Professional Bio's: Marketing Yourself the Right Way
Before I go on and on about the benefits of having a professional bio at your disposal, let me first start of by introducing what a PB actually is: A professional bio is basically a summary of who you are as a professional or businessperson. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers and the viewing public. PB’s allow you to kind of toot your own horn a bit and let people know what you are proud of and what aspects of your career shine the brightest.
The task for a writer tackling the professional bio, is to fit all of the most important professional experiences and achievements into a smaller piece of writing – typically 100 -200 words. This isn’t the same as an “About Page” since the bio should not be written from a storytelling perspective. Here you are dealing with a much shorter piece of writing that you should approach from a “this is what I do in a nutshell” type of angle. You have to kind of brag about yourself but in the most subtle and precise way possible.
There are three key components to achieving a well-rounded bio: credentials, purpose, personality. Begin with your credentials, which detail your main qualifications and experience. Remember, we’re trying to make this brief, so make a list instead of a paragraph or full sentences. The list should be composed of things that really show that you are a true expert in your field - a degree or certificate, number of years worked, where you have studied, or whatever you did in your previous career- anything that makes you look credible. You want people to read this section and think to themselves, “wow, this person really knows what they’re talking about when it comes to *insert career topic*.”
Your purpose is more about you personally. What is your purpose in this world? How does your chosen career path guide you to fulfilling that purpose? This is important because professional bios should not just talk about where you’ve been (credentials). They should also explain where you are going. This section should be more forward looking. You are focusing more on “who I’m becoming” as opposed to “what I’ve done.” Here, you want to share your mission and what difference your industry/personal brand can make in the world.
Personality. In this section of the bio, you’ll actually want a little bit of the story telling effect of an About Page, but to a much lesser degree. Do you have a unique approach to your field or the way in which you deliver your work? A passion for a particular aspect of your work? Whatever that distinctive quality is, don’t be afraid to throw it in there! This way, when people stumble across this section of your bio, they can get an idea of what type of teacher/speaker/businessperson that you truly are.
Be bold and confident when writing your bio. Remember you’re supposed to toot your own horn. Don’t worry, nobody’s going to be offended-just fascinated, and amazed with how your professional life has evolved. The reward for you is to inspire others to do the same while promoting your personal brand.
All right, enough jibber jabber from me. Reading this blog was the first step to making your mark by representing yourself in the business world with a professional bio. You already know what the next step is… Until next time, my friend, *virtual salute*.