What To Include in a Biography
The internet offers people many ways to present themselves and their businesses. A biography is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the public, whether it's on your business's or employer's website, your personal portfolio, social networking platforms or in other places, both online and offline. If you are preparing your biography, it's beneficial to learn what to include in it. In this article, we review what a biography is in the workforce and the essential elements of a businessperson's biography.
Related: How To Write a Bio for Work: Examples and Template
In this video, Taylor, an Indeed Evangelist, shares his tips on crafting a bio that’s concise, authentic and a boost to your personal brand.
What is a biography?
A biography is a written piece of information that offers details about a person's life. In business, the purpose of a biography is often to increase awareness, sales or trust in the person's products or services. When it is published online, a biography can define the first impression a reader has about you as they look for you on search engines. Potential employers, clients, someone you met at a networking event and people who want to know more about you can all look you up and find your personal biography.
Tips for creating a biography
Here are some tips that can help your biography stand out:
Consider word count. Although professional biographies don't have a strict word count, many business social media platforms limit it to 100 or 160 words. This allows readers whose attention span is shorter to read it completely. If you write a biography for your website, your portfolio or your company's brochure, you may want to include 500 to 1000 words.
Use the third person. Writing about yourself in the third person allows you to include your full name, lets readers learn about you like reading a story and lets the search engine know that the content is about you.
Tell your story. While your resume lists your accomplishments, your biography tells more about who you are. Your objective is to differentiate yourself from others. After you reflect on who your audience is and the main things they need to know, you can approach writing your biography like an engaging story. Your biography can provide a way for readers to connect with you.
Aim for quality. Your biography is an authoritative source and should give the best impression of you. You can ask others to read it and give you feedback. Make sure you edit and analyze it with free online editing tools before publishing it.
Update your biography constantly. Your biography should evolve with you as you gain more experience, change your profession or adjust your goals. Take the time to regularly update it.
Elements to include in a biography
Here are the essential elements to include in your biography:
The first element to communicate is your first and last name. Make sure to introduce yourself with a short sentence so that the reader knows who you are before learning what you do.
Example: My name is Diane Bolt, and I help businesses solve their problems.
Date and place of birth
Your date and place of birth are basic information that you can put at the beginning of your biography to help readers know more about you. Including this information is optional.
Your brand or company name
State the name of the company you work for. If you own your own business or brand, be sure to communicate that.
Your current position
Tell the reader about your current position. You can state your job title and write a short description explaining what you do for a living. Be sure to include the value that you provide to your clients or customers.
Links to your work
If you have samples of your work that could interest the reader, provide links to your company website, portfolio or product. Mention those in a natural sentence that tells your story so that those links illustrate elements of your biography. They can enhance the content of your biography and catch the reader's attention. Links to your work can be an effective promotion tool for yourself or your business.
Your ultimate goal
Your ultimate goal is what you wish to accomplish and what drives you. It is an essential element to communicate, as it can help the reader better understand who you are. You can list your values and long-term goal or describe yourself in one sentence.
Lifetime achievements refer to all of your important successes that readers should know about. It is especially important in professional biographies to demonstrate success in your career. List at least your top three accomplishments. Inform the reader about your degrees, the awards you've won, articles that featured you in the press or praises you received from your customers or peers. If you have many achievements to choose from, select those that contribute to telling your story and that make you proud.
Challenges you overcame can help the reader understand how you became successful. Overcoming obstacles shows a different side of your personality. Sharing about the obstacles you faced also causes empathy and can be an inspiring element in your biography.
If you are writing a longer biography, you can choose to include more background information, such as where you grew up, the way you were raised and how it affected your life decisions. You can also tell the reader if you have a spouse or children. Including such details helps to humanize the biography by showing a more personal side of you.
Volunteering activities are relevant to list in a biography because they show the generous side of your personality. They can also inform the reader about your passion and what's important to you. If your community service is related to your industry, it demonstrates that you support your industry outside your work life.
Related: 7 Reasons to Consider Volunteering
Hobbies are a reflection of your personality. For example, sports can demonstrate how energetic you are, while artistic hobbies like music or painting can show that you are creative. You can also share how you spend time with your family or friends.
Professional affiliations include memberships in organizations or seats on boards. Sharing that information can show the reader that you are committed to your industry and interested in your work.
Anecdotes make a biography more entertaining. Readers want to know about stories from your past that contributed to your current success. For example, you can tell about how you loved to interview your family members and record yourself on camera when you were a child, which helped you become a successful television journalist.
Explain your plans for the future. For example, you can share how you plan to make an impact in your community, for your coworkers or in your industry. You can also explain how you envision your business in the next five years.
Include a direct way to contact you. List your email address, a link to your professional networking profile or the contact page of your website. Including your contact information with a link to your website or profile can be a great way to direct the reader to another platform where they can learn more about you or your business.
A good way to conclude your biography is by sharing your purpose. Explain the reason why you do the work you do or why you created your company or brand. Your purpose helps the reader understand your motivations and relate to you.
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