People are checking you out online, and you need to know how to write a professional bio you want them to see.
More than 70 percent of hiring managers use social media to screen candidates. About half report using Google searches to learn about potential employees and say they wouldn’t hire someone if they couldn’t find them online.
And that’s not all. Whether you’re speaking at an event or creating an online portfolio site, people want your bio. And you want them to find a consistent message about you — your qualifications, professionalism, and personality.
As you continue making a professional brand for yourself, all of your online communication platforms will have one thing in common — a version of a professional bio. The bio is a controlled and consistent message about your brand.
Writing your professional bio can be intimidating. It’s difficult to write about yourself. You’re uncertain what to include and how to write it in a way that’s professional while simultaneously creative.
My advice is to first create a long-form professional bio — the type of thing you would use on a resume website. From there you can edit and alter it into smaller bits as needed for other uses like on social media, guest blogging, and speaking engagements.
How To Write a Professional Bio
Your professional bio should be written in the third person and include the following details about you. While they can be in this order, they don’t have to be.
State Who You Are
Put your name in the first sentence of your bio so the reader knows immediately that they are reading about the correct person. It’s your virtual introduction. If you have a common name that may be confused with others, consider using a middle name or initial in all of your professional communication.
Outline What You Do
Provide a general idea of what you do, establishing your industry without necessarily being organization specific.
Kenna Griffin is the content director at an Oklahoma City-based content marketing agency. She also is an adjunct journalism and public relations professor.
Describe Your Work History
Describe your current job, business, or professional experience.
Kenna became a content director after working for two decades as a journalism professor, freelance writer and editor, and collegiate media adviser.
Explain Why You’re Worth Considering
Explain why you are worth considering as a resource or team member. This section is where you include publications, presentations, professional memberships, or awards.
Kenna is the author of profkrg.com, a site that serves as a practical resource for writers.
Kenna has a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She researches the relationship between emotional trauma, journalism professionalism, and organizational support. She is a two-time Dart Foundation educator fellow with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. She published a book in 2020 about her research on journalists’ emotions regarding witnessing executions.
Tell Them How to Find You
Include all of your relevant contact information — email address, telephone number, professional social media accounts, and website and/or blog URLS.
Provide Some Extras
You can personalize your bio even more by including elements such as a photo of yourself, a video introduction, or links to your work. You also can provide details about hobbies or outside interests that make you marketable or establish your professional brand. This part of the bio is sort of like the “fun fact,” only career-relevant and not as annoying to create.
In her “off” time, Kenna likes to read, swim, or just be outdoors in the sunshine and spend time with her family and their three dogs. She reads more than 100 books a year and admits she’s a personal and professional development junkie. She’s also a self-proclaimed word nerd.
Adjusting Your Professional Bio
Once you draft this foundational bio of about five to eight paragraphs, it will be much easier to alter it for all of your various online platforms. You also should update the bio regularly, so it stays current.
Remember that the important thing is to present a consistent professional message about yourself for potential employers and partners to see.