How to Write a Personal Bio (+ 15 Personal Bio Examples)

Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Alex Birkett

Your personal bio could be the deciding factor in whether someone hires you, follows you, or buys from you.

However, writing one isn’t the easiest task in the world. It’s especially true if you’re one of those people who gets stage fright just thinking about having to talk about yourself.

So, how do you muster the courage to write a personal bio that stands out from the crowd? How do you make it witty, engaging, and memorable?

In this article, I’ll share some tips for crafting a personal bio (with some personal bio examples) that capture the attention of even the most distracted reader.

Before we start, here’s a quick overview of key elements you should include in your personal bio:

Editor’s note: I’m going to use some affiliate links when possible to try to earn some revenue from my content. These don’t change the opinions espoused in the content nor the style in which they are written.

What to include in a personal bio?

Here are some key elements that you should consider including in your professional bio:

  • Brief background information: Start your bio by introducing yourself and your current job title. This helps to establish your professional credentials right away. For example: “Hi, I’m Jane, a freelance writer and editor with over ten years of experience in the industry.”
  • Career highlights and achievements: Highlight some of your most notable achievements and accomplishments. This can help to establish your expertise and credibility in your field. Example: “I’ve worked with various high-profile clients, including XYZ Corporation and ABC Publications.”
  • Your unique skills and qualities: What sets you apart from others in your industry? Mention those unique skills and qualities in your bio.
  • Personal interests and hobbies: A few details about your life can help humanize your bio and make you more relatable to readers. Example: “In my free time, I enjoy hiking and exploring new places with my dog, Max.”
  • A call-to-action or contact information: For example: “To see more of Jane’s work, visit her website at www.janesmithdesign.com or follow her on Instagram @janesmithdesign.”

Now that we’ve covered the key elements to include in a personal bio, let’s focus on some tips for crafting an effective and engaging bio.

Before that, it’s important to clear one pervasive doubt.

Should you write your personal bio in the first person or third person?

When a company first requested my personal bio, I remember scurrying here and there on the internet, frantically searching for examples of how other writers crafted their bios.

Was it customary to write in the first person or in the lofty, third-person perch of professional grandeur?

And I came to a conclusion.

Writing in the first person can be useful when writing a bio for a personal website or social media profile, or when trying to build a personal connection with the reader.

The tone is also often more personal and informal, as if you are speaking directly to the reader.

Hemingway’s autobiographical work, “A Moveable Feast,” is also written in the first person.

On writing in Paris…

This approach in his personal biography allowed Hemingway to share his personal experiences and insights into the literary world of Paris in the 1920s. The book is a classic of literary non-fiction.

On the other hand, writing in the third person is suitable when writing for a professional website, resume, or when trying to establish authority or expertise. The tone is more formal and objective, as if someone else is describing your accomplishments and background.

For instance, Albert Einstein’s professional bio on the official Nobel Prize website is entirely in the third person.

This approach emphasizes Einstein’s achievements and contributions to the field of physics while maintaining a sense of objectivity and professionalism.

So, it’s simple. For personal bios, it’s first person. And for professional bios, it’s the third person POV!

Tips for writing a compelling personal bio

To create a bio that leaves a lasting impression, think of it like a mini-story highlighting your achievements, quirks, and passions.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Know your purpose

Before you start writing your bio, you need to know why you’re writing it and what tone you want to convey.

Are you trying to showcase your expertise? Introduce yourself to potential clients or customers? Connect with fellow professionals in your field?

Whatever your purpose, you need to tailor your bio accordingly. Duh!

It should also show you have the skills and experience to do the job well. This is especially true if you seek work in a particular field.

For example, if you want to work as an accountant, architect, or teacher, you need to show that you are qualified for this type of work.

2. Address your audience

The best personal bios are written with a specific audience in mind. If you don’t know who that audience is, how can you write for them?

That’s why before writing anything at all, ask yourself who will be reading it.

Who do you want to reach out to with this information?

Are they looking for someone like you?

What do they need from someone like you?

Once you have an answer or two (or three), start writing.

