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How to Write a Bio that Gets Noticed
There might come a time in your life when you will have to write a bio for either yourself or someone else. Bios are used for brochures and programs for conferences, listed as important aspects of grant or project proposals, posted on various websites and included in cover letters for job applications. Since you will need a bio, it is good to know how to write one. This article is about how to write a bio that stands out from the crowd and gets noticed.
Write it Down
What is a Bio?
A bio is a brief description of a person. The emphasis is on brief. It is not your full-scale account of every biographical detail of every event of your life – that is a biography. A bio is short and sweet. It is how you sell yourself and sums up what you would like the person who is reading your bio to know and remember about you ~ a first impression through words.
Elements of a Good Bio
Two important things to keep in mind when writing a bio are the following:
- Third Person Writing. Bios are written from a third person point of view such as “Mrs. Jones or Debra is the author of 12 books on . . .” instead of “I am the author of 12 books on . . .”; “she won the Noble Peace Prize in 1972” not “I won the Noble Peace Prize in 1972.”
- Audience. Keep your audience in mind when writing a bio. If you are writing a bio for inclusion into a program for a conference on infectious diseases, than you want to make sure your bio includes your experience and important work on infectious diseases. Give your audience what they are looking for and make your bio relevant.
Bios usually contain your name, city and simple statement of what you do as an introduction. For example, “John Smith resides in New York City as a prolific freelance writer.” It is not a resume. So, you don’t need to include all the details. Make sure your bio contains concise information about major accomplishments that are relevant to your audience. Make a list of all your major accomplishments and skills. Pick those accomplishments and skills that stand out as being unique or important and include only those in your bio.
Add into your bio a personal touch such as a brief mention of your volunteer work and group memberships in various associations or a few words about your family or pets. “Smith is a devoted father to 2 young children” is enough of a personal touch for people to understand and gain a well-rounded picture of a person.
A brief mention of a philosophical belief or goal is often a good way to bring your bio to a close. It makes people feel that they know you just from reading your bio. “Sara’s strong commitment to social justice inspires her to . . .” ~ the ending contains a touching and moving sentiment that the reader of the bio takes with them. You want your bio to be remembered, so make sure to end with a memorable and personal statement of what motivates and inspires you.
Write Multiple Bios
Bios are good to have on hand, especially when you are applying for jobs. You can post them on your websites and include them in cover letters. They are useful for drawing in clients and getting them to read more about your services. So, take careful consideration in crafting a bio that makes you proud to be you. It helps to have several versions of your bio on hand to make it easier to reach out for opportunities that come your way.