A bio tells an audience who you are, and what you’ve done, and also hints at what you are capable of doing. It can help potential employers, fans, or customers get a sense of your personality and what you stand for.
It’s important to tailor your professional bio to your goals and the people you want to reach for it to be effective. For example, say you’re looking for a job. Your professional bio should give recruiters a peek at your career accomplishments and experience.
But what if you’ve recently published a book or are applying for a grant? In those situations, you might want to highlight organizations you support or funny anecdotes.
Recent graduates can benefit from a well-written professional bio. It can help you communicate how your life experience makes you a great candidate for the roles you’re looking for.
Your professional bio should be as unique as you are. That said, there are a few items you’ll want to include to make sure that your readers get the information they’re looking for.
Your bio should include important professional roles and achievements. It’s also valuable to add passions, personal interests, and how you bring your values to your work. Finally, your bio should give your readers a chance to get to know you. So, it should reflect your personality.
If you want to build a personal brand, writing in the first person can be a great way to connect with your audience. When you write a first-person bio, use “I” or “me” statements to make yourself relatable and approachable.
Here’s one way to write a first-person bio: “I’m a freelance writer specializing in small business content. I’ve worked with companies in a variety of industries, from home care services to fine leather goods.” By speaking in the first person here, you take a more personable approach to connecting with a client or brand.
When you write a first-person bio you’re telling your story directly to your audience. This shows them that you crafted your bio with your personal experience and opinions.
There are a few things to remember that can make your first-person bio great.
Showing instead of telling is a great approach.
For example, check out this short professional bio example below. Instead of saying “I love to write.” She says “Writer. Bad but enthusiastic dancer.” Instead of talking about writing, she creates a vivid picture and shows her sense of humor.
Adding some back story to your bio can help create a context for the roles and successes you’re writing about. This bio from Mark Levy is a great example.
These are quick facts about you that can quickly show someone new who you are and what you stand for.
For example, say you’re writing a bio for LinkedIn. You might be into playing Animal Crossing for your home right now, but does that hobby say anything about where you want your career to go?
If you want to focus on video games in the future, this could be the perfect addition. But if your interests lie elsewhere, you might want to include a hobby that’s more relevant.
Using third-person will make your bio sound more authoritative and objective. So, if you’re job searching in a formal industry, applying for grants, or trying to get published, you may want to stick to the third person.
For instance, when you write a third-person bio you may start with “Jasmine Montgomery is a Senior Hiring Manager at L’Oreal based in New York. She recruits across several business units to connect with the brightest talent from around the globe.” By only using your name and pronouns to speak about yourself here, you are letting your title and skill set speak for themselves.
These bios create distance between the subject of the bio (you) and the reader, through a third person. This person could be anyone, but they usually speak in a tone that emphasizes their expertise. This means that third-person reviews can sometimes feel aloof or overly formal.
Ideally, your third-person bio should sound friendly but polished, like a message from a close colleague at work. Here are a few more tips on how to write a great third-person bio.
It can be tough to write about yourself, so try to see yourself from the perspective of your favorite person at work or a mentor you trust. This can help you write from a position of authority without feeling self-conscious.
A professional bio often reflects a specific industry or niche. With this in mind, your text should include relevant details that people in the industry would know. At the same time, avoid jargon whenever you can.
If you want a third-person bio, but you’re used to writing in first-person, it may help to write it the way that’s most comfortable for you.
Your professional bio is an important piece of writing, so it’s natural for you to edit it carefully. In this case, you may want to edit your writing from both points of view and see which works best for your target audience.
While first-person bios are quite common, third-person bios can be more effective in formal situations.
Your decision to write your professional bio in the first or third person depends on whether you’d like to leave a more personable or assertive impression. Both approaches can be effective when you tailor them to your goals and the audience you are writing for.
The most important thing is to be clear and concise and tell your story in a way that connects with your reader.
