How To Write An Effective Bio

Tooting your own horn.  Singing your own praises.  Writing your own bio.  The majority of my clients that have sought out a copywriter to write their personal or corporate bio are afraid of sounding arrogant.  And they’re right to be wary; there’s a fine line between communicating your successes humbly like a fine piccolo solo and trumpeting emphatically about your achievements like a New Orleans brass band.  There’s a bit of an art to writing an effective, engaging bio that keeps the blaring to a minimum.

Your resume is just the beginning. A bio should read as a symphony would sound.  Rich and full and classy.  I’m careful to not just rattle off a list of my client’s previous occupations.  This is the biggest mistake that copywriter’s and non-copywriter’s make.  “Mr. Smith worked at McDonalds as a manager in 2002 before he moved up to Senior Manager in 2003.”   This may be true, but it could easily have been gleaned from reading Mr. Smith’s resume.  So what’s missing?

Show growth. When I write a client’s bio, I strive to illustrate how he or she has grown from each job and each opportunity.  After all, Mr. Smith didn’t just hop from job to higher level job because he put in his hours.  He learned from experience along the way and that’s how he was able to take on more responsibility with each occupational step.  Demonstrating to a potential employer how you’ve used skills learned at previous jobs to tackle challenges or create solutions at new jobs shows your ability to adapt and grow for the success of the company.  And bosses like employees that help the company succeed.

Choose your words carefully. Finally, there’s no way around it; your bio needs to be well-crafted.  Would you ask an accountant to build your house?  Would you have a composer fix your TV?  Probably not.  This is why most people hire a copywriter to write their bio.  I work with words the same way a composer works with instruments.  We each understand the distinctive power of the tools we work with every day and we know how to put them together to make them sing.  Writing a bio that sings with modesty and subtle power is the art of the copywriter.