How Do I Write a Compelling Bio?
Writing is hard enough.
But writing about yourself?
Even the most seasoned professionals – and even those of us who write for a living – have been hunched over a computer staring at a blank screen when tasked with writing about themselves. But we all need bios, be it for our brand’s website, new business development, award opportunities or various media and other campaigns.
Here are some tips to writing a compelling bio:
- Use AP Style for titles, names, numbers, locations, et al.
- Use dates versus years. “Alison Bailin got her start in the industry in 2004” not “Alison Bailin got her start in the industry 19 years ago.” If you use dates, then the bio is good for years, meaning you do not have to go back and update the 19 to 20 next year, and then 20 to 21, and so on. 2004 will always be 2004.
- Write two bios. Develop a short bio of 250 words or less as well as a longer one that goes in depth.
- Do not use industry jargon. Write for the lay person. “Alison Bailin is a volunteer with the Public Relations Society of America’s Phoenix Chapter” not “Alison Bailin is a volunteer with PRSA Phoenix.”
- Bios should have current job title and responsibilities as well as job history, of course. But also note degrees received, major work achievements and awards (in lay terms), volunteer work, and civic engagement.
- Longer bios should weave in some personality. Share major obstacles overcome or even fun facts about you and your life.
- Speaking of fun facts, get outside of your comfort zone when thinking of what to list. Make it something memorable. For example, many people like to travel, hike, golf, and spend time with family. Consider being more specific. For example, while I do love all those things, check out the last paragraph of my bio and how I spice things up to give the reader something to remember. These fun facts can also act as an ice breaker when meeting folks in person.
- Use links. Be sure to link to your digital presence in your bio. And give people an easy way to get a hold of you. See how we do it here.
Need help writing a compelling bio? Let HMA Public Relations wordsmith your life story. Click here to get started.