To structure your professional bio so it stays true to these objectives, try out our 80+ downloadable professional bio templates — for both short and long-form bios — to start composing a bio that makes a mark:
Professional Bio Templates
When it comes to professional bios, keeping your message honest and to the point is best practice. So how do you go about writing one that will effectively market you and your brand?
This is where a professional bio template comes in. By sticking to a predetermined format, all you have to do to begin is fill in the blanks with your most relevant career information. These bio templates will guide you on where you should place your:
- Occupation or Job title
- Passions and goals
- Skill set and expertise
- Work history
Of course, while there is no one-size-fits-all template for a professional bio, this template is a quick way to start building out your long or short bio before customizing it to your liking. But before choosing your bio template, there are some key elements to include to make sure yours is effective.
Here’s how to write a professional bio, step by step.
How to Write a Professional Bio
- Create an ‘About’ page for your website or profile.
- Begin writing your bio with your first and last name.
- Mention any associated brand name you might use.
- State your current position and what you do.
- Include at least one professional accomplishment.
- Describe your values and how they inform your career.
- Briefly tell your readers who you are outside of work.
- Consider adding humor or a personal story to add flavor to your professional bio.
1. Create an ‘About’ page for your website or profile.
Before you can publish your professional bio, you need a living space for it. Here are a few to consider (some of these you might already have in place):
- Facebook Business page
- LinkedIn profile
- Instagram account
- Personal website
- Personal blog
- Industry website
- Industry blog byline
As you’ll see in the professional bio examples below, the length and tone of your bio will differ depending on which of the above platforms you choose to be on.
Instagram, for example, allows only 150 characters of bio space, whereas you can write virtually as much as you want on your personal website — or even your Facebook Business page. But once created, this bio should represent who you are in the eyes of your audience.
2. Begin writing your bio with your first and last name.
If your readers don’t remember anything else about your bio, make sure they remember your name. For that reason, it’s a good idea for your first and last name to be the first two words of your professional bio. Even if your name is printed above this bio (hint: it should), this is a rare moment where it’s okay to be redundant.
For example, if I were writing my own bio, I might start it like this:
Lindsay Kolowich is a Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot.
3. Mention any associated brand name you might use.
Will your professional bio represent yourself, or a business you work for? Make sure the brand you want to be associated with is mentioned in your bio. If you’re a freelancer, perhaps you have a personal business name or pseudonym you advertise to your clients. Here are a few examples:
- Lindsay Kolowich Marketing
- SEO Lindsay
- Kolowich Consulting
- Content by Kolowich (what do you think … too cheesy?)
Maybe you founded your own company, and you want its name to be separate from your real name. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple: “Lindsay Kolowich is the founder and CEO of Kolowich Consulting.”
4. State your current position and what you do.
Whether you’re the author of a novel or a mid-level specialist, use the next few lines of your bio to describe what you do in that position. Don’t assume your audience will naturally know what your job title entails.
Make your primary responsibilities known to the reader, helping them paint a picture of who you are during the day and what you have to offer the industry.
5. Include at least one professional accomplishment.
Just as a business touts its client successes in the form of case studies, your professional bio should let your own audience know what you’ve already achieved. What have you done for yourself — as well as for others — that makes you a valuable player in your industry?
6. Describe your values and how they inform your career.
Why do you do what you do? What might make your contribution to the market different from your colleagues?
Better yet, what values do you and your colleagues share that would make your business a worthwhile investment to others? Start to wrap up your professional bio by simply explaining what gets you up in the morning.
7. Briefly tell your readers who you are outside of work.
Transition from describing your values in work to describing who you are outside of work. This may include:
- Your family
- Your hometown
- Sports you play
- Hobbies and interests
- Favorite music and travel destinations
- Side hustles you’re working on
People like connecting with other people. The more transparent you are about who you are personally, the more likable you’ll be to the people reading about who you are as a professional.
