Writing Your Personal Bio? 5 Tips on What to Include & What to Leave Out

Providing a personal bio is a valuable way of legitimizing your website, article, or any other form of media. Attaching a face and background to any work creates a sense of connection to the consumer and gives a reason for a customer to trust what you’re providing. Whether it’s an up-and-coming jewelry shop or a blog about your favorite sandwiches, adding a personal bio will provide character and credibility to your visitors. That being said, what’s in your bio is just as important as having one. If you’re struggling to write yourself a perfect description, read on to find five useful tips for writing your personal bio. 

1. Set an appropriate length

Writing a bio for a short newspaper column? Then your bio had better be shorter than the article, so it would be best to limit it to a sentence or two. If it’s a bio for your LinkedIn page or personal website, then you likely have more freedom to take up considerably more space. In most cases, your bio shouldn’t be the center of attention. For shorter bios, one to two sentences describing your current employment status and a relevant geographic location is sufficient. For longer ones, a dedicated webpage is often appropriate. Check this site for examples.

2. Follow from strong examples

Taking a look at bios written from your peers is a valid way to brainstorm. It is typical that formal bios are written in third person, and that more casual bios are written in first person. Therefore, it is also important to recognize the context of the bio analyzed. You may have found your career doppelganger; however, if their bio is serving a different purpose than yours, it will be more difficult to paraphrase. 

3. Provide relevant information first

As interesting as your fondest childhood memory may be, if it didn’t spur your love of baking, it would be best to leave it out the personal bio for your blog about cupcakes. Writing about oneself can be enjoyable, so it can be easy to overlook the underlying purpose of the personal bio. A personal bio attached to any piece of media should primarily be used to give legitimacy and personality to said piece of media. 

List only previous occupations most relevant to whatever you are promoting with your bio. Describing your career path chronologically gives evidence of your experience and capabilities. A good rule of thumb is to use the occupations that you would include in your resume if you were to apply to your current job. If you’re newer to the genre of media you are creating or the product you are selling, try taking life experiences and describing their relevance to your field. Credentials and previous work experience is certainly helpful, but are not the only way to provide yourself with credibility.

4. Pull some heartstrings

While information relevant to your career is going to show your expertise, it is also important to give your bio personality. Incorporating a struggle you overcame into your description can evoke empathy from the reader. Similarly, weaving a strong childhood memory into a sentence describing a source of inspiration can also invoke additional positive emotions from your audience. It is important to be careful with how frequently you include such experiences in your writing. Too much attempted manipulation of your readers emotional reactions and you may appear insincere, resulting in a less than effective personal bio. 

5. Keep less relevant information towards the end

Provided you have the space, it doesn’t hurt to give some extraneous information about yourself towards the end of the bio. Not only can this provide more character to your writing, but it can also break some monotony if the bulk of the bio is a bit dry. It would be best to keep this section light, so appropriate topics could include favorite hobbies, interests, or even a description of your family. Still, it is best to keep this section short and air on the side of undersharing as opposed to oversharing. 

Whether it is formal or informal, a personal bio is a tried and true way of showing your qualifications. Whether you are creating a dedicated webpage or simply need a few sentences about yourself at the end of an article, describing yourself will help connect you with your audience. Next time the need for a bio arises, don’t hesitate to apply these 5 tips to take your writing to the next level. 

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