How to Write a Professional Bio, With Examples and Templates
This post last updated on September 3, 2022.
Which three words would you use to describe yourself? Most of us have been asked this question, and many of us have fumbled through it awkwardly.
Coming up with a personal description can be daunting. But there are times when it’s essential - whether we’re updating our LinkedIn profiles, blogging for Medium or creating a business website of our own.
In this post, we’ll go over how to write a bio, step by step. To help guide you, we’ve also included a handy template, along with some professional bio examples for your inspiration. With these resources, you’ll find that writing a bio is much easier than you might think.
What is a bio?
Before you learn how to write a bio, you should have a clear understanding of what it is and why you need it.
In the world of literature, a personal biography can span the length of an entire novel, like Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom or Malala Yousafzai’s I Am Malala. In the online world, however, a bio is a short paragraph in which you introduce yourself. Typically, people place bios on the About Us page of their professional website, as well as on their social media pages and other networking platforms.
Depending on your audience and goals, your bio can highlight your personal interests, your professional achievements or a mix of both. Here are some of the elements a bio might include:
Job title or workplace
University degree and other qualifications
Hometown or city of residence
Personal or professional goals
Mission statement and values
Skills and expertise
Interests and hobbies
The goal of writing a bio is to provide people with a snapshot of who you are. This is important for a variety of reasons, whether it’s drawing people toward your personal website or promoting your blog, attracting clients and business partners to your brand, or highlighting your achievements for job interviews.
How to write a short bio
The most effective online bios are both professional and concise. Here’s how to write a short professional bio that suits your website or brand:
01. Introduce yourself
Begin your bio by stating your first and last name. If you’re writing in the third person, these should be the first two words of the paragraph. This makes your name easy for your audience to identify and remember.
02. State your company or brand name
Think about whether you want your bio to represent yourself on a personal level, or whether you’d like it to come across as more professional. If you have a personal brand or business - for example, a blog, freelance business or eCommerce site - be sure to mention your brand name at the beginning of your bio. Don’t be afraid if the name sounds simple or redundant. It’s perfectly fine, for instance, to say Mary Smith is the founder and CEO of Smith Digital.
Likewise, feel free to mention the name of another company or brand that you work for if you’d like to associate it with your professional accomplishments - e.g., Mary Smith is a consultant at Google and the founder and CEO of Smith Digital.
03. Explain your professional role
Next, briefly explain your current position. This is relevant whether you’re the founder of a company, a high-level specialist or a beginner in your field, and it can be similar to the description you have on your resume. Your website visitors won’t necessarily know what your job involves, so elaborating on your primary responsibilities helps paint a picture of who you are and what you have to offer.
04. Include professional achievements
In addition to explaining what your job entails, highlight milestones that make you stand out. Even if you haven’t won an award or gained external recognition, you can discuss ways in which you’ve contributed to your professional role and touch on new ideas or approaches that you bring to the table.
05. Discuss your passions and values
Once you describe what you do and how you contribute to your role, you’ll need to explain the why. This is one of the most important elements to focus on as you consider how to write a bio.
Think about the values and passions underlying your work, as well as your professional philosophy. What gets you up in the morning? What’s the driving force behind what you do?
You can also think of this part of your professional bio as a kind of mission statement. Perhaps your mission is to serve others, contribute to society, grow your expertise or learn new skills. Whatever your reasons, expanding upon these ideas can help your audience get a better understanding of what truly matters to you.
06. Mention your personal interests
The most effective short bios will not only focus on your professional experience, but will also touch on what you like to do in your spare time. Consider mentioning:
Side projects you’re working on
Transitioning to a more casual discussion of who you are outside of work is a great way to conclude your bio. This will present you as a more well-rounded person while making you relatable for your audience.
Professional bio template
As you go through the steps on how to write a bio, this handy template will help you get started:
Sentence 1: [Name] is a [job title] who [job description].
E.g., Lisa Green is an English teacher who teaches beginning to advanced literature courses for 10th and 11th grade students at Bloomfield High School.
Sentence 2: [Name] believes that [why you do the work you do].
E.g., Lisa believes that written and analytical skills are not only a fundamental part of academic excellence, but are also the building blocks of critical thinking in high school and beyond.
Sentence 3: [Name/pronoun] has [mention your achievements].
E.g., In addition to managing the English curriculum for the school, she runs an after school program where she works one-on-one with students.
Sentence 4: [Name/pronoun] is a [mention any relevant awards, training or honors].
E.g., She has also been nominated Teacher of the Year for two consecutive years.
Sentence 5: [Name/pronoun] holds a [insert degree] in [field of study] from [university].
