Even though the New Year got off to a shaky start in terms of political instability and high coronavirus contagion rates, economists are confident that things will get better over the next few months. If you are one of the millions of professionals who lost their jobs or experienced a business downturn in 2020, now is the time to start preparing for the gradual economic recovery, and this means making sure that your online bio is engaging and up-to-date.
Take a look at this personal bio example to get an idea of how your own bio should be written. Notice how it is approximately 500 words long, and this is the sweet spot for most professional bios. Naturally, you may not always have this much space to write; on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you have to keep details very short. You have more room to work with on LinkedIn and Crunchbase, but you should try to stick to 500 words even if you have an unlimited word count, which is the case when you are publishing within your own website.
In the example we are following, the bio is written in the third person. This is a good and neutral strategy, but if you are a self-employed professional or an entrepreneur, writing in the first person is perfectly fine. The tone of voice and writing style should be crafted in a way that builds a narrative. You want to stay professional but not too wordy or pretentious; incorporating industry slang, acronyms, or overly technical jargon is not recommended. You also have to keep things friendly and slightly conversational.
The content you produce should tell readers about who you are, what you have done, and what you intend to do. Entrepreneurs and professionals who work on their own can take advantage of bios to inject personal branding. With regard to how much context should appear on the bio, think about your top three accomplishments and write them as bullet points before expanding on them. The same formula of three items should be applied to goals and values, but they should not be written in a lofty manner. A bio is a piece of writing where modesty should prevail.
Prior to sitting down to write, you want to think it over but not too much. Do not spend too much time hunting for adjectives in a thesaurus. This is a task that you will want to complete in about two hours, and one of the most important goals is to come across as being authentic. One interesting tip that some bio writers have found to be useful consists of sitting down with friends and telling them what you plan on writing. This practice is not so much about getting feedback as it is a way to adopt a friendly tone of writing.
Finally, if you have projects that need to be promoted, you can incorporate keywords as well as search engine optimization strategies, but they should only appear on the websites you manage. Trying to game LinkedIn with SEO will only come across as tacky.