Is your professional bio working for you?
…Do you even have a proper professional bio? Or are you coasting on a seldom-updated spiel from years ago, when you were a different person at a different point in your career?
You’d be surprised how many successful people find themselves in your shoes. It’s never too late to improve your professional bio — or to be surprised by what a few simple tweaks can do for your professional visibility and reputation.
Let’s take a look at five things you should do right now to improve.
1. Lead With Your Professional “Elevator Pitch”
Can you describe what you do in 50 words or less?
Good. Do it before you get to anything else.
The Everipedia listing for Maryland attorney Alex Brown is a great example of how this looks in practice. Brown clearly articulates his professional value “above the fold,” taking care to avoid boastfulness or unnecessary details early on.
2. List Out Notable Accomplishments Just Below the Fold
Next, list out the accomplishments you’re most proud of in your career. The more recent, the better, and make sure they’re relevant to your current role.
Show, don’t just tell, why the reader should work with you instead of someone else.
3. Write in the Third Person, Even If It Doesn’t Feel Right
Back to the top.
Always lead with your first name and surname, even if it feels stilted. Don’t write in the first person.
If your name is on the building, so to speak, lead with your law firm’s name instead — that’s what Las Vegas attorney Jennifer Abrams does on her LinkedIn profile.
4. Don’t Overdo the “Laundry List”
Discretion is an undersold feature of a great professional bio.
At a certain point in your career, you’ll be able to fill a book with the various roles, credentials, accolades, and achievements you’ve accumulated.
That doesn’t mean you should. Remember, relevance and recency are important. The farther back you go, the less you tell the reader about what to expect from you today.
5. Sprinkle in Some Personal Color (But Keep It Professional)
You’re more interesting than you give yourself credit for.
Okay, so maybe you’re not personally responsible for the Zumba craze, but you can certainly take notes from the guy who was. Alberto “Beto” Perez’s LinkedIn profile tells the humorous, serendipitous story of the fitness instructor who one day forgot his usual workout tape and improvised with a Latin music cassette he happened to have on hand — birthing the fad right then and there.
Perez’s story is unique. But so is yours. Don’t be afraid to share it.
Your Bio Can Do Better
Your professional bio is begging to be better. And it should be clear by now that it can be, no matter how ordinary you consider yourself to be.
By leading with your elevator pitch, touting just the right number of accomplishments, and adding a dash or two of personal color, you can create something that’s actually fun to read. And if it earns you a higher-paying job or renewed attention from deep-pocketed investors, so much the better.