8. Consider adding humor or a personal story to add flavor to your professional bio.
End your professional bio on a good note — or, more specifically, a funny note. Leaving your audience with something quirky or uniquely you can ensure they’ll leave your website with a pleasant impression of you.
It’s important to follow the steps above when writing your bio, but don’t obsess over any one section. Remember, the people reading your bio are suffering from information fatigue. If you don’t hook ’em in the first line, you’ll lose them quickly.
(P.S. Want to give your professional brand a boost? Take one of HubSpot Academy’s free certification courses. In just one weekend, you can add a line to your resume and bio that’s coveted by over 60,000 marketers.)
Why Good Bios Are Important for a Professional
Alright, I know what you may be thinking … So what? It’s just a bio. I mean, how many people read professional bios, anyway?
The answer: A lot of people. More importantly, though, there’s no way to tell exactly who is reading it — and you always want it to be ready for when the right people come across it. And when they do, you want it to catch their eye. In a good way.
You see, while your resume is only useful for when you’re actively applying for specific positions, your professional bio is much more visible. It can live on your LinkedIn profile, your company’s website, your guest blog posts, your speaker profiles, your Twitter bio, and many other places.
And, most importantly, it’s the tool that you can leverage most when you’re networking.
Bottom line? People will read your professional bio. Whether they remember it, and whether it makes them care about you, is a matter of how well you present yourself to your intended audience.
So, what does a top-notch professional bio look like?
Below, we’ve curated some of the best real professional bio examples we’ve ever seen on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the various websites where you might describe yourself.
Check ’em out, and use them as inspiration when crafting your own.
Best Professional Bio Examples
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Author
- Chima Mmeje: SEO Content Writer
- DJ Nexus: DJ
- Lena Axelsson: Marriage & Family Therapist
- Mark Levy: Branding Firm Founder
- Audra Simpson: Political Anthropologist
- Marie Mikhail: Professional Recruiter
- Wonbo Woo: Executive Producer
- Chris Burkard: Freelance Photographer
- Lisa Quine: Creative Consultant
- Nancy Twine: Hair Care Founder
- Trinity Mouzon: Wellness Brand Founder
- Alberto Perez: Co-Founder of Zumba Fitness
- Ann Handley: Writer and Marketer
- Rebecca Bollwitt: Writer
- Corey Wainwright: Principal Marketing Manager
- Megan Gilmore: Cookbook Author
- Van Jones: Political Commentator, Author, and Lawyer
- Sarah Haskins: Writer
- Bea Dixon: Feminine Care Founder
1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Author
Bio Platform: Personal Website
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie begins her professional bio with an invitation into her world. In just one sentence, she describes the depth and breadth of her body of work as it has been translated into thirty languages and several publications.
Along with her notable writing career, Chimamanda showcases her speaking career which introduces readers to a well-rounded view of who she is as a professional. From there, her bio seamlessly flows into her recent work and a glimpse into how and where she spends her personal time – the United States and Nigeria.
Finally, Chimamanda’s bio ends with a call to action to read a more detailed biography, giving the reader a choice to read the information available about her life and career.
2. Chime Mmeje: SEO Content Writer
Bio Platform: LinkedIn
A bio with a hook is sure to keep you reading. Chima Mmeje is a freelance SEO copywriter who’s “extremely good at one thing”: helping companies rank for their target keywords.
By leading with a strong hook that aligns with her target audience’s marketing needs, she’s able to keep readers engaged.
What comes next is a unique differentiator in a professional bio. Instead of listing accolades, Chima shares a few wins she’s secured for her clients. This nifty section does two things: it builds the readers’ confidence in her ability to deliver results and it’s a practical way to name-drop her clients in a professional bio.
In the body of her professional bio, Chima briefly lists her process at a high level, giving her potential clients a bird’s-eye view of what they can expect when they book her services.
The simple call to action “Drop a message” in her email inbox is a casual invitation to learn more about her services.
