Writing a short bio is an important part of introducing yourself to potential employers, clients or contacts. Your short bio has the potential to help you make positive impressions that can impact your professional development and success. If you are interested in learning to write effective short bios, you will need to know what to include and what a successful short bio looks like. In this article, we discuss the purpose of a short bio, review steps on how to write one and look at some short bio examples.
Read more: Guide to Writing a Bio (With Examples)
What is a short bio?
Short bios are concise, biographical paragraphs that professionals use to introduce themselves. You can often find short bios on social media profiles, personal websites and company team directories. Short bios are typically used to provide a summary of an individual's accomplishments, an overview of their career history and a description of their professional goals.
Your short bio is often the first (and perhaps only) thing a potential employer, client or contact will read before deciding to contact you, so it is important that your bio be accurate, informative and memorable. It’s a good idea to include:
- Your name
- Your current job title
- Your company name or personal brand statement
- Your hometown
- Your alma mater
- Your personal and professional goals
- A relevant achievement or accomplishment
- Your hobbies
Your skills and areas of expertise
Short bios are brief by definition so it is important to determine which of these topics is most important to make the best impression on your readers.
Read more: 5 Steps for Great Business Writing
How to write a short bio
Writing a short bio can be a deceptively challenging task. Here are some steps you can follow to help you write a successful short bio:
- Choose a voice
- State your job title
- State your philosophy
Share your accomplishments
1. Choose a voice
The first step in writing a short bio is deciding on a voice. For our purposes, choosing a voice involves deciding whether you are writing in the first or third person. Writing in the first person means using the words "I" and "me", while writing in the third person means using your name.
For instance, if you are writing a slightly informal bio for your Twitter profile, first-person would probably be the best fit. However, if you are adding a bio to your company page and all your coworkers used third-person in their paragraphs, you should certainly follow suit. Your voice should accurately represent who you are as a person, so you might also adjust your voice to be more professional, witty, friendly or reserved, depending on your personality.
2. State your name and job title
In the first sentence of your short bio, you will need to give your name and your current job title. For example, your bio might begin with "Sarah Hayes is the Senior Marketing Director for Blooming Street Creative". If you are in the process of finding a job, you can list your most recent title or your college major. This might look something like "My name is John Grayson and I am a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Web Design and Development".
3. State your philosophy
After introducing yourself, you may want to relate your personal or professional mission statement. This should answer the question, "Why do you do what you do?". Your personal philosophy may involve serving others, providing for your family or making the most of your opportunities. Your professional philosophy could relate to expanding your expertise, contributing to society or learning new skills. Your philosophy should give your reader an accurate idea of what matters the most to you.
Read more: Core Values: Overview and Examples
4. Share your accomplishments
Writing a short bio is similar to writing a resume in that you will want to highlight your professional accomplishments. However, you will need to describe them in a way that any reader can understand. Instead of describing yourself as a "Carthage award-winning graphic artist," you might write that you are a "multi-talented graphic artist who won the 2019 Carthage Award for artistic excellence and innovation." Even if your reader is not familiar with your specific industry's awards, they will likely respond well to positive keywords like "innovation."
You most likely will not have room to list all past accomplishments, so it is important to choose which ones to highlight. Focus on awards or recognitions that relate to a variety of professional skills or that speak to your proficiency and competence.
Tips for writing a short bio
Here are some tips for how to write a successful short bio:
Most short bios are between four and eight sentences long, so you will only have room to discuss a limited amount of personal information. To help you determine which facts are the most relevant, you will need to consider your audience and your primary purpose. If you looking for a new job in the medical field, you will want to list your degrees, credentials and professional skills. If you are a freelancer advertising your services, you might include your years of experience, a description of your style and why you chose to pursue your particular area of expertise.
One of the most important roles that a short bio plays is humanizing you in the minds of your readers. A well-written short bio will give your reader an accurate impression of who you are, both professionally and personally. Including specific details like descriptions of your family, your hobbies or other passions can help your readers relate to you and understand your motivations.
It is important for your short bio to be an accurate representation of who you are. When writing your bio, be sure to describe your accomplishments honestly, without exaggerating. It is a good idea to highlight your professional strengths but you also want to be able to live up to your promises. Authenticity and sincerity is the best option when writing a short bio.
Short bio examples
Here are a couple of examples of what a successful short bio might look like:
“Mary Jones is an Administrative Assistant with eight years of experience working alongside the executive team of a Fortune 500 company. Mary specializes in administrative technology and is responsible for educating other employees on using progressive systems and applications, including accounting software, mass communication procedures and organizational apps. Mary is a powerful force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Mary is inspired daily by her husband and their two daughters. In her free time, Mary likes to hike, crochet and play video games with her grandson."
"My name is Alex Drysdale and I am a Junior Web Developer for Oswald Technologies. I am an accomplished coder and programmer, and I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting technological advances that happen every day at Oswald Tech. I graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Software Development. While in school, I earned the 2015 Edmund Gains Award for my exemplary academic performance and leadership skills.