Writing a Short Professional Bio, with Examples

Posted January 05, 2022

It’s important to have a short bio on hand to introduce yourself to potential clients, contacts or employers. It can help you make a good impression and has the potential to impact your professional success and growth. A short bio that is effective and interesting requires knowing what type of information to include that is crucial for leaving a lasting impression.

In this article we will discuss the reason for a short bio, the components of a bio, and give some examples of a short bio that are brief but impressive introductions. 

Short Bio

Basics of a short bio

A bio is short for biography and is used to introduce someone, discuss their most important past accomplishments, and explain their current endeavors. A short bio is more concise and to the point, like a brief introduction for making a first impression. It can highlight things like recent accomplishments, a brief career overview, and relevant future goals.  A short bio is often used for company directories, social media, or even on your own personal website.  

Just like with first impressions, it's important your short bio makes an impact. Your bio could be the only introduction a potential employer or client may have before deciding whether to contact you or not. This means it's important your short bio is interesting, honest, and includes the right sort of information. This information includes: 

  • Name 
  • Your current position or job title
  • Personal brand statement or current company
  • Education history
  • Hometown or Alma Mater
  • Personal and professional goals
  • A relevant achievement or award
  • An interesting hobby
  • Special skills and area of expertise

Use this list to determine which topics to include depending on your audience. Remember to keep it concise, so try and choose the topics most relevant to the situation and your goal.

The ins and outs of writing a short bio

It can be surprisingly difficult to write a short bio, especially about yourself. These tips will make it easier and give some guidelines to follow to accomplish the task. Steps include:

  1. Decide if you will be writing in first or third person
  2. Talk about your job and give the title
  3. Talk about your basic philosophy
  4. Brag a bit! List your accomplishments 

1. Decide if you will be writing in first or third person

 The first thing you want to establish is whether you will be writing in the first or third person. This will be your voice for the bio and will either sound like you are explaining yourself; use words like “I” and “me.” Or write as though someone is speaking about you; using your name or your pronoun.  

When choosing which voice to use, think about if the setting will be formal or informal. For a formal setting you will usually find the third person being used. This could be on your company website or other directory. For a formal short bio, you may want to use formal or reserved language, so you portray professionalism. However, if you are writing a short bio for your social media page, or even if your company has a more casual feel, you may choose to use the first person. Feel free to use informal language to convey your personality and wit or to set a friendly tone.

2. Talk about your job and give the title 

The first thing you would want to include in your short bio is your name and job title or main role. As an example, the first line would be "Ashley Hughes is the Assistant Creative Director for Sunrise Lane Marketing". If you do not have a current job title, use your most recent job title or major in college in past tense. For example, "Jack Brown has recently graduated with a Masters in Education from the University of Arizona.”

3. Talk about your basic philosophy

Following your introduction you should include a personal or professional mission statement. Think about answering a question about what motivates you to work in your industry. A personal mission statement might be along the lines of, being able to support your family, contribute to your community, or improve some aspect of the world for others. A professional mission statement could be your goals of furthering your career and companies progress, providing employment to others, etc… Whatever the case, this should be whatever matters most to you and therefore the first thing you would want to convey to your readers. 

4. Brag a bit! List your accomplishments 

Don’t forget to include your biggest achievements. A short bio can be like a resume in paragraph form where you would want to highlight your professional or personal accomplishments. But remember that your audience could be broader than a team of hiring professionals in your field so be sure to write your accomplishments in a way most people would understand.  Instead of just including the name of a prestigious award you may have won, be sure to explain what that award means and why you received it. Furthermore, if your work has made an impact on your company or industry be sure to explain in what way and maybe give a brief example. As an example “Ashley was involved in a marketing design project to benefit an animal adoption agency, giving homeless pets a greater chance of finding a home”. 

You will have to pick and choose which achievements to include to keep your bio short. Choose recognitions and awards that portray a specific skill set and show-off your competence and enthusiasm.

More tricks for putting together a short bio:

Keep it relevant and direct

It's important to be concise when writing a short bio and keep it around 4 to 8 sentences. You won’t be able to include a lot of personal information in order to keep your bio brief. It might be helpful to make a list of accomplishments, awards, information, and experience before narrowing down your bio based on your audience. If you are on a job hunt, include things like your education, certifications, and professional skills. If you are advertising to potential clients, mention your experience level, description of the style and type of work you do, and a strong area of expertise. 

Display your personality 

A big factor in creating a successful bio is conveying your personality and who you are as a person. The goal of a well written short bio is to introduce yourself to your reader as if they were meeting you in person. It’s okay to be human and allow your reader to get an accurate representation of what you have to offer. It can help your readers relate to you if you include things like a mention of what you may be doing outside of your professional life, like spending time with your family or pursuing a hobby and other passions. 

Show your genuine self

Being honest in your short bio is crucial. It not only gives an accurate impression of who you are but will sound more genuine. Be authentic and don’t exaggerate your accomplishments, setting unrealistic expectations for your reader can lead to resentment down the road. If you happen to be new to a profession, and haven’t received many accolades yet, talk about your excitement and willingness to learn. Try mentioning some of your more impressive goals. That way, if you meet someone who’s read your bio, they will not only have an accurate impression of you, but you will have the added bonus of showing them your integrity and humility. 

Use these examples as inspiration to write your own short bio. These will help you get a feel for what it should sound like.

Examples of short bios:

Example 1

“Joan Martin is an Office Management Specialist who has over ten years of experience working to better the overall organization of a Fortune 500 company. Joan is passionate about implementing better management practices and has helped train new employees to succeed. She has implemented the use of many updated office procedures and technology including organizational apps, accounting systems, and streamlining office communication. Joan is an integral part of her company and keeps her co-workers motivated with her positive attitude and infectious optimism. When Joan isn’t at the office you can find her spending quality time with her husband, two daughters, and her grandson. She enjoys being active and being outdoors camping and hiking. Joan is actively involved in her community and volunteers on the weekends coaching her grandsons soccer team.“

Example 2

"My name is Adrian Doyle and I work for a small start-up tech company called Broadmont Worldwide as a Junior Web Developer.  I have extensive experience as a coder and programmer and use that experience to aid in the technological advances of the company. I earned a bachelor’s degree from the Institute for Technology in 2014 and since then I have continued to hone my skills by attending various seminars and conventions in the field. In 2016, I was honored with the Broadmont Award for Success and Innovation based on my work during the initial launch of the company.”

Have someone peer review your bio

What makes a short professional bio successful is being able to present your best-self with an authentic voice in the fewest sentences possible. Don’t be afraid to have a trusted peer or professional friend read your bio and let you know how it could be improved. Outside perspectives are a great way to improve your professional presentation of what you have to offer.

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