The time has come to tell your story. Okay, maybe you're not interested in composing your memoirs, at least not just at the moment. But your boss has asked you to contribute a bio profile for the company web page, or some association wants to include a blurb about you in their publication, or you've been tasked with taking raw information about key team members and transforming that textual lead into gold. So what do you need to know about crafting an effective, informative, exciting bio profile, either about yourself or about someone else? The following dos and don'ts should prove helpful.
Do Organize Your Points
One problem I've seen time and time again when editing people's bio profiles involves scattershot organization. Key points get shoved down into the middle of the page (what journalists like to call "burying the lead"), while other points pop up in seemingly random spots or get repeated multiple times without much variation. While a bio profile doesn't serve the purpose of a resume and shouldn't read like one, you do want to follow an outline that breaks different subjects into recognizable chunks that follow a logical progression.
Don't Get Lost in Trivia Land
Many companies encourage their team members to include personal information alongside career achievements, work histories, and job descriptions. This information helps to break down the barriers and present each employee as a warm, approachable, real-life human being to clients and prospective customers. But you can always have too much of a good thing, including personal details. for instance, your readers may appreciate the fact that you own dogs without necessarily needing to know each pup's name and breed. Similarly, your personal history may have a direct bearing on your practical experience, skill set, and approach to your work, but we don't need to know about every single twist and turn your professional life has taken. With every point you add, keep asking yourself, "Why does this matter to my reader?" If you can't think of an answer, get out the red pen.
Do Create Long and Short Bio Profiles
If you need to craft a bio profile as a business leader or industry expert for a variety of future applications, keep in mind that some publications, sites, or other organizations will prefer a shorter bio, while others might prefer a longer, more detailed one. The answer to this challenge is simple enough: Prepare both a long version and a short version. It's usually easier to write the long bio first, and then cherry-pick the most important information for the shorter bio. You'll feel much better prepared to participate in a wider range of business opportunities once you've got these options ready for submission.
Don't Try Too Hard to Impress (But Do Try Hard Enough)
Some people prefer not to blow their own horn for fear that they'll appear full of themselves, resulting in a humdrum bio profile that triggers a "So what?" response. Others believe that they have to present themselves as the greatest thing since sliced bread by throwing all kinds of hyperbole into their bio profiles. Try to keep your statements reasonable and realistic, but not to the extent that you fail to talk yourself up at all. It's a fine balance to achieve -- but remember, you don't have to create that bio profile all by yourself. If you'd rather rely on the skills of a professional freelance copywriter, or if just you've got too many other items on your plate to spend precious time sweating over your bio profile, contact me and take advantage of my bio-writing experience You have a compelling professional story to tell -- so let's tell it!