September 20, 2017 | 5 min read
The Key To Writing A Compelling Professional Bio


No matter the context, if you’re asked to write a professional bio, it can be a daunting request.  Even if you’re comfortable in a writing capacity, the idea of writing about yourself is often met with more unease.  Whether you’re more modest or confident in your profession, it’s important to be sure that you can communicate your professional strengths without unnecessarily boasting about your accomplishments—and you don’t want it to sound boring either.  As a result, striking the right tone with the right information can be challenging.

While a professional bio may seem overwhelming at first, there is one simple solution that can not only intrigue the reader but ensure that you don’t sound too pompous: don’t make it about yourself.  Now, you may ask, “How do I write about myself without making it about me?”  The answer is that your professional bio should mostly convey the impacts of your work rather than the actual work itself or your personal accomplishments.  When you do so, you shift the focus to the people and businesses that you help.  To craft a compelling professional bio, ask yourself the following questions:

What is your impact?

When you’re looking to describe your impact, that could mean many different things.  Depending on your job, it could mean how you impact a customer’s life or a business’ results, or perhaps how your work affects people or communities in their daily lives.  To answer this, you may also consider what challenges others face that you solve through your work.

For example:

“John Smith is a professor who helps students realize their full potential as they enter the medical profession.”

“Susan Sommers is an Account Executive who helps her clients reduce production costs on average by 20%.” 

What do you believe in?

When it comes to the impact you’re making in your field, the way you approach your work comes accompanied with your values and what you believe is the purpose of your job.  As a result, communicating to the readers why you do what you do is fundamental to them understanding how you conduct yourself and your business.  When they identify with your motivations and passions, they’re more likely to take interest in you.  As a result, emphasize your core values that drive you to do your best work every day.

For example:

“Susan believes that people are a company’s biggest asset.”

“John knows that students respond to honest communication and collaboration in the classroom, which is why they are the cornerstones of his teaching philosophy.”

How can you prove the impact that you make?

Next, come in with the proof that your work has made the impact you describe.  This kind of evidence could come in many forms, as long as it conveys that you are effective in your role.  Ideally, your proof is something that can be measured.  However, be sure that you don’t convey the idea that personal profits are more important than the people or businesses that you help.

For example:

“While Susan takes an individualized approach to each of her clients, she has also increased sales by 25% over the last 5 years.”

“John is proud to say that his students entering the field have a 95% job placement rate.”

What about you?

Now that you’ve addressed the impacts of your job and what makes you passionate about your role, you can add the final details about yourself that may be of interest to readers.  For example:

  • Where you’re from
  • Where you received an education
  • What kind of degree you have
  • Other details from your professional background
  • Your areas of expertise
  • Other trainings, certifications, or awards you’ve received
  • Where you live or work
  • Contact information

While not all this information is necessary, depending on where this professional bio is placed, you can use your discretion as to how much personal information is needed.

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