Friday, October 10, 2008

Writing A Professinal Biography - Useful Tips

  1. Keep it short

    When writing a bio, remember the difference between bio and biography.
    Bio = short. Biography = long.

    A good bio is short. If it's too long, people won't read it.

    Most of the time it's best to limit your bio to three or four sentences. This is particularly true for a professional bio that you would use when being introduced as a recitalist or at the end of an article you have written, or if you are writing about an artist.
    When writing a bio for your website, you can make it a little longer.

  2. Write in the third person

    Write your professional bio as though someone else is talking about you.
    Use your full name (first and last) the first time. After that, it's up to you whether you want to refer to yourself by your full name, just your first name, or just your last name.

    Here are some tips to keep in mind about the use of your name:

    • First names are friendly and informal, while last names are more conservative and formal
    • Use your first name if you are trying to develop a relationship with your reader Use your last name (e.g. "Smith graduated from" instead of "Tom graduated from") if you want your reader to be impressed by you
    • Use titles (Professor or Dr., for example) if you think the use of them will convey more to your audience. Whichever form you decide to use, keep it consistent throughout your bio

  3. Briefly highlight your main achievements

    The key word here is "briefly." It's really important to understand that a professional bio is not a résumé.

    Think of your professional bio as a little advertisement for you or your artist. Remember, the best advertisements are memorable because they get the message across with very few words.

    Ideally, your professional bio will address:

    1. who you are
    2. your expertise
    3. how to contact you

  4. Personal information is optional

    It is completely optional whether or not to include personal information as to where you're from, whom you live with, and what you like doing in your spare time.

  5. Let your personality show

    Since your professional bio is an advertisement for you, make it reflect the real you. If you're a down-to-earth person, use unpretentious language. If you have a particular passion, let the reader know. If you love to joke around, include some humor in your bio (but be careful; humor can be tricky).
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