Most job seekers will use two documents in their job search; their resume and cover letter. That’s a good start, but how about professional bio as well? They are no longer just for authors, musicians and politicians. Anyone that has an online presence across social media and blogging (which is just about everyone nowadays) can benefit from one. This article looks at what a bio is, where it is used and why you need to get one written up sooner rather than later.
What exactly is a bio?
A bio is the story-based version of your professional life. The information provided is similar to that of your CV or resume but the format is less formal. You are free to highlight the bits of your career you are proud of and omit anything that won’t help you. As it is a story, you can throw in interesting snippets about yourself and thus injecting some personality into your bio.
The purpose of a bio is to tell the reader who you are and what you do, listing your experience and achievements, and backing your claims up with facts and figures. All these parts will form the credibility of your personal brand.
When is a bio used?
Your bio can be used a across a number of situations, here are a few:
- The “About” page on your website and/or blog, visitors click on this to find out about YOU, not the version of WordPress you use.
- The bio/summary/about section of your social media profiles. This is what most people will find when Googling your name. You will need a longer bio for sites like LinkedIn, a micro version for Twitter.
- In any marketing materials, proposals and quotes you send out to prospective customers.
- Submitted for public speaking, presenting or training pitches (for speaking, you could also use a one-sheet). Designed to give the event organizer a quick overview of what you can do and hopefully book you.
- Included in any publications such as books, e-books, reports, professional documents and even guest blog posts you author.
- Job search, employers will definitely look at your online bio and oftentimes request it along with your CV or resume as it is more concise than your other documents.
Why should you get a bio?
To stay professional and credible in the eyes of current and potential clients and of course potential employers. Every job seeker, career advancer and professional should develop his or her professional biography today. Whenever you email or leave a message for someone you never dealt with before, you can expect to be checked out online. Your bio is a brand building marketing tool that will entice the reader to want to contact you.
There is stiff competition out there and for you to differentiate, it’s imperative you have a well crafted bio that points out what makes you unique. Your professional bio gives a quick showcase of what sets you apart from the crowd. A bio tells whoever reading it that you are not just doing your day job to pay the rent, it’s your passion and you are proud to tell the world about it. Your bio is the foundation of your personal branding toolkit and it’s potentially the most important text you write in your professional life.
A winning bio can tip the balance in your favor. It’s all about first impressions, and your bio is probably read before you even meet the reader. A convincing bio allows recruiters, HR representatives and hiring managers to understand your strengths and achievements, hopefully leading to that great job opportunity coming your way.
The best part of having a great bio is that it can be used again and again, and you are free to update it whenever you feel like it.
Related: Write a Bio Like a Pro in 8 Quick Steps.