E.g., Lisa holds a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from the University of Michigan.
Once you’ve filled in this template, put it all together into a single paragraph to create an initial framework for your professional biography. Note that you can shorten or expand upon this bio according to your unique needs.
How to write a bio, even better
As you write your bio using the professional template above, make sure to keep the following tips in mind:
Keep it concise: Your bio should be sufficiently explanatory, but it should also be short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is to keep each element of your bio - from your job description to your mission statement and hobbies - to about 1-2 sentences. That way, you’ll end up with a brief paragraph that holds your readers’ attention without rambling on.
Consider your audience: The voice and tone you choose for your biography largely depends on your audience and personal goals. If you’re looking for a job and are writing primarily for recruiters, you’ll want to use a serious, professional tone. On the other hand, if you’re creating an Instagram bio, consider using more casual, conversational language that reflects your personality.
Add humor: Relatedly, consider adding humor when appropriate. This is especially valuable if you’ve founded your own business or created your own website, as it can give you a distinct brand identity while helping your audience build a stronger sense of connection with your brand.
Link to your website: When writing a bio for a platform other than your own website - a social media page, another company page, or a guest blog or publication - remember to include a link to your website. This will help you promote your website while highlighting your professionalism and authority.
Adapt for different platforms: You’ll most likely need to adapt the length and writing style of your biography to suit different platforms. For example, you may place a longer bio on your website’s About page and a shorter one on your LinkedIn page. In these cases, use the same main principles for writing a bio while scaling down the most important elements.
By following these tips, you can create a powerful bio that helps you stand out in your field and allows your audience to get to know you better.
How to write a bio in four sentences or less
Really need to create a super short bio? We'd suggest following some of the tips above, just condensing them into less word for a short bio that still makes impact.
But if we really had to choose we'd say focus on - you, your professional role and company. That condenses everything that matters for bio into three sentences. Humor, creativity and uniqueness still all matter just use less words to convey them.
Professional bio examples
Now that you know the basics of writing a professional bio, here are some short bio examples to inspire you. You can use these examples as additional templates for guidance as you craft your own personal biography.
Like the creators of these examples, you can place your bio on your personal or professional website and, later, revise the structure for other online platforms.
01. Bristol Guitar Making School
Of all the professional bio examples, Alex Bishop’s content exudes passion. Strategically placing the bio on the About page of his small business website, he highlights his skills and explains why he finds his work meaningful. In particular, we love his description of why he chose to pursue guitar making:
“My passion as a guitar maker comes from a life-long obsession with making things. From a young age I have always tried to manipulate objects and materials in order to create something entirely different. I find that working with wood is a way for me to connect with nature. The simple act of shaping wood to make something functional or beautiful brings me endless satisfaction.”
He also lists his accomplishments and awards, adding credibility to his business and building trust among prospective clients.
02. Pei Jung Ho
Artist Pei Jung Ho’s brief professional description on her graphic design website is an effective example of a short bio. She concisely highlights her skills and experience, holding the readers’ attention while sticking to the essential details. Notably, she shows why her approach is unique and how it’s rooted in her cultural heritage, helping her stand out from other artists in the field. As she explains:
“Having been an art student for 12 years, I constantly explore various disciplines to broaden my own artistic pursuits, integrating a fine art background with design studies and illustration. My current areas of interest and exploration are my Taiwanese culture, human-centered design, and branding. I begin projects by thoroughly researching and then developing my ideas through creative thinking.”
03. Amanda Shields Interiors
Amanda Shields provides us with another effective bio example on her interior design website. Importantly, she spices up her bio by explaining how home decor aligns with her personal life and why it’s so close to her heart as a mother and entrepreneur:
"After working as a product designer for numerous retailers over the years, and after I had my first child, I decided to take the plunge and start my own home staging business…. Coincidentally, a month later I discovered I was pregnant with my second child. I loved the new challenges I faced as a new entrepreneur and mom and it didn't take long for me to discover that this was my calling…. I felt the need to expand my business and launch Amanda Shields Interiors as its own entity to focus specifically on residential interiors and design."
By placing this content on her website’s About page, she provides potential clients with insights into her expertise and professional experience. She expands upon the choices she made along her career path, strategically making note of her achievements and acquired skills along the way.
Creating a bio for your website
As we’ve noted in the examples above, one of the most strategic places to put your bio is on your website. Whether the goal of your site is to start and promote your business, showcase your design portfolio or display your resume, including a bio gives your audience a glimpse into the person behind your content. It can also kickstart your professional growth. Show the world what you do, how you do it, and why it matters, and people will be drawn to your passion and inspired by your experience.
Wix Blog Writer