5 Elements of an Effective Professional Biography

5 Elements of an Effective Professional Biography

Biography writing.

If you’re sitting at the computer, blank document staring back at you, pounding headache coming on – then grab a fresh coffee and pull up a chair. Let’s break down 5 key elements that comprise an effective biography or professional profile.

  1. Who Are You, And Why Should Your Reader Care?

Your bio should have personality, be authentic while showcasing your talents and offerings, and most of all, serve some very important purposes. Before you do anything else, define your ‘elevator pitch’ or your USP (unique selling proposition). Don’t worry, this isn’t as daunting or difficult as you think it is. What problem do you help solve? What results do you get for your customers? Who are your customers? What service or products do you specialise in? Basically, how are you different to the next person who does what you do? Do you have an interesting career story?

  1. Write For Your Audience.

Know who you’re writing for. Who your reader is (and where they will find you) will determine the purpose, style, language, tone and format of your biography. You’ll probably have several biographies for different uses like I do. I have different introductions on my LinkedIn (professional) vs my website vs Facebook and social media (conversational) vs blogging and writing platforms (personal) which are all written with relevant information appropriate to what will connect best with my reader (and on that particular platform).

Those I connect with on LinkedIn probably don’t care too much that I am a mother or vintage caravan restoration enthusiast; likewise, my Facebook or Instagram followers probably don’t go crazy over a long list of credentials. Know your audience (do they differ depending on where they find you?), what they value, what engages them, what builds your credibility, and their trust and relationship with you and write accordingly.

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  1. Quantify Your Expertise And Share Your Achievements.

It’s well known that data and facts build trust and credibility. Quantifying your expertise builds your credibility, and the beauty here is, it doesn’t matter what you do, you can find something that attests to your ability to help your customer or audience. You may weave in some of the following including the:

  • year you started doing what you do or year you established your business;
  • number of years you’ve been doing what you do;
  • career highlights or impressive/distinguished moments in your career;
  • awards, accomplishments or recognition you’ve been the recipient of;
  • qualifications, certifications or training you possess;
  • featured writer/guest speaking engagements you’ve been at;
  • organisations you are a member of (or even ones you volunteer at/board member of);
  • personal or funny stories (if of course, it is professional, appropriate and relevant to your audience).

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can build your reader’s trust and connection with you. Work with those that best help you convey your ideal introduction to your audience.

  1. For The Love Of Coffee – Be Interesting!

I’m sure you’ll agree, that the online space is very noisy and crowded place. How do you help people remember you? How do you build the connection with them?

Share something interesting about yourself.

You can be as personal or conservative in what you share (keeping in mind who will be reading it!). On a professional platform, perhaps share something safe – are you a cake making ninja by night? Have a penchant for restoring vintage furniture? Volunteer for causes or charities close to your heart? Climbed a mountain or volcano (yes, my shoes actually melted climbing a volcano in Greece once!). Perhaps you’re in a role which relies more on personal connection than on expertise or credentials? Tell us a short story of what inspired you started doing what you do? When did you first realise a passion for doing what you do? What is your story, vision or goal?

  1. CTA = Constant Temperature Anemometry.

Just kidding! Call To Action.

It’s a sin to post, email, do anything without a CTA these days, and your bio is no different. Depending on the purpose for, and the audience of your bio, you might utilise one of the following for your CTA:

  • Do you have a workshop / event / article / resource / new product or service launch coming up?
  • Do you have a competition, offer or promotion readers can enter or claim?
  • Email list your audience can subscribe to?
  • Social media handles they can follow?
  • Welcome them to contact you with enquiries?
  • Currently have wholesaling or collaboration opportunities available?

Your CTA is your oyster.

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So here we have it – 5 key components to crafting an effective biography that will resonate with your readers and introduce yourself (and your offering) to them. Remember, your bio should be as unique and memorable as you are, be tailored to your audience and appropriate for the platform, build your credibility, and compel your audience to take action that supports your purpose.

Oh, and make sure your bio is written in 3rd person – you may even find the objectivity helpful in writing about yourself!

If you’d like to discuss the effectiveness of your biography, professional profile or your future career or business aspirations – let’s chat about your options and how we can work together to ensure your career success.

Stacey Murray (CARW, B.Bus. Human Resource Management, MAHRI) is an award-winning Certified Advanced Resume Writer, degree qualified Human Resources professional with 9+ years’ recruitment experience, and Member of Australian Human Resources Institute and Career Directors International. She’s been helping clients succeed since 2009, offering expertise from both sides of the hiring desk, bringing a range of insights from the employer viewpoint, as well as that of the applicant. Stacey is passionate about community and education, and presents workshops on a range of career, job search and employability skills topics to community, school groups and workplaces.

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