3. DJ Nexus: DJ
Bio Platform: Facebook
This New England-based DJ has single-handedly captured the Likes of more than 2,000 people in and beyond Boston, MA. And even if you don’t listen to the type of music he produces, it’s hard not to listen to his compelling Facebook bio.
For instance, consider his tagline, under “About” — “Quiet during the day. QUITE LOUD at night!” DJ Nexus tells you when he works in an awesome way. I got goosebumps just imagining a dance club he might play his music in.
DJ Nexus’s bio brilliance doesn’t stop there.
DJ Nexus links his Facebook account to his personal website, where he has the space to tell the full story of his background. Here’s a preview, below:
In this story, DJ Nexus describes both when he “became known as DJ Nexus” and a company he founded shortly afterward — all before going to college.
This is a terrific lesson for professional bios: Customers want to learn about you. Consider how you might also lead your Facebook visitors off your Facebook page and onto your personal website to learn more about who you are.
4. Lena Axelsson: Marriage & Family Therapist
Bio Platform: Industry Website
When it all comes down to it, your professional bio is no different from any other piece of persuasive copy — no matter where it lives. One of the most common mistakes people make is thinking of it as its own beast, separate from other pieces of writing. If you think about it that way, you’re far more likely to write something painfully uninteresting.
When you sit down to write your professional bio and you’re watching that cursor blinking on the screen, think about how you would introduce a blog post. You don’t just dive right into the meat of the thing, now, do you? No. You start with an introduction.
The best bios are often concise (around 200–300 words), so you don’t have a lot of room to play around. But a single sentence that tees your reader up and provides context for the accomplishments that follow could make the rest of your bio that much more persuasive.
Take Lena Axelsson’s bio, for instance. She’s a marriage and family therapist — a job where empathy and compassion are a big part of the job description. That’s why she chooses to open her bio with a great introductory sentence: “When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel.”
Then, she goes into why she’s passionate about her job, how she helps her clients, and how she caters her approach to each patient. The necessary educational information is left for the end after the reader has been hooked.
Your bio doesn’t have to be super serious, nor does it have to start with a joke. This bio shows how you can capture your reader’s attention by being empathetic and showing how that empathy shapes a valuable professional.
5. Mark Levy: Branding Firm Founder
Bio Platform: Personal Website
Mark Levy is a small business owner who’s taken a more traditional approach to the professional bio on his website — but in a way that takes care to speak to his intended audience.
What we love about his bio is the way he’s set it up: On his business’ “About” page, he’s listed two biographies, which he’s labeled “Mark Levy’s Biography #1” and “Mark Levy’s Biography #2.”
Like Ann, Mark’s given his readers two different options. The first biography is a “short version,” which includes a combination of bullet points listing his credentials and a few short paragraphs.
The second is the “long version,” which is actually even more interesting than the first one. Why? Because it reads like a story — a compelling one, at that. In fact, it gets really funny at parts.
The second sentence of the bio reads: “He was frightened of public school, loved playing baseball and football, ran home to watch ape films on the 4:30 Movie, listened to The Jam and The Buzzcocks, and read magic trick books.”
Here’s another excerpt from the middle:
Of course, the fantastic copywriting isn’t a surprise, given that this guy wrote several books. But the conversational tone and entertaining copy let his quirky personality (and great writing skills) shine.
6. Audra Simpson: Political Anthropologist
Bio Platform: Personal Website
With a classic take on the professional bio, Audra Simpson crafts a brief overview of her career in just a couple of paragraphs. The “why” behind her work is emphasized in the first half of her bio before transitioning to the way she carries out that work in practice.
The second half of her bio combines her bodies of work and the awards she’s won for each from the year 2014 to 2020. This subtle timeline gives readers a picture of her experience in the field of political anthropology without listing her resume in detail.
Audra’s professional bio is an example for those of us with several years of experience to communicate, but a strict word limit to write within.
