A bio can be used on your website, social networking profiles and many other online avenues. It’s there to let other people know more about you and what you are good at. It also tells people important information like what you do for a living. A bio does a very important job, and can help you out professionally. A bio unfortunately also sticks out like a sore thumb when it is too short and inadequate. The other side of this is if it is too long. You don’t want your audience to get bored and stop reading. If you worked as a sales manager for 15 years and were just promoted to district manager for your company, you would have a great deal to say in your bio. Remember that your bio is just as important as a business card, and in fact it does many of the same things a good business card should do. A good business card will both inform and intrigue the viewer and do it in a professional way. A person looking at a good business card will be at least slightly intrigued and will have a good feeling about its owner just by looking at the card. A bio should do the same thing. With a bio, it’s much easier to go into further detail than a business card. You won’t be limited to a small piece of paper to get your point across.
A great bio should do several things. It should inform the viewer about relevant information you want them to know, it should highlight your strengths much in the same way that a resume does and it should give the viewer a sense of your professionalism. It should also provide some sense of your personality so that your target market can relate to you on a personal level as well. The last and most important thing that a bio should do is emphasize the skills that you possess that will demonstrate that you are the person that will suit their business needs.
You should also highlight your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. Just like you would do in a resume, where you try to portray yourself in the best light possible, do the same in a bio. If your big strength is multitasking, than you should absolutely mention it in the bio you write. Think of some great things about yourself that you would include in a resume; these are pure gold for a bio. If you’re having trouble thinking of things to include, ask a friend to list your strengths for you. You’ll be surprised what they might say. Sometimes it’s hard to think of our own virtues but it’s easy for others to see them. One thing that many cannot agree on is whether to include some personal interests or hobbies in your bio. I think that is something that should be included but not be a major part. For example, I would say that I am married with two sons. I would also include a few of my hobbies. Then I would leave it at that. This provides my potential clients with a sense that I am a person and possibly someone that shares a common interest.
The last and most important aspect of a good bio is professionalism. Unless your bio is just for fun and is in no way tied to your occupation, you must strive to be as professional as possible. Remember to think of your bio as sort of an extended business card, or as a resume; its job is very similar. When using a bio in a business sense, its main job is to tell the world how great you are and, more to the point, how professional you are. This means having well written, complete sentences. It means having no spelling errors whatsoever. Have someone proofread your bio before posting on your website. Often having an extra set of eyes can make the difference when writing a great bio. The last part of a professional bio simply comes down to pure quality. If you aren’t a strong writer then perhaps you should have someone else write it for you. Tell them the overall message you want to give and sit with them as they write it, giving them some guidance. It may seem drastic to have someone else write it for you, but if writing is not your strength you may end up showing yourself in a less than favorable light, which defeats the purpose of a bio in the first place. Two other important points that I must mention are: write your bio in the third person (this sounds more professional) and update your bio on a regular basis. You want your bio to shine you in the best light possible and provide an accurate portrayal of your skills and experience.