Where to write from when crafting your bio

Where to write from when crafting your bio

Having a strong and professional bio is integral to representing yourself online; which means it’s absolutely essential in today's networking and hiring climate. A firm handshake, confident and personable interview, along with a brief summary on the top of your resume used to go a long way… and it still does. However, social media platforms — specifically About.Me & LinkedIn, introduce a couple of variables and further steps between yourself and the big meeting.

It’s important to think of yourself as a brand, your brand. And while your bio should properly reflect who you are and how you want others to perceive you, your bio shouldn’t be the same for every platform. Each social media outlet has its own native language, and users there expect to be presented with a certain tone and format. It’s a good idea to have some general strokes in your playbook, but odds are that someone that’s interested in doing business with you is going to check up on more than one website. If they see the same copy on subsequent sites, they’re less likely to continue reading your content and seeing what you have to offer.

Down to business.

It’s highly suggested that you take the time and sit down, writing each bio from scratch… on the platform you’re publishing it. In general you should be honest, transparent, and speak from the heart. You’ll want to capture your vocal personality and tone; if anything, so your readers are primed to accept your individual method of communication. Don’t be afraid to bend or lightly scuff some traditional rules… emojis, and exclamation can travel (if you’re the excited and energetic type in person.

Preparing a professional bio statement is also a great learning exercise, since it will get you thinking. If you’re the type of person that constantly undervalues your own skills or forgets their experience, having something written down can help you remember what to mention when mingling. Bulleted lists and resumes are great, but there’s something about the long narrative form that intrigues and influences readers.

Format is mostly left up to you. Twitter and Instagram force you into a super short box of one or two sentences, but most other platforms give free reign. After you’ve written a draft, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to see how search engines index what you’ve written — you should make sure that the “preview” description has the most important elements, and isn’t cutting off mid sentence. Length matters, but not in the way you think. Don’t make it too long. Remember, someone has to read this thing. Two hundred well phrased and meaningful words beat a memoir everyday of the week.

Can’t think of where to start?

My first advice is don’t think. Just write. Free writing is a valuable exercise that will ensure you get out the content you’re after. You might end up with a couple thousand words of rambling… but somewhere in there is treasure. At this point, all you have to do is scratch the fluff.

If you’re still having trouble focusing, I’d ask you to think of your bio as a conversation. Picture yourself two, five, or even ten years into the future — where you’ve achieved the position you’ve wanted, your projects are succeeding, and you’re right in the middle of where you want to be. Then jump inside that version of yourself, and reflect. Pretend this reality of yourself is having lunch, or out for a drink with an acquaintance or colleague you haven’t seen in awhile. What would you say when giving them the highlights of your career? Stick to your motivations, and how you handle day to day tasks. The most important thing to remember is that there’s probably hundreds of people in your field that can do what you do, just as well as you can. When someone is looking at your personal brand, they’re not thinking about your service or trade… they’re thinking about you. Lead with your unique personality — perspective is the most valuable fruit of experience.

fyi: this post originally appeared on my blog @ www.pocketwriter.biz if you loved it please give it a ❤, or troll me in the comments. Cheers! R.

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