First impressions count, even online. That’s why your
professional bio is one of the most crucial marketing materials you’ll ever
write. Whether it’s on Twitter, LinkedIn, your online portfolio or employer’s
website, your professional bio is the first thing people will read to understand
who you are and what you do. What you highlight in it will affect how readers perceive
you—as a job applicant, public speaker, author, entrepreneur, or whatever it is
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to write a bio for a freelance business website, portfolio, or an employer's website. I'll share some helpful professional bio templates and bio examples that'll make the process even easier. Plus, I'll quickly discuss what to do when using your bio with a resume.
Benefits and Uses of a Short Professional Bio
Short professional bios are gaining more popularity, not only because people’s attention spans are getting shorter but also because more platforms are favoring the shorter format. Twitter, for instance, has a 160 character limit on user bios. Author bylines on many websites are limited to two to three sentences as well, while LinkedIn doesn’t show your whole summary unless the user clicks “show more.”
Bios, in general, don’t have a strict word-count, as it depends on the media or platform used. In general, however, a ‘micro bio’ is usually two to three short sentences, similar to those in Twitter and website bylines, while a short bio may have about 100 words or three to five short paragraphs.
Where to Use a Short Professional Bio
- ‘About the author’ section at the back of your book
- LinkedIn summary
- Author byline in your website or guest posts
- Speaker One Sheet
- ‘Meet our Team’ or ‘About us’ page of your employer’s website
The options listed above are where you can use a short professional bio as it's written. But you can also re-purpose or customize your bio for in-person events, such as:
- As an elevator speech on networking events
- When someone introduces you as a speaker for an event
Short professional bios are hard to write because of their importance and word-count limitations. Writing about what makes you worthy of other people’s attention, while making sure you don’t sound pompous is like crossing a tightrope.
While there are many ways to write a bio, from professional to light and humorous, the good ones all follow a similar format that’s easy to follow if you've got all the needed information. Read the step by step instructions and follow along using the short bio template below.
Professional Bio Template A: Corporate Bio for Employees and Applicants
Name is a
your job title at
Company Name, where
action verb (e.g. coordinates, leads, trains, develops, or
what you do (e.g. videos, books, SaaS programs, or mobile
sub-niche 1 or different task you do, sub-niche 2, and
1 (e.g. worked with big brands such as,
exhibits at, won XYZ awards), and
accomplishment 2, among other
distinctions in the field.
your target employer’s industry (e.g.
marketing agencies, IT companies, or hotels, etc.) to
verb + goal or problem you can solve because of your professional skills (e.g.
for IT support professionals you may write “troubleshoot software and hardware
issues to ensure all systems are operational both for your clients and internal
Name is a
hobby 2 from
city or state you
live in. Please email
your email address or go to
website domain and link to contact
Here’s what this professional bio template looks like filled-in:
“Lorie Smith is a Loan Officer at XYZ Bank, where Lorie processes loan applications from start to finish, including mortgage refinancing and educating clients about their different financing options.
Lorie has worked with reputable real estate agencies, including ReMax, Century 21, and Coldwell Banker, among others. Lorie helps homeowners and new buyers secure a loan that suits their budget and goals. You can expect 100% transparency, no horror stories, and nasty surprises when working with Lorie.
Lorie is a cat-lover and CMAS diver from Michigan. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to ExampleDomain.com to contact Lorie.”
Professional Bio Template B: For Speakers, Freelancers, and Entrepreneurs
Name is a
professional title who
your target audience to
the problems or goals of your target
Before starting a
business or freelance work,
numberof years as a
job title 1 and a
relevant job title 2. After a successful career
sub-niche or branch of your target market
or your target market 2,
appropriate action verb (e.g. trains,
coaches, advises) them on how to
specific tasks you do for your target
hobby 1 and
Name is available for your
type of work or output
and private consultations on. You can reach
phone number or
Here’s an example of the corporate bio template in use:
Kate Hendricks is a Freelance Writer and Social Media Manager who helps finance professionals and Fin-tech startups build an audience and get more paying clients online.
Before starting a writing business, Kate spent six years as a Bank Teller and Virtual Assistant for financial companies in the U.S. and U.K. After a successful career helping small banks and real estate agencies, Katie now helps them write marketing copy for their products and services.
Kate enjoys trying new sports (archery, anyone?) and managing a small property rental business.
Kate’s available for marketing and writing projects, as well as private consultations. You can reach Kate at email@example.com.
How to Write a Bio
Now we’ll go into detail on how to write a short bio. The two templates above serve only as a framework, so feel free to add or delete some sentences as you see fit. Use the step-by-step instructions below as a general guideline for customizing the short bio templates above, or write one from scratch.
Step 1. Gather Information and Inspiration
Answer the questions below to gather the information you’ll need to customize your professional bio.
Who will read your bio? This depends on when and how it will be used. A bio for a freelance designer’s website should be different than the one used in your employer’s website, even if you've got the same job function in both cases. Your employer won’t appreciate you for soliciting work using their website. Write one bio per target audience.
What does your audience need to know? For employees or job applicants, recruiters will need to know your professional experience, skills, and academic background. For entrepreneurs, this refers to the products or services you offer, and how they make your customer’s lives easier.
