Whether you’re just starting your career at Compass Group or are a veteran employee like me, you’ve no doubt been tasked with writing a bio in your lifetime. Luckily, given the influence of social media – with everything from dating apps to LinkedIn – you’ve probably seen thousands, so it’s not so hard to whip one up for yourself.
While a professional bio doesn’t need to be complicated, you also can’t merely slap something together. The best bios are written thoughtfully and intentionally.
Also, if this blog teaches you just one thing, let it be that a social media bio is not the same as a professional bio. No one needs to know about your childhood nickname, kids’ hobbies or favorite color.
As they say in the South, “The sun doesn’t come up just to hear you crow.”
Writing a professional bio
Defining yourself in a few words can seem like a daunting task. Think about it: You have a whole life’s worth of experience – some more than others.
But have no fear. By following a few simple steps, a winning bio can be completed easier than you ever imagined.
Bios often fall short because they are wordy, boring, filled with meaningless business jargon or obviously thrown together without any thought about what would interest the reader. Professional bios should be concise, personable yet professional, and updated regularly. Plus, as with a resume, you need to tailor your bio for the purpose and the audience.
With five basic must-haves, you’ll be well on your way to writing a bio worth putting your picture beside:
1. Your first and last name
Professional bios are almost always written in the third person, so your full name should be included right away, making it easy for readers to identify and remember.
2. Your company or employer and current title/position
This one, too, seems fairly obvious, but this information establishes the here and now.
3. Your responsibilities and/or overall goal
In addition to a line about what your role entails, include the motivation for why you do your job. Readers are most invested in businesses and candidates who display a passion for their field and explain why they love their work.
4. Your top accomplishments (no more than three)
Self-promotion can be exhausting, even for the most confident person. But, along with that passion, your bio should highlight key moments in your professional life that you’re proud of.
5. Your interests
If necessary (it’s not always), this one should be sparse, helping establish you as a human (important in this AI world we’re building). Keep it simple and, always (still) professional. Remember: This is not your dating profile.
Following is a basic framework that can be used as a starting point:
[Full Name] is a [Job Title] who works at [Company Name]. For the past [Years Working There], [Pronoun] has worked on [Description of Work Responsibilities].
[Name] is passionate about [Career Field] because [Why Are You Passionate About Your Job?].
[Name] has been recognized in their field for [Professional Accomplishments] and graduated from [University].
In their spare time, [Name] enjoys [Hobby]. [Pronoun] currently lives in [Where You Live].
Don’t overthink it
Like I said, writing a bio doesn’t need to be hard. You don’t need to stray too far from the norm to stand out. Just by adding an few select adjectives that show your personality or an unusual accomplishment can make your bio stand out from the crowd.
Don’t be sad. We’ll be back on the first Monday next month with a new blog post. If you can’t wait that long – whether because you have a topic you’d love us to cover, a question or you simply want to throw your two cents into the pot – we love talkin’ shop, so drop us a line.