Let’s say you’re writing a bio for a professional website or portfolio that targets potential employers or clients in the creative industry.

In that case, you might want to include background information such as:

  • Your education and qualifications in a relevant field
  • Your work experience and current position in a creative role
  • Your professional goals and interests related to creativity
  • Your hobbies and passions that showcase your creativity
  • Your awards and recognition for your creative work

Allie Decker’s professional bio is a shining example of how to address your audience from the get-go.

By stating, “I love to write and help organizations produce content that builds and converts communities and drives revenue,” she immediately captures the attention of businesses needing content marketing expertise.

She’s also using specific language relevant to her audience – “builds and converts communities” and “drives revenue.” By using these terms, she’s showing that she understands her audience’s needs and priorities and can deliver results that matter to them.

What makes this short professional bio even better is how Allie strikes a balance between giving a glimpse into her professional and personal life.

Melinda Gates‘ bio is another excellent example of how to tailor your personal bio for your target audience.

Her bio focuses on her work as a philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, highlighting her passion for improving global health and empowering women and girls.

By focusing on these topics, she appeals to a broad audience of people who share her values and interests.

3. Keep it concise and focused

When it comes to your bio, Alexandre Bocquet, Founder and CEO of Betterly, has some great advice:

“In today’s digital world, people tend to skim rather than read, so it’s crucial to keep your descriptions short and to the point. If your “Personal bio” page looks more like a book, it will deter people from reading it.”

Alexandre adds, “keep your word count to roughly a thousand words, bullet point key attributes and accomplishments, and keep paragraphs to four sentences or fewer.”

And there are studies to support this.

A study found that recruiters typically spend an average of 6 seconds on a profile before deciding whether to pursue a candidate further – highlighting the importance of making a strong first impression with a concise and impactful personal bio.

Writing a lengthy, meandering introduction has its appeal. But if you’re looking to catch the eye of a recruiter or potential clients, or even snag a coveted byline, a snappy and concise personal bio will be more suitable.

Alex Birkett’s personal bio is a prime example of how to make a reader care with only a few sentences.

He succinctly mentions his professional expertise and accomplishments as a product growth and experimentation expert and co-founder of a content marketing agency. Additionally, he shares his personal interests and hobbies, such as skiing, giving the reader a glimpse into his personality.

The mention of his dog Biscuit provides a human touch that can make the reader smile. Overall, his bio is concise, engaging, and balances professional and personal information.

4. Highlight your unique qualities and accomplishments

When you’re writing your personal bio, you want to make sure that you highlight your unique qualities and achievements.

Think about what you have achieved in your professional or personal life. These could include awards, recognitions, publications, promotions, or other significant milestones.

To highlight your unique qualities, think about what sets you apart. What are your strengths, skills, and experiences that make you unique? Is it your uncanny ability to solve complex problems or your talent for playing the ukulele?

It’s a shame I didn’t pay more attention to my Bharatnatyam (a classical Indian dance form) classes when I was younger.

But if you’ve got a unique accomplishment, own it!

5. Show your personality and character

When writing a personal bio, using the same template as everyone else is tempting. But that’s a mistake: Your brand is unique, so your bio should be too.

You have a few precious seconds to make a good impression. You have to be memorable and stand out from the crowd.

One way to do this is by injecting your personality into your personal bio.

Just take it from Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing and Outreach Manager at UK Passport Photo, who cites the bio of Polish journalist Maciej Okraszewski as the best-crafted she’s ever seen.

Okraszewski briefly highlighted his educational background and shared some of his best articles before ending with a hilarious quip about his love for Italian movies, old hip hop, and potatoes with kefir.

According to Brzezinska, “this bio demonstrated Okraszewski’s easygoing nature and sense of humor, proving that showcasing your human face can be more impactful than simply listing achievements.”

Tom Hanks’ Twitter bio is a great example of a personal bio that showcases personality and humor. It’s short, concise, and gives readers a glimpse into his life and personality.

Hanks’ bio gives readers a sense of who he is as a person while also making them laugh and feel more connected to him. Such personal bios are especially perfect for social profiles, where you want to connect with your audience.

