal website

  • Business website

  • Personal blog


The length and tone of your bio will differ depending on which of the above platforms you choose to be on.


Instagram, for example, allows only 150 characters of bio space, whereas you can write virtually as much as you want on your personal website or your Facebook page.



Consider using humour or a personal story to make your professional bio stand out


Leaving your audience with something quirky or unique will ensure they'll leave your bio with a lasting impression of you.



Why great bios are important for todays professionals


It's important to follow the steps above when writing your bio, but don't focus on any one section. Keep in mind that the people reading your bio are suffering from information fatigue. If you don't satisfy the reader in the first few lines, you'll lose them quickly.


So what?


It's just a bio. I mean, how many people actually read professional bios, anyway?


The answer: A lot of people. More importantly, though, there's no way to tell exactly who is reading it and you always want it to be ready for when the right people to come across it.


More importantly, it's the tool that you can leverage most when you're networking. People who meet you, will try and find, then read your professional bio.


Whether they remember it, and whether it makes them actually care about you, is a matter of how well you present yourself to your intended audience.



TEMPLATES TO GET YOU STARTED



Third Person Templates


[NAME] is an experienced ____, ____, and ____. Driven by ____, he/she takes pride in providing the best ____ possible. As a [ENTER JOB TITLE HERE], his/her goals include ____, ____, and ____. In addition to his/her primary job functions, [NAME] has been recognised by ____ for his/her extraordinary commitment to ____.

[NAME] began his/her career with [COMPANY], gaining unparalleled experience in the ____ space, while also establishing himself/herself as a respected ____. Currently working as a [JOB TITLE] for [COMPANY], [NAME] is widely known for his/her ____, ____, and ____ expertise. While his/her speaking engagements have taken him/her around the world, [NAME] is proud to call [LOCATION] home.

[NAME] has worked in the ____ industry for ____ years, gaining experience in ____, ____. ____. and ____. As a seasoned [ENTER JOB TITLE HERE], he/she is passionate about advancing ____ and ____. In addition to ____, he/she is also involved in ____ and ____. Outside of the office, [NAME] enjoys ____, ____, and ____.

A pioneer in the ____ space, [NAME] is the [JOB TITLE] at [CURRENT COMPANY]. He/she started his/her career as the [JOB TITLE] at [PREVIOUS COMPANY], before moving on to do ____ at [PREVIOUS COMPANY]. Driven by a mission to ____, [NAME] is best known for inspiring ____ to ____.



First Person Templates


After earning my [Degree] in [Area of Study] from [School], I entered the [Industry] world to explore my passion for ____, ____, and ____. Currently, I work as a [Job Title] for [Company], where I'm focused on ____, ____, and ____.

I’ve spent the last [Number] years learning everything there is to know about the ___ industry -- from ____ to ____. I’m currently applying this knowledge in my role as [Job Title] for [Company], where I’m responsible for ____, ____, and ____.

I've held a number of ____ roles, from [Role 1] to [Role 2], but my latest challenge has been helping [Company] improve ____ and ____ through my contributions as the [Job Title]. You can follow my work here [Personal Website or External Portfolio Link].

I am a [Job Title] at [Company] in [Location]. In this role, I ____, ____, and ____. I work with a number of respected ____, including ____, ____, and ____. Prior to [Company], I oversaw ____ at [Previous Company].

With an extensive background in ____, I am an expert on ____ and ____. This work led me to my current role at [Company] where I am responsible for ____, ____, and ____. Some of my current projects include ____ and ____.