How to nail your professional bio

Whether you’re writing a bio for yourself, the company you work for, or even for someone else, you want to make sure that it’s exciting enough for others to take an interest. Writing corporate content is hard. Very few people really know how to write informative pieces that aren’t front loaded with a heavy sales push – and our bios are no different. They act as a marketing tool that helps others understand who we are (or what our company does), and aim to educate the reader by providing useful background information.

But how exactly do we do this?

The most basic thing to look out for would be the point of view in which you are writing from. A corporate bio should always be written in third-person as it sounds more credible and professional. But don’t let us get you confused with a LinkedIn or social media bio, as this should be written in first-person. Suggested read: LinkedIn for the entrepreneur

Here are some essentials you should keep in mind when you’re writing your bio:

Establish your credentials

Grab the reader’s attention and showcase formal credentials like certificates, awards and job titles. At the same time, don’t let your informal credentials go unnoticed. How have your life experiences shaped you as an individual and how has that gained you an advantage in a particular industry? Only talk about your most relevant accomplishments because you don’t want to drown your reader in a long list of accolades.

Build credibility

Demonstrate your expertise in a particular field by proving that what you do is recognised by others. Where possible, add in a list of articles you’ve been featured in or anything you have published that’s relevant.

Be human

We know, you want to impress others by sounding as professional as you can. The thing is, we are all humans and come on, everybody loves a little humour. You want people to know that you take your work seriously, but at the same time can be relatable. Of course, always remember the context of your bio and where it’s like to appear, then tailor accordingly.

Keep it short and to the point

Speaking of space, the last thing your reader needs is a bio that just doesn’t seem to end…ever! With the human attention span getting shorter, it’s always good to only emphasise the most important points.

PRO TIP: Have both a short and long version of your bio.

Attach a photograph

This is probably the most underrated tip mentioned when it comes to writing bios. Yes, you’ve got your contact details there, you’ve included links to various social media profiles but you’re missing one of the most important features of a bio: a photograph. Readers like to put a face to the name, and when we say attach a photograph we don’t mean any casual selfie you took from your smartphone – get a professional shot taken as nobody likes to be let down by a sloppy picture.

Tone and format

Sit down and start thinking of how to best structure your bio. Where is it going to appear? Think about tone – formal or informal? Bios should be easily adapted to suit different situations. For example, a bio in a company media kit may be slightly different to one that you’d send off when pitching for an industry speaking slot, so it’s important to create something that you can adapt and repurpose.

Do you need help with your bio? Drop a message to [email protected] 

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