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How to Write a Professional Bio for a WriterWriters are good at writing, but they aren’t always good at marketing. But there’s one piece of marketing that no author can ignore: a good short professional bio.

You’d think that writing a bio would be easy for a writer. However, writing great mysteries doesn’t necessarily translate into creating a gripping author bio. And bottom line: most of us dread writing about ourselves.

What to put in? What to leave out? How to sound good without sounding like a braggart? No wonder so many writers procrastinate on writing their professional bio.

But you’re reading this because you’ve decided that today’s the day. Hurrah! Good for you.

OK, let’s get started writing a good author bio for you. Here is what you need to keep in mind:

1. Be very clear about your target audience.

“Target audience” is just a fancy way of saying “people who read your work.” Consider who typically reads your work (or who your work is intended to attract) and tailor your bio to their interests. After all, while an author bio may lead a reader to a new favorite writer, in many cases, the author bio is to give readers who already stumbled over the work a better idea of who the author is (and hopefully make them fans for life).

2. Create mystique.

If the customer is looking for someone to put new brakes on a car, they want the most honest, straightforward, boring but qualified person alive.

But when it comes to learning about an author, a bit of mystique can be intriguing. One of the techniques of many successful authors is that they make themselves are a character in the novel that is their life.

Think of Hemingway. Would he be Hemingway if he’d been some little pipsqueak with spectacles living in an attic apartment in Dayton?

A contemporary example would be author Anne Rice, who’s created a series of bestselling vampire novels. She lives in a huge, spooky-looking mansion in New Orleans and seldom appears in public unless she’s dressed completely in black. That’s mystique.

Mystique can certainly attract fans. Once you’ve attracted their attention, your quality writing will make them a committed fan.

3. The point is still the work.

Yes, you want an interesting author bio, but the whole point of that is to make sure readers know what you’ve written, especially if you’ve got a half-dozen books out there.

Make sure to include a complete list of your published works and any works that is about to be published. Note that the phrase “about to be published” should only be used if you have an actual publishing deal (it doesn’t mean you’re hoping a publisher will buy it.)

4. You may need more than one bio.

You definitely want a “user-friendly” bio on your website (if you don’t have a website, get one). That bio is for fans and potential fans. You may need a far more formal bio to accompany a manuscript that’s being submitted to an agent or publisher, so have a couple of versions of your bio ready.

5. When in doubt, leave it out

Edit your bio just like you edit your prose. Interesting facts about your life, especially if they tie into your writing, are fine. If you lived in Paris from ages 8 to 14 and have now written a book on going to a French elementary school, that’s absolutely relevant. If you had two years of high school French classes but your book is set in Japan, leave out your knowledge of le français.

6. Tailor publication credits to your stage of career

If you’re starting out, list all your publication credits. However, by the time you’re a finalist for a National Book Award, it’s time to leave out the poem that was published in your college literary journal.

7. Don’t share too much

Again, if you’re starting out, you’d probably be delighted to hear from your fans. Heck, you might be delighted to have one of them stop by and sleep on your couch for a week!

However, believe it or not, that will change. There are lots of wonderful people in the world. There are also some really messed-up individuals out there. Don’t give them your address, your phone number, or your private email. If you want to hear from them, set up a website and let them reach you there.

8. Include a professional photo

To photo or not to photo? Between privacy concerns and the fact that most of us hate how we look in photos, you may be tempted not to include one.

However, you need a picture with your bio. It doesn’t have to contain details that will let people stalk you; a head and shoulders shot in front of a simple background is most appropriate.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are photographers everywhere who can create a head-shot for a very reasonable fee. Do it. It makes you feel like a “real” author.

9. Determine the correct voice

Traditionally, professional biographies were written in the third person voice (i.e. “Doug Miller is the author of…” not “I am the author of…”).  Third-person voice conveys formality and professionalism (it sounds as if someone else is extolling your accomplishments), while first-person voice sounds friendly and informal.

The tradition of always using third-person voice for writing a professional bio has changed. With the advent of social media, the choice of how formal or informal depends on your audience and where the bio is to be published.

For example, third-person voice is most appropriate for LinkedIn because it is a business and career oriented site.  In contrast, first-person voice is often used when writing a short bio for less formal social media platforms such as a bio for Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

10. Keep it up-to-date

Your bio should be updated frequently, especially every time you have another work published or win an award.

