Have you noticed that everyone seems to have a bio nowadays? Google the name of your favorite celebrity, visit their website and you’ll probably find a bio with his or her accomplishments, career beginnings, areas of expertise and much more. Well, you don’t have to be famous to sell yourself like a celebrity. The beauty of a bio is that it helps you tell your story in a way that sells you well.
1. It’s like dating – First Impressions Count: Imagine if your blind date shows up with a dirty shirt and smelly breath, you’d have to be pretty desperate to give that person a second date, wouldn’t you? Since a bio is a summary of who you are, show yourself at your best not only by watching your spelling and grammar but with a great pickup line- strong opening sentence that grabs the reader. Start with your name and your profession; if you’re a “Finance Manager” don’t leave that crucial information in the last sentence. Remember, not everyone will read your entire bio even if they want to hire you.
2. Short and sweet vs. long and boring: From one or two paragraphs to eight paragraphs at the most, short bios are easier to read and more attractive to employers than two page monsters. This isn’t the story of Henry VIII and his many wives and your employer isn’t interested in that “A” you got in AP Calculus during your high school years. What they do care about is your most important accomplishments, where you went to college, what promotions you achieved, what makes you the best candidate for the job, etc.
3. Keep it relevant: A bio should mention the reason you want the job or what inspired you to choose that profession, it’s also important to mention your many talents and be completely honest since readers can smell weaknesses. Think of real estate advertising, would you rather buy a house with oversized windows or one with floor to ceiling windows? The truth always sells better than a lie so don’t “oversize” your talents.
4. Write in the third person: I did this and I did that, and I myself think that I am the best gets pretty annoying pretty quickly. The beauty of writing in the third person is that the writing not only sounds more credible but if you’re shy about selling yourself this technique will help you look at yourself from another perspective and describe your abilities without feeling that you’re boasting.
5. Contact isn’t just a movie: Just like you wouldn’t network without a business card, you don’t want a bio that doesn’t list your e-mail and phone number in your last sentence. Remember, resumes get lost, e-mails get deleted but if they find a printed copy of your bio they can find you.
6. Feed your ego with feedback: Everyone needs a reality check from time to time, and who better than a friend or trusted advisor to look at your bio and see if you sold yourself accurately, if you left important things out and if you explained well who you are and what you do. If they read it and are confused by what you wrote, rewrite it until they get it.
7. Keep it current: Who wants to date someone with a picture of what they looked like 10 years ago? As your career advances so must your bio move forward with necessary updates to reflect your new reality. A bio that says you are currently working for Cubicle Incorporated when in reality you are freelancing or took time off to become a mom is completely embarrassing.
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By The EduPlan Team