It’s very common these days to be asked to produce a short bio or insert information about ourselves online - particularly groups, networks and for conferences.
And many of us just roll our eyes and think, ‘I’ll do it later’.
I know it. I get it! And that’s why I do what I do.
As we travel back through memory lane to revisit our professional experiences and what we’ve accomplished throughout our careers, we often return with a feeling of stuckness. And that feeling will often turn into overwhelm and have us sending our unwritten bio into the ‘too-hard’ basket. All of this happens because we don’t really know what to say or where to start.
I want to assure you, it doesn’t have to be this way. A trip down memory lane will be enjoyable once you know what you’re looking for.
5 things that ARE relevant for your bio or LinkedIn summary:
1. What are your career highlights?
Have you won any awards?
Have you received relevant media exposure e.g. magazines, TV or radio?
Have you had a string of successful businesses?
Was there a tipping point in your career that catapulted you to ‘success’ or notability?
2. What notable clients or companies have you worked with?
Always include reputable companies and clients. If you’re just starting out and haven’t worked with any notable organisations relevant in your industry, don’t worry. You can skip this until you have.
3. Where did you get your education (depending on what stage of your career you’re in, this may or may not be relevant) For example, someone just breaking into the fashion industry, may want to mention where they studied. Someone who has been in business for 15+ years with a proven track record of industry experience may not.
4. What change are you trying to bring to your industry?
If you are in business for yourself: Why do you do what you do? What core message are you wanting to share and bring awareness to and why?
If you are working for an organisation: What makes you passionate about your role and your industry. What drives you to want to make a difference in this position? Why are you the catch of the day?
5. What do you like to do for fun?
I ask every single one of my clients this question. Why? Because you are human. Because your bio should communicate your true essence as a human being and not only what you’ve accomplished. Unless you have the personality of a table, then your bio should not present you in that way.
My clients also worry that including ‘fun things’ may not be relevant.
Here’s my response:
By sharing who you really are (beyond a piece of paper or a screen); you allow your reader to connect with you. Showing that you have interests outside of work could be the very thing that gets your foot in the door. You have no idea that the person reading isn’t a massive rock climbing fan or has every one of Adele’s albums and coaches their child’s little league team. You just don’t know. And one of your interests may just make you stand out. It definitely makes you more relatable and offers a point of conversation should that opportunity present itself.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
Once you have these 5 questions answered you can fill in the gaps with your skills, what you believe your greatest assets are and what your business is about.