How to Write a Bio: The Art of Talking About Yourself in the Third Person

I know it’s awkward, but it’s going to be just fine. There’s pretty much one essential rule to bio writing: Be brief. I’m sure you’re a wonderful person with many, varied accomplishments and experiences, but if you hit 200 words, it’s far too long.

Ask yourself:

Who is going to read the bio, and what information is pertinent to the audience? What would you want to know about your peers in this particular group before you met them?

Here is a map of sentences. You don’t have to do these in this order, but don’t go over one sentence on each. This will help you get started, and then you can go back and edit if there’s too much, or if you feel like you’re babbling. Depending on what the bio is for, you might want to include more than one example of jobs and curtail the personal stuff. Use your instincts to decide what’s appropriate.

  • Where are you from, and where are you now?
  • Where do you work NOW, and what do you do there?
  • Have you been recognized with any awards or titles?
  • Where did you go to college, and what did you study there? (optional)
  • Describe one or two things outside of work that are important to you (hobbies, etc.)
  • Tell us a little bit about your family life (optional, and as much as you’re comfortable with; you don’t have to over-share).
  • This is the hard part: What is important to you in the current position for which you are writing this bio? Why are you here, and what do you bring to the table that is uniquely yours? For professional bios, do you have a personal philosophy that inspires you? For more laid back bios, what does your participation in this group mean to you?
Okay, maybe there are two rules:

Keep it casual. Even though it is representing you as a professional, nobody wants to read a stuffy treatise on your excellence.

All you have to do is condense your personal history and a bit of personality into a very brief paragraph. No problem! Here are a couple of examples to help you get in the right frame of mind.

Example 1: Professional “Meet the Founder” statement for a business owner.

Example 2: My own bio for Mash Stories.

Most importantly:

Don’t over-think it. I’ve seen people absolutely baffled about this process. It’s not as hard as you think once you get started. And if you’re stumped, you know who to call.


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