A bio is an important part of marketing yourself. Whether you’re a contract worker looking to introduce yourself, or you’re applying for a new job and trying to stand out from the crowd, a well-written bio can make or break that first impression.
There are times, however, when your space to make that impression isn’t very big. What do you do if you only have a paragraph or two to make your mark? Here are a few tips to make your bio work for you.
There are a few key elements that should be present in all bios, no matter how short it needs to be:
The first thing you want your audience to walk away from with your short bio is who you are. This area is also a great place to link to a business website or a Linkedin page!
Your Alma Mater
If you have an advanced degree, especially if it’s relevant to the field you’re applying for, include it here. You worked hard for that degree, so make sure to mention it!
If you’ve ever worked in the industry you’re applying for, speak about any experience and accomplishments you may have.
This collection is by no means an exhaustive list of things to mention in your bio. If you aren’t sure what to say, however, this is a good place to start! You can always build on a short bio if you have at least these elements.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind while you write your short bio:
Sometimes a short bio can work against you by only allowing you a few sentences to explain what you have to offer. You might think you’ll have better chances if you speak in broad terms about your skills and experiences, but more often than not, this kind of bio can be confusing to readers.
What exactly is it that you’re offering? How are you the best candidate for the job? The key to a successful short bio is being specific about what you can do that no one else can.
Another key facet of the short bio is remembering to keep it just that: short. If you only have a few sentences to make your bio, focus on your experience or service’s most important facet.
Take, for example, Oceans Healthcare’s short bio. In less than 100 words, they conveyed exactly what they do by offering the most important information to their prospective clients.
Honesty is key in a bio, no matter how short it is. The information in a short bio may hook employers, but remember, a bio always leads to an interview. Suppose that you’ve stretched the truth or exaggerated the details to make yourself look more attractive, and your employer finds out.
Not only has the good impression you made been completely undermined, but employers may also now begin to think of you as dishonest. It may be enticing to inflate your accomplishments, but keep it honest. Honesty will go a long way!
Read Short Bios
It’s an old adage in writing that you can’t write well if you don’t read. If you’ve never written a short bio before, reading a few examples can help inspire and guide your writing.
An excellent article on Indeed goes more in-depth on writing short bios and includes examples of successful short bios. Whenever you need to write or update a brief bio, take some time to read them to get a sense of what employers are looking for.
Don’t Be Consistent
This advice may sound counterintuitive, but there are so many platforms you can use to create a brand in the social media age. The same bio you would use on Twitter shouldn’t be used as your bio on Linkedin and vice versa. You’ll reach vastly different audiences on each platform, so make sure to tailor your bio to each specific page.
If you’re still unsure where to begin, you can’t go wrong with a good template: Envato has an article on its website featuring a plethora of short bio templates. Start with a template, then tweak it until you can make it your own.
Writing short bios can be difficult, but it’s a skill you can learn like anything else. Practice, read other successful bios, and have fun with it! It may take time, but eventually, you’ll land on your perfect short bio.