Do these four words terrify you:
We need your bio.
If so, you’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve worked with to refine their bios—because the thought of writing about themselves is overwhelming. And asking colleagues to submit a bio for a project is like herding cats. (And I’m a cat person!)
Many don’t know where to begin, or they’re afraid they don’t have enough professional accomplishment to include in a bio, or they’re simply all over the place.
There is help. It’s what I do.
I always tell people: think less about writing succinct sentences about what you do (mainly because they tend to be too formal) and more about the pieces of you that shine. Also, this is not your resume (which lists all your skills and qualifications) or your CV (a full history of your academic credentials). A lot of that can go on your LinkedIn page.
Your bio should be your quick hits. It should engage the reader, leaving them with an imprint about what you do and why you do it.
Here are the prompts I use when developing your bio:
I am a ____ who does ____ because ____.
I am passionate about _____.
How/when/why did you BECOME.
How did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
How are you helping others?
How have you leveraged your skills/experience to get to where you are now?
What three words would others use to describe you?
Not overthinking is key. The point of these prompts is to get an overall sense of what makes you uniquely you. Speaking of unique, let’s get away from phrases like “is responsible for” and “enjoys spending time with my family.” Yawn. We can definitely do better than that.
Spinning this information into your bio is one of the things I do best.
One last thing: It’s okay to have various versions of your bio—in fact, I encourage it. We can work together to craft short, long, first- or third-person bios so you have the right version when you need it.