7. Marie Mikhail: Professional Recruiter
Bio Platform: LinkedIn
Marie Mikhail checks off nearly every box for what makes an excellent bio. A professional recruiter, she expresses her “passion for recruiting” upfront, in the first sentence, while using that sentence to hook her profile visitors into a brief story of her background.
But there are a lot of recruiters out there, and Marie knows that. So, to differentiate herself, she closes the first paragraph of her bio by explaining that she likes “getting people excited about the things [she’s] excited about.” It’s a well-put value proposition that sets her apart from the rest of the HR industry.
Marie Mikhail finishes off her bio by including a smooth mixture of professional skills, such as her Spanish fluency; and personal interests, such as podcasting and Star Wars (she mentions the latter with just the right amount of humor).
8. Wonbo Woo: Executive Producer
Bio Platform: Personal Website
Wonbo Woo is the executive producer of WIRED’s video content, and he has several impressive credits to his name. What does this mean for his professional bio? He has to prioritize. With this in mind, Wonbo opens his bio with the most eye-catching details first (if the image below is hard to read, click it to see the full copy).
Not only does Wonbo’s bio start strong, but he also takes readers on a suspenseful journey through some of his most harrowing assignments — where he was when news broke and how he responded. You can see this quality below.
The accomplished journalist concludes his gripping bio as strong as it began, measuring his experience by the number of states, countries, and continents to which he’s traveled in his career. See how this looks above. All in all, it’s a fantastically concise bio for as much detail as it holds.
9. Chris Burkard: Freelance Photographer
Bio Platform: LinkedIn
If you’re writing your bio but having trouble figuring out how to showcase your accomplishments without boasting, photographer Burkard’s LinkedIn bio is a great example for inspiration.
Written in third-person, his bio tells a fluid story, starting with his ultimate mission — “capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature” — before diving into more tangible accolades (giving a TED talk, publishing books, etc.).
Best of all, rather than using his bio as an opportunity to brag, he instead ties his talents into how he hopes to help others, writing, “Through social media, Chris strives to share his vision … and inspire [his followers] to explore for themselves.”
I wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to follow Chris if his bio had simply read “I post beautiful images” … but inspire me to travel? Now that’s something I can get behind.
Lastly, he ends on a humble, sweet note, writing “He is happiest with his wife Breanne raising their two sons”. Don’t be afraid to inject some personal information into your bio — it could help you seem more approachable as a result.
10. Lisa Quine: Creative Consultant
Bio Platform: Portfolio Website
Although a picture is worth 1,000 words, a portfolio is quite different from a professional bio. While this might present a challenge for creative professionals who specialize in visual art to tell their stories, Lisa Quine quantifies her creativity to give her professional bio balance.
Throughout her bio, you’ll notice the number of murals she’s completed and a brief timeline of her career thus far which helps paint the picture of who she is as a professional.
Lisa’s bio checks the box on nearly all of our recommendations for a great bio. She begins with her full name, her location, and what she does best. From there, she gets creative by appropriately mentioning the brands she’s worked with and highlighting some of her favorite projects. With a third-person approach to the writing, this bio invites the reader behind a metaphorical door to meet Lisa as a professional, traveler, learner, wife, and mother.
11. Nancy Twine: Hair Care Founder
Bio Platform: Company Website
As Founder and CEO of Briogeo — a popular natural hair care line that’s received rave reviews in publications such as Allure and InStyle — there are undoubtedly plenty of accolades Twine could boast about.
But she chooses to start her bio from a humbler place, stating: “Nancy Twine is no newcomer to the beauty-sphere — in fact, she made her first foray into the world of natural product formulation at the ripe age of five.”
The rest of her bio similarly focuses on Twine’s strengths as someone who’s able to take hair care “back to basics”. The bio focuses on why Twine made the decision she did to start her company, and what ultimately drives her.
Similarly, you might consider using your personal bio as an opportunity to highlight your bigger purpose or vision. As Twine demonstrates, sometimes it’s best to keep it simple and let your message resonate with the right audience.
