How to write a profile on a person

Updated April 17, 2017

A written profile on a person is basically a nonfiction, semi-biographical feature on an individual of note like a politician, local businessman, well-known artist or musician, or celebrity. Profiles are often featured in magazines and newspapers, especially if the person's most recent achievements are newsworthy. For example, an actress with a new film in theatres may be profiled in a monthly magazine while a politician who has recently been elected to office might have a profile in the city's newspaper.

Do some general background research on the person. Learn as much as you can about his education, work history, personal projects, special achievements and any other information of note. Jot down a few questions you may want to ask the person. Think about what the purpose of your profile is and why you feel the need to profile this particular person.

Interview the person on whom you are seeking to write a profile. Also, interview people close to the person like relatives, friends and co-workers. Make sure you record all the interviews for reference later on. If you use direct quotes the person has given, it's important to have taped evidence to back up your claims in case the person you're profiling should dispute your writing.

Write the first paragraph of the profile, focusing on introducing the person to your readers. This will read like an introduction, detailing why you chose to write about this particular person, what makes him stand out and what makes him a good profile subject.

Draft the second paragraph, detailing the person's early life and achievements. This section will include brief background information like where the person grew up and went to school. You should also list early education and work details.

Write the next few paragraphs, focusing on notable accomplishments, significant milestones in the person's life, special achievements, any awards or recognitions the person has received, and any other information you deem relevant. Intersperse the text of your piece with relevant quotes from your interview of the person and people close to him.

Finish the profile piece by writing about the person's future plans and engagements like plans to finish a Master's degree or an upcoming promotion. Let the readers know what's happening next in the person's life.

Have another writer edit your finished piece. It's always a good idea to have another person take a look at your writing to spot grammatical errors, suggest ways of improving or point out details that are unclear.


The length of the profile can be anywhere from a few paragraphs to several pages. Don't feel limited by trying to make your profile fit a particular length. Write as much as you can and, if need be, it can be edited later.


Avoid putting in any rumours or unfounded information in your profile piece. Only put in facts that you can back up 100%. Avoid putting too much personal information about the person in the piece; focus on academic and career achievements.

Things You'll Need

  • Interviews with the person and people who know him
  • A digital or tape recorder
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About the Author

Maggie Hira has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for numerous websites and print publications, including "LA.Direct Magazine" and The Budget Fashionista. Hira holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.