If you don’t have a powerful bio, it’s time you do.
Yesterday, one of my executive clients was a bit overwhelmed upon reading the new “powered-up” bio I had drafted for him.
“It’s the first time someone has written about me like that,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to view myself that way.”
But after serving nearly 20-years as a professional educator, my client had acquired more than simple experience.
He had demonstrated real strategic success – by launching new curriculum programs which other institutions modelled, by being appointed to top leadership on school boards, by guiding national conferences which expand impact with each year.
So, among other the descriptors I deployed in his new bio, is the word “expert.” It’s a word not to be taken lightly, but it is a powerful word that you may consider using too.
Take a quick read of your current bio. How does it read? Is it a boring list of places you worked? Or is there a real story of your accomplishments using active and colourful verbs and descriptions. Have a friend read your bio and get their opinions, too.
If you have a Linked In or Twitter profile you already have a micro-bio. How do they reflect upon your professional brand? Now, aim for two more: one at about 100 words and then another that’s a one-pager. Ready?
Here are my quick tips:
- Grab the audience right away. Think of this as the “lede” in a news story. What is your professional point of distinction? Make this sentence sing and your reader will be inclined to read further. Make this sentence the boring same-old-same old, and your reader will drift off mentally if not physically.
- Use Superlatives. What are you great at? Then tell us. Words like “premier” “best” “recognized” or “number 1” may seem over the top to you at first, but they do get attention. Yes, I know we’re taught not to brag, but if you’re not lying, your bio is the time to show pride!
- Tell a short story to illustrate an achievement. If you’re listing that you’re on the board of an organization, try to add a quick sentence or two in your longer bio that describes something innovative or extra cool that you did while in that role.
- Add some fun. Did you once win a national spelling bee? Place second in a science fair? Were you a blue ribbon flower arranger at the county fair? (that one is me) Do you play a mean harmonica? Adding something unusually interesting or fun helps bring you to life as a person and that helps people remember you.
Remember, like a good novel, a good bio should be a compelling, rich story: of you.
Creating a dynamic professional bio is an exercise in developing self confidence. And self confidence is a skill that can be learned. One of the first steps, is learning to be comfortable talking (and writing) about yourself in a powerful way.
Just as it’s time for my client to become comfortable writing and thinking of himself as an “expert,” it’s time for you to consider owning your achievements too.
Be accurate. But don’t shy from tooting your own horn. If you don’t, who will?
Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.