12. Trinity Mouzon: Wellness Brand Founder
Bio Platform: Personal Website
I gravitated towards Mouzon’s bio from the first sentence: “I’m obsessed with leveling the playing field.” Mouzon effectively grips the reader’s attention with this introduction and then dives into some of her impressive accomplishments — including a brand that’s now sold at Urban Outfitters and Target.
The language used throughout Mouzon’s bio is authentic, real, and honest. Consider, for instance, the beginning of the second paragraph, where she admits, “While building a brand may have looked effortless from the outside, starting a business at age 23 with no resources or funding quickly forced me to realize that early-stage entrepreneurship was anything but transparent.”
Ultimately, this bio doesn’t just focus on Mouzon’s (impressive) background — it also highlights how she can help her readers start and scale their businesses.
By focusing on the reader, Mouzon effectively demonstrates the real power of a good bio: the power to convert newcomers into leads and customers.
13. Alberto “Beto” Perez: Co-Founder of Zumba Fitness
Bio Platform: LinkedIn
As an avid Zumba fan, I was excited to include this one in the list. Perez styles his LinkedIn bio as a short story, starting with his background as a hard-working teen who held three jobs by age 14.
His bio tells the fun and fascinating origin story of Zumba, in which Perez, an aerobics teacher in Florida at the time, forgot his music for class and used a Latin music cassette tape instead … “And it was an instant hit!”
His bio continues, “Shortly after he was connected to Alberto Periman and Alberto Aghion and Zumba was officially created … what started as a dream now has 15 million people in more than 200,000 locations in 186 countries who take Zumba classes every week.”
What I like best about this bio is Perez’s decision to use the space to tell the story of his business, rather than list out his accomplishments. It provides a more real and colorful introduction to Perez and immediately makes him feel both relatable and inspirational.
Let’s dive into a few examples of short professional bios next.
Short Bio Examples
14. Ann Handley: Writer and Marketer
Bio Platform: Personal Website
If you’re a marketer, you’ve likely heard of Ann Handley. Her list of credentials is lengthy, and if she wanted to, she could go on and on and on about her accomplishments.
But when people list out all their accomplishments in their bios, they risk sounding a little egotistical. Sure, you might impress a handful of people with all those laurels, but many people who read your bio will end up feeling either intimidated or annoyed. Think about it: Is that how you want the majority of your readers to feel when they read your bio?
To minimize the egoism that comes with talking about yourself, think about how you can list out your accomplishments without sounding like you’re bragging. Ann does this really well, choosing a tone in her bio that’s more approachable.
Best of all, Ann chooses to focus on her readers’ challenges and motivations, rather than her own. For instance, she writes, “Ann Handley writes and speaks about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to achieve tangible results. >And she will inspire you to do work you’re proud of.“
Follow the link and you’ll be led to a page dedicated to a fuller bio, which she’s divided into two parts: a “short version” (literally a bulleted list of key facts) and a “long version,” which includes traditional paragraphs. There’s something in there for everyone.
15. Rebecca Bollwitt: Writer
Bio platform: Instagram
Instagram is a notoriously difficult platform on which to write a good bio. Similar to Twitter, you simply don’t have room for a professional bio that includes everything about you. And because Instagram is primarily a mobile app, many viewers are reading about you passively on their mobile devices.
Instagram’s limited bio space requires you to highlight just your most important qualities, and blogging icon Rebecca Bollwitt does so in her own Instagram bio in an excellent way.
Rebecca’s brand name is Miss604 and cleverly uses emojis in her Instagram bio to tell visitors exactly what makes her a valuable content creator. Take a look at the screenshot below:
Starting with a trophy emoji, Miss604 says she’s an award-winning blogger. I haven’t even looked at her pictures yet and the introduction of her bio has already sucked me in.
The rest of her bio follows suit, breaking up the text with an appropriate emoji and a perfect collection of nouns to tell me who she is as a person. She even links out to her husband’s Instagram account after the heart emoji (an adorable addition) and assures her followers that all of her pictures are authentically hers.