Your turn now to infuse your personal bio with your unique personality and character. Here are a few tips for doing that:

  • Use action verbs: Instead of saying, “I am an entrepreneur,” say, “I build businesses from scratch.” Instead of saying, “I am a writer,” say, “I write stories that make people laugh, cry and think.”
  • Be specific about what you do – and why you do it: Say you’re a marketing director at an online retailer because you love helping consumers find products they love, not because it pays well or gives you flexibility in your schedule.
  • Inject humor: Humor is a great way to get people’s attention and make them like you more. You can do this by using jokes or puns in your bio or even being funny.
  • Be yourself: This one should go without saying, but if you’re too formal, then it’s going to sound fake. If you want people to see another side of you, be natural and casual about it. People will appreciate an honest approach more than anything else.

6. Use keywords and industry-specific language

If the aim is to attract more clients or connect with other people in your industry, don’t forget to include keywords and industry-specific language in your bio.

For example, if you’re a software developer, you might include keywords like “Java,” “Python,” or “web development” in your bio. If you’re a freelance writer, you might mention specific industries or topics you specialize in, such as “B2B SaaS writer,” “healthcare writing,” or “content marketing for small businesses.”

The more specific you can be with your keywords, the better your chance of being found by your intended audience.

However, add these terms organically – don’t just cram a bunch of buzzwords into your bio unless they actually reflect your skills or experience. Instead, think about the key skills or areas of expertise you want to highlight and find ways to incorporate those naturally.

For instance, if you look for keywords like “SaaS freelance writer” or “content strategist,” you’ll come across Marijana Kay’s personal bio.

By using terms like “SaaS,” “marketing,” and “content strategist,” she’s making it clear what industries she specializes in and what types of clients she works with.

At the same time, her bio is also personal and engaging. By sharing her background and how she became interested in marketing, she’s giving readers a glimpse into who she is as a person and what motivates her in her work.

Another great aspect of her bio is that it includes a call to action, encouraging readers to learn more about her and her work. This can be a great way to get potential clients to take the next step and contact you for more information or to start a conversation.

7. Keep it up-to-date

If you think you can stick with your old, dusty bio from half a decade ago and still manage to wow potential clients, think again.

Your target audience will probably think you peaked once and still piggybacking on that one accomplishment.

Instead, your bio should give a current picture of who you are and what you’ve been up to.

When should you change your bio? There are key moments in your life and career when it becomes imperative to refresh it.

Don’t forget to change your bio when you:

  • Change jobs or roles
  • Complete a new project or course
  • Receive an award or recognition
  • Learn a new skill or tool
  • Achieve a personal or professional goal

Make sure to double-check all the details in your bio, including your current job title, any recent projects or clients you’ve worked with, and any new skills or certifications.

Additionally, updating your bio can be a fun way to flex your creative muscles and inject a little personality into your online presence.

Finally, an up-to-date bio can make a big difference in how people perceive you and how likely they want to work with you.

Pro Tip: To keep your bio up-to-date, set a reminder for yourself to review it regularly. This might be once a month, once a quarter, or whenever you have a major change or accomplishment to add.

8. Name-drop previous clients or famous employers

A personal bio is a great place to name-drop previous clients or famous employers. The idea is to show you have experience working with other big names in your industry.

If you don’t have any big-name clients/employers, that’s OK! You can still use this technique to list small businesses and organizations relevant to your target market.

9. Include your personal story

Your bio is a great place to tell your story – especially if you’re writing for your personal website. It’s an opportunity to share your experiences and how you got where you are.

To get started, choose a central theme for your personal story that ties it all together. This could be a particular struggle you overcame, a key life lesson, or a defining experience that has shaped your worldview.

And while narrating your story, use vivid details and sensory language to bring it to life. This will help readers visualize the events and emotions you’re describing and make your story more engaging.

For example, instead of “I was nervous,” you could describe your sweaty palms and racing heartbeat.

That said, you don’t need to include every single detail of your life story. Focus only on the most impactful moments, and try to weave them together in a way that makes sense.

