Guide to Writing a Bio (With Examples)March 12, 2020
There are many reasons you may write a bio. You might use a bio on your resume, company website, portfolio or job application. A bio should quickly explain your most important accomplishments, traits and qualifications. Bios are written in many different ways and should be tailored for their use. There are several steps you can take to craft a memorable bio for any situation.
How to write a bio
You can write a clear, impactful bio by following a few easy steps:
1. Decide whether to write your bio in first or third person
Context plays an important role in whether your bio should be written in first or third person—whether you refer to yourself as “I” (first person) or by your name (third person). In many cases, professional bios (for a company website, for example) are written in third person, while personal bios (for an online profile, for example) are written in first person. If you’re writing a bio for work, ask your manager or editor which is more appropriate. Otherwise, consider whether you want your audience to have a more personal experience when reading your bio. For a more personal tone, write a first-person bio.
2. List your current position
If you’re creating a bio while currently employed, list your current position or job role, such as “Senior Associate” or “Editor.” If you are unemployed and creating a bio as part of an online profile, you can list your previous role or your current expertise. For example, you could list “Web Developer” or “Professional Nanny.”
3. Identify your company or employer
Identifying your current employer can help your audience get an idea of your experience, industry and whether or not you are currently available for work. After identifying your position, title or role, identify your employer. If you do not currently have an employer or are self-employed, you can skip this step.
4. Identify your professional and personal philosophy
For the next step, ask yourself, “What work or life philosophy informs how I succeed?” You might consider including the answer in your bio to help the audience understand what motivates you. For example, if developing strong relationships is important to your work, you could write, “Developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything I do, both professionally and personally.”
5. Consider whether to include personal details
In most cases, you do not have to share personal details in your bio. However, it might be helpful in some situations to help people understand you better as a well-rounded individual.
Examples of personal details you might include are:
- Favorite TV shows, movies, or books
- Information about family life
- Funny details about habits or interests
- Unique personal history
An example of a short bio that includes personal details could look like the following example:
“My name is John Sullivan. I’m an HR professional with a decade of experience working within the intricacies of people management. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking with friends and family.”
With details like hobbies or interests, your audience is more likely to feel connected to you on a personal level. Including a hobby in your bio is a great way to make it more casual with a human element.
Example bio for inspiration
The length of your bios may vary depending on the situation. If you’re writing a bio for a company website, for example, you may have strict guidelines for word count. The steps above serve as a useful guide to help organize your thoughts for a helpful, informative bio. Remember to follow any instruction provided by your employer or job application.
Here is an example of a longer-form third-person bio for a professional situation:
“John Sullivan is a Human Resources specialist with a decade of successful experience in hiring and employee management. John specializes in Human Resource technologies and regularly attends national training sessions to showcase new HR tech trends, such as self-service, wellness apps, and people analytics tools. A strong believer in the power of positive thinking in the workplace, John regularly develops internal wellness campaigns to assist employees with effective mental health techniques. John enjoys a good Netflix binge but can also be found on long bike rides on hilly country roads.”
You may find it helpful to write multiple versions of your bio for both professional and personal purposes. Ask trusted friends and colleagues to review your bio for tips on improving your spelling, grammar or included information.