Take a lesson from Miss604, and show your personal side. Just because you’re branding yourself as a professional doesn’t mean you have to take your human being hat off. Often your most personal attributes make for the best professional bio content.
16. Corey Wainwright: Principal Marketing Manager
Bio Platform: Blog Byline
Corey Wainwright is a Principal Marketing Manager here at HubSpot. She’s written content for HubSpot’s Marketing Blog for years, and her blog author bio has caught my eye since before I ever started working for HubSpot. (Back then, it started with, “Corey just took a cool vacation.”)
What I love most about Corey’s bio is that it’s a great example of how to deliver information about yourself without taking things too seriously. And in this context, that’s totally appropriate.
Despite having several impressive accomplishments under her belt, she simply doesn’t like displaying them publicly. So, she prefers making her author bio a little more “light.”
Her bio (pictured below) reads, “Corey is a Bruce Springsteen fan who does content marketing, in that order.”
It works in this particular context because, at HubSpot, our blog authors often prefer to make themselves as friendly and approachable as possible — while letting the content speak for itself.
It helps that authors’ social media accounts are located right below our names and above our pictures. For folks who really do want a list of Corey’s credentials, they can click the LinkedIn button to go to her LinkedIn page. (You can read this blog post to learn how to create social media buttons and add them to your website.)
17. Megan Gilmore: Cookbook Author
Bio Platform: Instagram
Megan Gilmore is a best-selling cookbook author, and she often posts healthy recipes on her Instagram page to inspire followers’ to realize that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for the sake of health.
Fortunately, you glean most of this information immediately from her Instagram bio, which is short and to the point: “No fads; just real food recipes. Author of Everyday Detox + No Excuses Detox.” Her “no fads” call-out shows followers she aims to be helpful rather than gimmicky.
Plus, Gilmore includes a CTA link within her Instagram bio that leads followers to free, ready-to-use recipes. You might be thinking — Why would she do that, since it discourages people from buying her book? But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
By giving her followers the chance to try out her recipes, she’s slowly turning leads into customers. After I tried a few of her Instagram recipes and loved them, I decided to go ahead and buy her book, knowing I’d like more of what she had to offer.
18. Van Jones: Political Commentator, Author, and Lawyer
Bio Platform: Twitter
Someone who’s known for a variety of talents and skills may find it difficult to capture who they are in a professional bio. When limited to just over 100 characters on Twitter, the feat is nearly impossible. But Van Jones effortlessly explains who he is and why it matters to everyone who visits his Twitter profile.
He starts his professional bio with a token of personalization and prioritization of his values. By mentioning that he is a dad first, we recognize what’s important to him in his long list of successes.
As we’ve seen in other bios, sharing who we are outside of work makes us more personable and should find its way into your bio, if possible. Van leaves plenty of room to share a variety of professional experiences in his bio including CEO of REFORM and his 2020 Emmy award.
What’s great about Van’s Twitter bio is his ability to link valuable offerings to his readers. He invites us to check out his latest book and has his website reformalliance.com linked at the top.
19. Sarah Haskins: Writer
Bio Platform: Twitter
When in doubt, a few words go a long way.
Consider, for instance, the funny and impactful bio of Sarah Haskins on her Twitter page, which reads: “writer. bad but enthusiastic dancer.”
What more do you need to know?
She doesn’t take her bio too seriously and uses the space to highlight one serious accomplishment/skill (writer) and one not-so-impressive skill (bad dancer), to demonstrate her sense of humor and realness.
Particularly for a social media account that already restricts word count, consider how you might showcase your uniqueness in just a few words.
20. Bea Dixon: Feminine Care Founder
Bio Platform: Instagram
Bea Dixon, Founder, and CEO of The Honey Pot Company, efficiently uses her space on her Instagram profile to highlight who she is as a well-rounded human — not just a businesswoman.
