How to Write a Professional Bio

Everyone should have a bio. Whether you are a young professional, small business owner, or creative, having a bio will come in handy.

Here are some benefits of having a bio.

๐Ÿ“Œ It is a summary of your experiences + skills in one place

๐Ÿ“Œ You can refer to it when writing a cover letter or preparing for an interview

๐Ÿ“Œ Your bio can remind you of your accomplishments if you are experiencing low self-esteem or imposter syndrome

Your bio should provide a picture of who you are as a person and who you are professionally. Think about it like putting your work experience in the context of who you are as a human being. Your bio should address the big picture โ€ฆ it shouldnโ€™t just be a list. That is what your resume is for!

If you have your own website, if you write for an online publication, or if you have ever been a speaker at an event, you may already have a bio. If not, no worries. Weโ€™ll get you there! 

What Should Go in My Bio?

First, think about things that make you YOU. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What communities are you a part of? What are you interested in? What are you passionate about? Think about core parts of your identity and how they may have influenced your career path. 

You may choose to brainstorm using a mind map or table, seen below. You should choose something broad to write in the center of your map; it could be your name, the name of your business, or even a career goal. 

Next, think about roles you play. Are you a writer? An editor? An illustrator? A chef? It can be helpful to make a list of past and current jobs, internships, and experiences.

Lastly, think about your most valuable skills and qualities.

If you provide a service, you may choose to include a description of your ideal client. For example, I serve the LGBTQIA+ community.

To summarize, your bio should include:

โœ… Core parts of your identity

โœ… Roles you play

โœ… Your skills and strengths

Examples of Successful Bios 

It can be a helpful exercise to look at examples of other bios, especially the bio of someone in your field or with a similar level of experience. I recommend looking at multiple examples, making notes on what you like, and then putting together your own version that feels right for you. I have pulled various examples that I think are successful.

Note the voice each author uses in their bio. You may choose to use either first person or third person. First person means you are speaking as yourself. Third person means you are speaking as a third party. Whichever you choose, you should remain consistent throughout.

Aurielle Marie | auriellemarie.com

โ€œAward winning poet, essayist and Freedom Fighter Aurielle Marie is a child of the Deep South and an Atlanta native. She received her bachelors in Social Justice Strategy and Hip-Hop Theory from the Evergreen State College, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama.โ€

Why her bio is effective:

โœ… Itโ€™s short + sweet

โœ… She uses third person effectively

โœ… She intertwines core parts of her identity with her professional roles

Jasmine โ€œChef Jaeโ€ | chefjae.co

โ€œGrowing up in Cleveland, I was surrounded by a strong food culture. Iโ€™ve always loved spending time in the kitchen, but it wasnโ€™t until well into college that I knew I really wanted to be a chef. Now, as a business owner and single mom, I understand how difficult it can be to find the time to make healthy meals (that still taste great).

As a personal chef, I make delicious and nutritious meals for busy professionals. Some of my clients have families, and some do not. Some are elite athletes, some are business people, and some are stay-at-home moms with kids to shuttle back and forth. While they are all very different, they all share the desire to eat well and stay healthy.โ€

Why her bio is effective:

โœ… She demonstrates her values + why she is who she is

โœ… She identifies a problem + provides a solution

โœ… She markets herself to potential clients

Gabrielle Alexa Noel | gabriellealexa.com

โ€œI’m a writer, software engineer, digital creator and content manager, and influencer. I am passionate about sex education, social justice, data privacy, and internet and media literacy. My tech toolbox includes: CSS, HTML, Bootstrap, vanilla JavaScript, PostgreSQL, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and React.

You can find my words in Playboy, the Huffington Post, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and other digital publications. I’m currently working on my first book, How To Live With The Internet And Not Let It Run Your Life. It’s slated for release in March 2021 with Smith Street Books. You can preorder it from Target here or from Amazon here.

With over 25 thousand followers on Instagram, I use social media for education, storytelling, and brand/product awareness. I’ve been featured in Bustle, Well and Good, and Cherry Magazine, and provided insight for Rolling Stone, Refinery29, Women’s Health Magazine, and more. I am also a peer educator, leading workshops on cannabis justice, identity, and sexual wellness.โ€

Why her bio is effective:

โœ… This is an example of a longer bio; breaking it into three sections prevents it from feeling overwhelming

โœ… She uses first person efficiently, without saying โ€œIโ€ too much

โœ… Her bio includes relevant accomplishments, such as being featured in major publications

Melissa Koby | kolormekoby.com

โ€œIโ€™m Melissa Koby, a Jamaican born, Tampa based illustrator. I fell in love with art at the age of 4 when my mom gifted me with my very first paint set and easel. Visual art has always been my passion and my default way of self healing. My illustrations are a direct reflection of how I feel.

My current work is inspired by my need to process our climate. Through my work, I speak about social justice and equality all while celebrating women through the movement of lines, warm tones and negative space. All of my artwork is created using a combination of watercolor painting and digital illustration.โ€

Why her bio is effective:

โœ… She both provides a look into who she is as a human being

โœ… She highlights her technical skills as an artist

โœ… The reader understands the value + importance she places on her art

Getting Started

To get started, create a mind map like the example I shared. You can use PowerPoint, sticky notes, or a blank piece of paper. You can utilize different colors or fonts. Whatever floats your boat. Make sure your mind map includes roles you play as well as your skills and qualities.

Next, get writing! It might take a few drafts, but you will get the hang of it. If you are still having trouble, shoot me an email at michaella@affirmbydesign.com. Once your bio is all set, you will always have a resource to refer back to when writing a cover letter, preparing for an interview, or attending a networking event.

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