Why You Should Have a Professional Biography Ready to Go

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A professional biography helps you stayed prepared for any business situation.

 

If you’re in business for any length of time, it’s likely that you are going to be asked to join a board of directors for a non-profit, school, service club or civic organization. Or write an article for a journal. Or speak at an event. And one of the first things these organizations are going to you for is a biography about yourself. Not your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), but a biography.  It should include your work history, any skills that may help the organization, awards or honors you’ve won or earned, your educational background (when applicable) and business or civic groups to which you belong.

It stands to reason then that most business professionals would make sure they had a biography on file. Better yet, several different versions of that bio in varying lengths depending on the entity requesting it. Surprisingly, this is not the case. Either the bios are terribly outdated or just have not been put together at all. This leaves many professionals scrambling when someone asks for their bio.

How to Prepare Your Biography

As in everything in life, preparation is key. Here are a few easy tips to writing your biography.

Create a short, medium and long biography. The short version should be about a paragraph and just give the basics. The medium length bio should be two to four paragraphs and a bit more detailed. The longest bio can be a page in length or even somewhat longer. Again, it depends on who requests it and what type of information is needed.

Write in the third person. It sounds more professional to say “John Smith won an award for…” than “I won an award for…” Remember, you are speaking to your audience. The biography is as much for their benefits as it is yours.

Let your personality shine through. Let the reader get a sense of who you are and why they should choose you.

Toot your horn. Mention your achievements, honors, and awards and why you received them. And do it without coming off as a braggart.

Write your biography. Start with a few bullet points and go from there.

Update your biography often. Remember to update your bio(s) to keep them fresh.

By creating bios of different lengths you give yourself options which will make the panic of creating one on the spot go away.

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