Branding & Identity

Time and time again, we are reminded that “short and concise” is the best. When it comes to writing about yourself, you have no idea where to start and where to end. Add that to the fact that it has to be professional, personal, catchy, concrete, error-free, unique…okay, I’ll stop now.

Relax! It is possible! A bio isn’t something you want to lose sleep over. However, considering that nearly 40% of hiring managers are using social media to research job candidates, your social media bio is something you would want to look over and make sure it fits your “brand image”. (Tip: make sure it also matches your resume)

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Prove “who you are” with action verbs:

Words are just words—unless there is concrete evidence to back it up. So, if you’re saying “I’m a social media guru”, you need to have hard evidence to back-up your claims.

They say actions speak louder than words. But since words are your only option to make a first impression here, your best chance is by using “action verbs”. If you are a social media guru, tell them what you DID. What were you accomplishments? How were you involved? Notice how the answers to these questions require concrete action verbs.

2. Avoid the clichés:

Something hits the internet first, everyone loves it, it spreads, and eventually everyone’s using it. That’s called a “buzz” and you don’t want to use what has been over-used. By the time it is exhausted, it has become a cliché.

I see so many social media bios everyday that are so similar. The only difference is probably the name of the organization. “I am a social media guru” “I am a travel junkie” “I am a mother of X many kids” “I own 2 dogs” “I am a [something] addict” “they call me a [something computer-ish] geek”.  According to the NY Times, these are “self-aggrandizing” words that are hazardous. I think they are plain boring – simply because they are overused.

3. Make sure it’s searchable:

If you want people to find you, first you have to know who these people are. Are they hiring managers? What type of hiring managers (Please don’t say any)? Be specific when deciding what type of audience you’re seeking to woo. Focus on keywords relevant to that particular area of interest. Now, make sure those keywords are sufficient in your bio to assure that you are searchable.

4. Don’t trail off:

In an effort to be cutesy, I see many individuals trail off with their bio content and actually waste their given amount of characters. If you are “a brilliant mother of two kids” or “an owner of three golden retrievers”or “a crazed fan of the [name] band”, that’s great! But if an employer is your target, he certainly won’t be interested in that piece of information. Chances are, he probably owns more dogs and has more kids than you. And he probably doesn’t have the same taste in music.

This also applies to the background, display picture, and other content. Make sure everything on your social media profile manifests that image you want to give out to your target audience. If you are a business person, make it professional and look like an entrepreneur’s page. If you are a marketer or a designer, let the background and display photo paint that picture for you.

 5. Make each character count:

When it comes to Twitter, you’ve got your 140 characters. Make it count. Too much detail is not-so-affordable. Make sure every single word is relevant and credible.Try to focus on expertise and don’t go beyond that. Make it fit!

6. Make it match across all channels:

A potential employer might search you and go over your LinkedIn profile, which you may have already tailored as per the likings of perspective employers. But what about Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc? The employer might find an entirely different picture of you on Facebook or Twitter, especially if you haven’t been changing the privacy settings.

A study published in the Journal of Social Psychology claims that employers can judge a candidate’s future work performance just by spending five-ten minutes lurking around their Facebook profile. Now, you must be aghast by this methodology and wondering why employers use it in the first place. Like the Forbes contributor, Kashmir Hill says:

“Like it or not, Facebook and other sites like it are becoming the digital proxies for our real world selves. Our profiles on social media reflect our likes, dislikes, personalities, and best photo angles, and are likely more useful to employers in seeing what we might be like to work with than a short interview.”

7. Use unique words:

Here’s a tip on how to be catchy. You may have seen, heard, or observed a plethora of catchy bios that include a bit of humor. That is also number one strategy to get the attention of your target audience (or any audience for that matter).

Another clever strategy is to include creative and unique words. You can try to be smart with the language you use. Ditch the over-used clichés (enthusiast, geek, hero, guru) and go for unique words or phrases unheard of.

Real life examples:

  • “Raving lunatic prone to crazy outbursts and grossly offensive messages. All views are my own”- @colinkelly
  • “Best-selling author of sixty beloved high fantasy space punk novellas”- @spacepunkcowboy

Experiment with your words and come with unique combinations. You’ll realize that there are a million different ways to say one simple thing! Don’t make it simple. 

Author: Ashley Sanford leads the team of content developers at PeakDissertation.co.uk. Apart from content development, she’s also fairly talented at art and design, and she loves to roam Art museums in her country. Catch her on FB!


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