Biography: 5 Ways to Improve your Bio

improve bio

A short bio can be used almost anywhere– on resumes, social media profiles, personal or company websites, for example. A bio gives the reader enough information to get them interested. Here are five ways to make any bio a good bio.

Figure out what the question is and answer it.

A bio is a short profile of a person, and it should not chronicle every accomplishment and essential fact, only the ones that matter. When a potential client or employer reads a bio, they are looking for the answer to the questions, “Why should I hire you specifically. What makes you the best choice?”

Answer those questions by outlining accomplishments, awards, grants, publications, career highlights, and education are all points that an individual should include. Any general knowledge that is important for the reader to know, such as qualifications, needs to be included. It is okay to brag a little bit.

Watch the tone

Bios do not have to use formal language. A casual, conversational tone can portray confidence and knowledge. The writer knows who they are, what they want, and why. When writing a bio, read it out loud. If it is too difficult to say without stumbling, or if there is a lot of jargon that not everyone will know, then change it. Too much vocabulary and wordy language can come off as elite or standoffish.

Format accordingly

A bio on a professional Instagram account will look different and have more information than a bio on a website. Every point included in a 150 character bio on Instagram should be in a more extended website bio as well. The website bio should expand on the shorter version by adding a more detailed description and more personality.

Come up with a 150 character bio, and make that the central focus. Think of it as an elevator pitch for a person. Make it easy to say and as descriptive as possible. A good template for this is “( name) is an (area of expertise) who (job title and description) at (location).”

Expand on that short bio, but not by much. A more extended website bio should still only be 3-4 short paragraphs.

Make it personable

Add in some facts that do not pertain to work or professional interests at all. On Instagram, a great way to do this is with emojis and one-word descriptors beside them (ex: mother, hiker, doctor). A few sentences about family and hobbies s give the reader a complete picture for more extended bios.

Check for grammar and spelling

This may seem too obvious. Spellcheck and grammar check are incredibly important in all writing contexts and should always be done multiple times.  Remember that errors like having the names of universities or companies that an individual went to/worked for misspelled look arguably worse than a comma splice.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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