How To Write A Bio: Ultimate Guide (With Creative Examples)
So, you sit down to write your online bio, pumped to reveal to the world your professional self and achievements finally, and nothing happens. All of the words and phrases you had been stockpiling for months in your head suddenly disappeared.
Finding an authentic way to describe your professional background and showcasing yourself as a credible, accomplished, and likable expert in the industry takes a lot of work. You decide your current profile is good enough. It works for you. Simple.
However, what most people often forget is that a bio isn’t just about listing professional achievements. It is a conversation starter, a way of making a digital introduction. Also, your bio — no matter how articulate and insightful — doesn’t need to appeal to everyone.
The business case for personal bios: why you should write one
You might wonder what the big deal is—it’s just a bio, right? Do people even read them? The answer is actually, yes; they do. Personal bios can be a great way to find out more about the person behind a website or an article. This helps establish a connection and encourages readers to relate to you.
The thing is, you might not think a lot of people care about where you went to school or what you like to do in your spare time, but you just don’t know who’s reading your professional bio. It might be a hotshot manager for your dream company who also loves to spend their weekends kayaking the coast. Or it might be the marketer for a well-known brand looking for a freelancer. Learning little nuggets of information about you can put you ahead of other candidates they’re researching or other freelancers they’re in talks with. It could be the difference between getting that contract and not.
What’s the difference between a personal bio and a resume?
Understanding this information can help them see if you’d be a good fit, or if you have the personal qualities they’re looking for in someone they want to work with. This information also helps you connect better with like-minded people. Say, for example, you’re scrolling through Twitter, see a fun Tweet, and click on the person’s bio only to find out they also run 5km every evening and are passionate about addressing climate change. Chances are, you’re going to want to connect with them.
How to write a personal bio
Before we share some creative bio examples, let’s take a look at what your personal biography should include. Bear in mind that this will vary depending on what platform you’re posting it on (platforms like Twitter and Instagram have a limited word count). However, you can have a “master” bio that you pull snippets from for other platforms. Not only does this keep your messaging cohesive across platforms, but it makes it easy to get a bio together at short notice because you already have all the information you need written down.
For this exercise, let’s focus on what you need to include in a personal bio on your website. This will be your “master” bio as it’ll probably be the longest and go into the most detail. People who are poking around on your website have already shown an interest in who you are and what you do, so they’re more likely to stick around and read a longer bio. Here’s what you should include:
- Your name: obviously, you need to state your name. Most people choose to include their full name, including surname, at the start of their bio. However, if your website URL or personal brand is already your full name, you can shorten it to just your first name.
- Your position: your current position and the tasks you’re responsible for should get a mention. This is particularly important if you’re looking for jobs or are writing a bio for a networking platform like LinkedIn.
- Your work experience: mention any key roles you’ve held in the past and how you got to where you are today. Stories like this show readers your journey and give an insight into your specialisms and professional skills.
- What you do and who you do it for: kind of like stating your “niche”, talking about what exactly it is you do (like graphic design or paid ad campaigns), and who you do it for (like finance companies or busy e-commerce owners) can help readers identify if you’re a good fit.
- What you do outside of work: personal bios should be more personal than a resume or professional bio and should therefore include personal details about what you like to do when you’re not working. Do youfrequent pop-up restaurants? Attend dog shows with your puppy? Rock climb in the mountains?
- Professional accomplishments: talk about what you’ve achieved both at work and outside of work. This gives readers an idea about the things you value and what you might be able to achieve for them (it’s also a great talking point for people who want to reach out).
- Personal story: share a personal anecdote to add a splash of personality. It can be anything from the disastrous first birthday party you held for your daughter to the time you were taken in by a local family after getting lost in Mongolia.
Short and Professional Bio Examples
The Short Bio Heavyweight: Janet Mock’s Twitter
Janet’s Twitter bio describes both her primary role on Pose as well as her book and podcast projects. It also lists her contact info and professional website, in case her followers would like to contact her.
The Polished Professional Bio: Yuriy Timen’s LinkedIn
LinkedIn summaries can read like either a list of accomplishments or a list of professional interests. Yuriy’s is neither. Instead, he explains his professional goals and lists his major accomplishment—building Grammarly’s user base.
The Website Bio Whiz: Jamie McKelvie’s Website
One could marvel at the efficiency of Jamie’s professional website bio. Using a descriptive headline about his work and a short list of only his most recognizable accomplishments, Jamie is able to sum up several projects in a relatively small space.
4 Quick Tips on Writing A Bio
Even with all of this information on how to write a bio, it might still be difficult to write about yourself. Even for the most confident person, self-promotion can be exhausting. But never fear! There are a few ways you can keep your “about me” writing on point—without pulling your hair out.
Tip #1: Don’t Overthink It
Bios are usually formulaic—and that’s okay! For most professional bios, LinkedIn summaries, and speaker bios at events, you won’t need to stray from the norm too much to stand out. Even adding an adjective that shows your personality or an unusual accomplishment can make your bio different from the crowd. You don’t need to create the next Between The World And Me to write a killer bio.
Tip #2: Remember Your Worth
Writing a bio on a site like Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn can be daunting because there are already so many fantastic bios (and people!) out there. But don’t fall prey to bio comparison! Your story is only yours to tell, and it has value. Focus on staying authentic to your truth, and don’t worry about others’.
Tip #3: When In Doubt, Borrow
Bios can be repetitive, sometimes even tedious. So if you find a structure you like and think sounds unique, borrow it! You should never copy a person’s bio—after all, it’s their story, not yours—but you can mimic the structure if you’re feeling stuck.
Tip #4: Get Writing Help
You’re not alone in your quest to create a bio that stands out. Grammarly is here to help you choose powerful adjectives, clean up hedging language, and make your LinkedIn stand out.