Bio: Writing about yourself is one of those things that sounds easy. After all, you’ve lived quite a few years in this body, with this brain. You literally know it inside and out.
And yet, when it’s time to write a few hundred words about who you are, your mind goes blank.
Don’t panic — it happens to everyone. But there are steps to make the process a heck of a lot easier for the star of the show: you.
Write the Easy Stuff First
The hardest part of your bio will be the stuff that makes it sound like you.
So forget about that for a second.
Take a look at your resume, and write down the relevant parts in plain English. It doesn’t have to be fun. It just needs to get your professional life down on paper. You can make it more interesting later.
HubSpot has some great examples and templates for basic, short professional bios to get you started.
Use Your Work to Talk About What’s Important
Why do you do what you do? Do you want to change the world? Do you just want to make people’s lives a little easier with your work?
All these things can help you get across what’s important to you. For example, in his bio, this professional first talks about how he founded his private equity firm. Then, he gets into how he’s leveraged his entrepreneurial expertise into what he’s passionate about empowering the young groups whom the system is working against.
Pretend you’re your own biographer
Answer some basic questions about where you came from, where you’re living, what you’re doing now, and what you expect to be doing in the future.
Now your bio is starting to look like it’s about a real person instead of a computer!
Next, it’s time to really make it your own.
Your hobbies are a good place to start. Assume you had a month off and couldn’t think about work the entire time. Would you finally read War and Peace? Would you go on a long camping trip? Fix your deck? Finally, master the souffle?
Remember: your hobbies don’t have to be things you’re doing right now or even things you’ve done in the last little while. As long as you like doing them, they’re yours.
LinkedIn rounded up some examples of business leader bios that perfectly blend their professional and personal passions.
Now that your bio has some great bones, it’s time to let your personality shine. Add a self-deprecating joke or a lighthearted line here or there. It doesn’t have to be peak comedy.
For example: instead of saying you like to go camping, you could say something like, “When he’s not at the office, you can often find X wheezing through a hike that looked much shorter on the map.”
One of the golden rules of writing is that it’s easier to revise your writing than it is to write it in the first place.
“Brainpuke” is a writing technique favored by high school English teachers and professional journalists alike. It simply means to write down anything and everything that comes into your head on a given subject. In this case, that subject is you.
You can go through it later and edit for grammar and flow. But you’d be surprised how much easier things start to get once you’re not staring at a blank page.
Be Grammatically Correct
This last point is obvious, but sadly often overlooked. Take your time, and proofread your work. Your biography will be the first impression you make on a lot of people. So make sure it’s clean.
Turn spell-check on, and consider running your finished bio through a free service like Grammarly. You can also have a trusted friend take a look, to flag lines that might be grammatically correct, but sound awkward or robotic.
There’s no right way to write a bio. At the end of the day, it’s about you — so you’re going to have to tell your own story.
But there are ways you can make the process easier on yourself. Instead of staring down a blank page, jot down whatever comes to mind about yourself, starting with the cold, hard facts and working your way down to who you really are.
Most of all, relax. Unless you’re running for office, nobody’s going to be going through your bio with a fine-toothed comb looking for errors.
Be loose, be yourself, and when in doubt, keep it simple.
Review Write a Better Bio — Tips & Examples to Get You Started.