What do you want your audience to know? This isn’t directly about your skills, products, or services. It’s about the underlying feelings you evoke in the people working with you. For instance, an accountant’s clients will want to work with someone trustworthy. Trainers, meanwhile, are sought after for their patience and creativity in interacting with students.
What’s in it for your readers? Specify the problem or goal your audience can accomplish with your help?
What’s your story? Tell a story about how you came into your current work to show readers what sets you apart from other professionals. You can also write about your core values or why you’re in that business.
What do you want them to do? State how you prefer readers to contact you.
Gathering all this information before you start writing prevents writer's block. But if that doesn’t work, try searching for bios of people in your industry to get some ideas. Take note of the phrases or words you like, so you can use them later (with some editing) in your own bio.
Step 2. Start with Your Name
Write your name at the start or first sentence of your bio so people will immediately realize what they’re reading.
Step 3. Explain Your Business or Occupation
Just like a cover letter or resume, your business or occupation should be mentioned early on to get the reader’s attention—or give them a chance to stop reading in case you’re not the one they’re looking for.
Your job or business should be clearly explained in the first two sentences of your short professional bio. Don’t leave this to latter paragraphs because it might cause some readers to lose interest.
Some professional bios replace job titles with value proposition statements, which explain the problems you solve for your target market and why people should choose you over your competitors. While it’s attention-grabbing, it may be confusing for some of your readers. For instance, your value proposition might be to increase website traffic organically, but it’s not clear whether you can do that because you’re a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist or a Content Marketer. Both occupations can increase a website’s traffic, but the reader might be looking for a particular skill set—SEO, blogging, or something else. So, use a value proposition if you want to stand out, but don’t forget to mention your job title. Here are some tips to help:
- ResumesHow to Write Your Resume Work Experience Section RightCharley Mendoza
- Branding7 Steps to Building a Head-Turning Personal BrandJulia Melymbrose
- BrandingHow to Define Your Core Brand Values (And Why You Should)Julia Melymbrose
Step 4. Add Personal Interests and Other Humanizing Details
This is a subtle way to show the reader that you’re a real person. If you've got something in common with your reader or a fascinating hobby, that may prompt more readers to contact you.
Avoid humor, unless you’re absolutely sure that whoever reads your professional bio will appreciate it. This will depend on the media or platform where your bio is published, as well as its intended audience. Avoid sounding too cynical of yourself, as it may come off as fake. Intimate or embarrassing details about yourself should be kept secret, no matter how funny or attention-grabbing it is, as you never know how people might react.
When not traveling, Mark enjoys practicing for marathons, going on hikes, and planning for the next adventure with the wife and kids.
Step 5. Contact Details and Call to Action
End with your contact information and a simple call to action asking people to get in touch with you. Phone numbers are totally optional, but email is a must. Feel free to replace your phone number with a link to your website.
Short bio examples that follow the above guidelines:
Here’s the bio of a web designer:
The bio of a Full-stack Engineer
And the micro bio of an author for his author page on Amazon:
Tips for Writing a Concise Yet Appealing Professional Bio
Even with the guidelines and templates above, writing a professional bio can be quite an undertaking. I know it was for me when I first wrote the about page of my website. Use the writing tips below to write an authentic yet confident-sounding bio that you can be proud of.
1. Get Real
Realize that a professional bio is meant to make you look like a confident and skilled person. You’re not bragging. Just write about who you are and what you can do.
You’re doing a service by telling others what you can do for them. If they need someone with your skills and they find your bio, that’s a win-win. That person will look at you as a solution, not a braggart.
2. Show, Don’t Tell
The same concept applies when writing resumes. Use action verbs and always include quantifiable or specific accomplishments when possible. Instead of claiming you’re a genius developer, write about the groundbreaking programs you created.
3. Short Bios are Like Movie Trailers
Movie trailers only show the exciting and intriguing scenes of a movie, right? The same goes for a professional bio, especially the short and micro formats. You may have tons of accomplishments in different areas of your career or business, so it’s important to pick the ones that will make your readers “ooh” as they read it. Perhaps you’ve been awarded top designer in your company two years in a row, and your work has been featured in a local magazine for artists, as well as several podcasts with a small audience. Leave out the podcasts without brand recognition, and if you really have to, ditch the company award as well. This doesn’t mean that the other accolades aren’t worthy; it’s just that you need to conserve space for other information.
Using Your Short Bio With a Resume
If you're having to submit your professional bio to a website, you may also be asked for a resume--especially if you're being featured or being considered for position.
If this happens to you, your resume needs to be as professional as your short bio. The quickest and easiest way to make sure that your resume makes the right impression is to use a resume template. Here are some top-notch resume templates to consider:
- Resumes29+ Modern Resume Templates With Clean (Elegant) CV Designs (2020)Brenda Barron
- Resumes23 Best HTML Resume Templates to Make Personal Profile CV Websites (2020)Brenda Barron
Write and Revise
Professional bios are meant to be updated every now and then. So, don't worry if the first one you write after reading this tutorial isn't as perfect as you hoped it would be. You can always revise your current corporate bio, or write a new one next time someone requests it.
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