For instance, while she highlights her Girl boss attitude with a tiara emoji, she equally calls attention to her fashion interests (Free People), her pets Boss and Sadie, and her love for ramen noodles.
Consider how you might also highlight your interests, hobbies, or passions outside of the 9-to-5. If people are reading your bio, they’re interested in getting to know the full you.
How to Write a Short Bio
- Introduce yourself.
- State what you do.
- Add key skills or areas of expertise.
- Include a personal mission statement
- Celebrate your wins.
- Provide your contact information.
- Show them your personality.
If you’re posting a bio on a social media account or sending a quick blurb to a client, you want to keep it short and sweet while showcasing your accomplishments.
To get you started, here are the best practices for writing your short professional bio:
Your introduction is your first impression, so always begin by telling people who you are. You may start with a greeting like, “Hello, my name is” or “Hi! Let me first introduce myself …” when sending your bio as a message.
If you’re writing a bio for an online platform, simply stating your name at the beginning works as well, like the way freelancing entrepreneur Alex Fasulo presents themselves in the first person on their website:
Leading with your name— even if it’s in question form— is important for recognition and to build relationships in your field or cross-functionally.
Give people an idea of what you do day-to-day, as well as where you work. Your job title is how the people put you into context and consider whether your profession relates to your audience’s industry. So detail the most relevant work you’re involved in your short bio like CEO, professor, and author, Angela Duckworth, specifies on her LinkedIn:
Even if you are a freelancer with a broad focus, you can keep it general yet clearly specify the type of contract work you do. If your specialty is writing, your title could be “Freelance Writer,” or if it’s Help Desk or Information Technology you may state yourself as a “Freelance IT Specialist.”
Especially, if you’re sending a bio to a client or potential employer, make sure to highlight the skills that they will find valuable. For instance, if you’re expertise is in social media marketing and content creation like Ivanka Dekoning, make sure you list these skills concisely:
Here Dekoning showcases their experience so potential connections immediately see if they have what they’re looking for— and you can show this too.
What do you hope to achieve through your work? Why do you do what you do? Answering these questions can help give your bio’s mission statement some direction, similar to how Farmer Bea makes their goal to help bees clear to all of their Twitter connections:
So give an honest answer about your goals or mission to give color to what your professional purpose is overall.
Your short bio can be a proud showcase of your accomplishments, so add 1 to 2 personal successes you’ve achieved through your skills or mission. For instance, if you’ve received acclaim from industry leaders in your scope like Art Critic Jerry Saltz, your wins may list as something like:
So whether they’re awards you won, publications you’ve been featured in, or companies you worked with, be sure to spotlight any major achievements.
People who visit your profile or receive your message will already know your social media account. But to take business off the app, include your email address, website, or any other professional profiles you’d like them to know about. Political Commentator and Sports Correspondent, Angela Rye, shows a great example of this in her short professional bio on Instagram:
Additionally, after listing a name, job titles, and contact information, Rye includes a Linktree to their website where you can read a longer version of the professional bio:
This allows Raye to detail her values more in-depth and how they demonstrate them through her work. So before diving into your long professional bio, begin with a short bio as a teaser of who you are, what you care about, and what you can do for others.
Don’t be afraid to add a little bit of personal charisma to your short professional bio — because professional doesn’t have to mean plain. Your personality may be best portrayed through:
Whichever way you choose to get personal, give people a glimpse into who you are as an individual.
When writing a short bio it can be tempting to try and pack in as much relevant information about yourself as possible — but this isn’t the most effective approach. Instead, focus on including the details that you and your audience care about most and leave out the fluff.
Prim and proper, relaxed, or studded with accomplishments, your bio is a reflection of your best professional self. Your professional bio will often precede your physical presence. Before people meet you for the first time, they’ll probably read your bio.
Whether you’re creating an about page for your website or social media profile, one thing’s for sure, you’ll want to put your best foot forward with a top-notch professional bio.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.