Marie Forleo, an author and entrepreneur, has nailed the art of spicing up her bio with her personal story.

Marie Forleo’s personal bio stands out from being just another generic bio as she takes a refreshingly honest approach by not only sharing her successes but also her struggles.

In her bio, she shares:

  • Her curiosity and passion for human potential and various fields of interest
  • Her journey from corporate jobs to odd jobs to building her own coaching business
  • How coined the term “Multipassionate Entrepreneur” to describe her unconventional approach
  • Her achievements and recognition as an author, speaker, TV host, and digital education company founder
  • Her philosophy and mission – to help people thrive in today’s world and change their lives

A bio like this is perfect for sharing your struggles with your audience and building a personal rapport with them.

That said, if you’re anything like me, you might be hesitant to share too much personal information in your bio.

But fear not, my fellow introverted friend, because I have a solution!

Check out this nifty template for a personal bio that cleverly weaves in your personal story:

[Introduce yourself and your profession] [Give a brief overview of your background and experience] [Highlight a challenge or hurdle you faced and how you triumphed over it] [Explain how your experience has influenced your values and work] [Share your passions and what drives you] [End with a call to action or message for your audience]

For instance:

Lily Jones is a travel writer and blogger who loves exploring new places and cultures. She has visited over 50 countries and written for publications such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and Travel + Leisure. Lily’s passion for travel started when she was a teenager and went on a school trip to France.

She was amazed by the beauty and history of the country and decided to pursue a career in journalism that would allow her to see more of the world. Lily believes that travel is not only fun but also educational and transformative. She hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams and discover new horizons through her stories. When she’s not on the road, Lily enjoys reading, yoga, and cooking. You can follow her adventures on her blog: www.lilytravels.com

10. Use AI tools for assistance

Despite all these tips and tricks, writing a bio is not easy.

You may still need some help getting started.

And that’s where AI writing tools come into the picture.

And rather than taking the approach of “AI bad,” once you start thinking of these AI writing tools as your assistants, you’ll realize just how much they can help you achieve.

They especially come in handy when you’re facing writer’s block or having a hard time coming up with something creative to write. Something creative like writing a personal bio.

So, which AI writing tool should you use to pen your bio?

Should you use Jasper or ChatGPT? Or Copy.ai?

Since I am more familiar with Jasper.ai and often use it to get inspiration for my blog post intros, let’s see how it works for personal bios.

For the uninitiated, AI writing tools like Jasper use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to generate human-like text.

It’s going to be similar to creating your ”About page copy” using Jasper (which we already discussed in the linked article).

Jasper has a pre-built “Personal Bio” tool that, in their own words, helps you “write a personal bio that captures attention.”

You just need to provide some basic information about yourself, such as your name, occupation, skills, achievements, and hobbies. Jasper will then generate a personal bio for you based on your input.

You can also pick your tone of voice, such as friendly, formal, professional, and the like.

Here’s how it works in action:

Once you hit the “Generate” button, you’ll get 4-5 personal bio results. The generated bios are all unique and customized to your input.

Now once you have the first draft, you can tweak it a bit to add more information or keywords. You might also change the wording of certain phrases or sentences if it appears too robotic – or even rewrite certain sections entirely to reflect your unique style and voice better.

You can also use the Personal Bio tool in tandem with other tools like sentence rewriter to improve the writing style. I talk about this in more detail here.

While these AI-generated bios are a great starting point, don’t forget to play around a bit and infuse your personality and voice into the final product.

Write a personal bio that makes you shine!

Crafting a personal bio that accurately reflects your unique personality and professional accomplishments can be challenging. That said, it’s also an essential part of building your personal brand and standing out from the competition.

By following the tips and taking inspiration from the professional bio examples in this article, you’ll be well on your way to writing your own professional bio that captures your audience’s attention.

Don’t forget to proofread and edit the bio, especially if you plan to use AI for better productivity. You can ask someone else to read it over for feedback or use an online tool like Grammarly.

 

Deepti Jain

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