Whether you are a self-employed consultant, an artist or a budding Internet entrepreneur, a biography can be an important part of your personal marketing. Have a short bio that succinctly summarises your credentials, present occupation, and contact information. Your bio can also give others a sense of your personality and your artistic vision; in fact, many bios will end with a "fun fact" about its subject.
Read bios written by other professionals in your industry. For example, if you are a freelance writer, read bios of other freelance writers. If you are a visual artist, read bios of other visual artists. This will give you a sense of what is a standard style of bio for your industry. Artists, for example, may include a sentence about what motivates them artistically. Technology professionals may stick to the basics that includes their training and experience.
Read and understand the format requirements of the place to which you're submitting your bio. If you are a freelance writer and the bio will accompany one of your pieces in a publication, that publication may require that you include certain things in your bio.That information may include names of publications where your work has appeared and any experience that demonstrates expertise in the subject matter of your article. The publication may also require that your bio is a certain length.
Start with an attention-grabbing sentence. This can be as simple as the most impressive fact about you. For example, "Janet is a certified IT professional with more than 20 years' experience working for Fortune 500 companies." For more creative professions, the first sentence may convey you as an artist. For example, "Sarah sees the life of the ocean in every piece of driftwood she turns into sculpture."
Follow your first sentence with two or three more sentences that expand upon the details of your professional qualifications. For example, "Janet holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland." Include any relevant awards or specific accomplishments such as high-profile clients. Artists may choose to include details about the nature of their work. For example, "Sarah uses a mixture of shellacked driftwood, recycled metal and acrylic paint to create emotional models of the current state of society."
Add a fun fact or sentence that conveys a lighter tone. This may not be appropriate for all bios; refer to what is standard in your industry. A fun fact is best used when the rest of the bio is dry and businesslike. The fun fact should also be neutral and non-offensive. For example, Janet may state that "She enjoys coaching her daughter's little league games on the weekend."
Finish your bio with contact information, if necessary. This can include both an e-mail and phone number, following a simple phrase such as "Janet can be reached at..." Make sure you do not include any contact information that you do not wish to be publicly available.
It is standard practice to write your bio in the third person.
Tips and warnings
- It is standard practice to write your bio in the third person.