There is a section when you’re filling out your LinkedIn profile, right near the top that’s called the Summary. The summary is where you talk about yourself, who you are and where you’ve worked. If you’re like most people, you find talking about yourself a little weird and you’ve spent a lot of time starring at that blank summary section wondering what exactly to write. Writing a strong bio is essential for getting people interested in the rest of your profile.
If you have Twitter you’ve come across this very same issue. Twitter offers you 140 characters for your Bio. You want to say what you’ll be tweeting about, maybe a quick joke and a nickname. There’s not much space available. You need to be concise.
Then there’s the opening section of your resume, at the very top you need a summary of who you are, what you do and what you’re good at.
Why You Need a Bio
Whether it’s for professional purposes or not, it’s good to have a Bio ready to go. In the world of work you need to be able to tell people who you are and what you’re about quickly, and directly. Here are some tips to help make writing a strong bio a little easier.
When people first read your bio or summary, they want to meet a person, not just a list of achievements. Share who you are, and what your area of expertise is. As Forbes puts it, “Tell Your Story”.
A story is always the best way to get people interested in you. How you got into your industry and what has drawn you to specific work is an awesome way to share your passion with others.
Move into Professional
Telling your personal story should lead into your professional story. How you got started, where you are now and where you are aiming to go. Share your passions and your professional history including your achievements and successes. Once you’ve hooked people with your personality and story, it’s time to show them you’ve got the stuff.
Write in Third Person
According to Chris Brogan, you should write your bio the third person. You want it to sound as professional as possible, so instead of writing “I studied abroad…” write “James studied abroad…” While it’s generally understood you’ll be writing your own bio, this added element of professionalism can go a long way.
Keep It Short
Some summaries are anything but. People go on and on about what they’ve done and where they’ve been. No one wants to know everything about you right off that bat. Too much text and they lose interest and move on. Focus on the things that you’re proudest of, and the things that highlight you and your accomplishments best. Most importantly, if using your bio for a specific job application, make sure you share the things that best match up with that job.
Whether for your resume, LinkedIn, a website – whatever, it’s always a good idea to have a bio ready to share.