Short Author Bio Example

____________(author’s name) is a writer, __________, and _______ (add a couple of other major interests, especially if they pertain to the written work). He/she is the author of _____(number of works), including the ___________(name of award)-winning _____________, the recently released ____________, and the upcoming _____ .   ____________ (author’s name) has also collaborated with ________ on a series of novels set in ______, available through ________ publishers. _____________ lives in ________ with his/her collection of ___________. You can reach ______________ at his/her website _____________.

Bottom Line

An author bio helps create buzz, connect with fans, establish the writer in the fraternity of authors and (hopefully) sell books as well. It’s an easy and effective tool that only requires a keyboard and bit of imagination, which you certainly have.

If you like the template above you can get a longer, more thorough version. Immediately download the full writer-author bio template that will make the job so much quicker and easier. That way you can complete your bio writing task and get back to the writing that you actually enjoy!

The standard advice for writing a bio is to write in the third person (as though someone else is writing about you). However, there are a few exceptions to the “third person rule”.

Here are four situations when you should write your bio in first person instead of third-person:

1) when you are writing a mini-bio for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networking sites. Social networks are informal gathering places, so a less formal bio is appropriate (see examples here).

2) when you are applying for a program or scholarship. Applications work best when they are written in a personal voice, e.g. “I would like to attend X school because…” rather than “John would like to attend X school because…”

3) when the person or agency requesting your bio has specified that they want it in first person

4) if you simply feel more comfortable writing your bio in first person (it’s your choice!)

Don’t get too hung up on the “third person” or “first person” issue. There’s no absolute right or wrong, just conventions. Third person tends to sound formal and professional, whereas first person sounds more informal and friendly.

If you do decide to write your bio in first person, you will also need a version of it in third person for occasions such as speaking engagements when someone else is introducing you.

Bio vs ResumeIt’s amazing how quickly things change in the business and career arenas. For ages all you needed was a resume when applying for a job. Now it seems that not only do you need a resume, you also need a professional bio and maybe even a LinkedIn page.

Holy cow! It’s getting more complicated every day.

Well, one thing that I can help you with is understanding the difference between a resume and a professional biography.

The most important distinction between bio and resume

First thing to know is that a bio tells a story about you, whereas a resume gives a summary of your complete work history. Both describe your background but the level of detail and presentation are different. Between the two, the bio is more interesting and easier to read than a resume.

Some employers want just one or the other, but most seem to ask for both a resume and a bio these days.

When to use a bio

A bio or biography tells a story about you, whereas a resume gives “just the facts.” A bio is a promotional document; a resume is used when applying for a job. Both describe your background but purpose, level of detail and presentation are different. Between the two, the bio is less formal and more interesting to read than the resume.

Use a bio to tell a narrative story about you. This may be for a company website, a blurb at the bottom of an article, or any other use where you need a concise but interesting snapshot of you and your achievements.

Your bio is intended to be a concise, compelling overview of the person. In a paragraph or two, the most impressive facts are provided to give a picture to the reader. The description normally is written in the third person and may include years of experience, some well-known companies, recognized commercial awards, marital status, number of children, and other details.

Frankly, a career biography is basically promotional material: it tells a short story about you in a couple of paragraphs. It’s a summarized version of who you are, what you’re all about, and why the reader should listen to you.

Another way to think about it is that a professional bio is a little advertisement for you – and by extension – for your company as well. It summarizes just the most impressive highlights of your background. In contrast, a resume gives a complete summary of your experience, education, and skills – normally in chronological order.

To sum up, a professional biography is:

  • basically used as promotional material or as an introduction blurb
  • often found in the “about me” or “profile” section of a website, as well as on printed and web materials for motivational speakers, company CEOs, business owners, and book or article authors
  • an overview of the person written in a narrative form (sentences and paragraphs)
  • normally written in the third person
  • usually includes includes years of experience, some well-known companies, and recognized industry awards
  •  may optionally include marital status, number of children, place of dwelling, and other personal details
  • basically a short story and more interesting to read than a resume
  • normally not sufficient to submit for a job application

When to use a resume

A resume is normally required when applying for a job. A resume shows past history and provides in detail, the working experience, job positions and responsibilities, education with colleges attended, skill certificates achieved and trainings completed.

Whereas a bio is usually formatted in paragraphs, resumes are normally formatted in bullet form and chronological order. You need to account for any missing years that may have occurred due to sickness, travelling, family responsibilities or time out of the workforce. In a pinch, you can omit certain areas in your resume if you wish and only reveal them in person when you have an interview.

A resume is:

  • normally required when applying for a job
  • a summary of past work history, education and training (provides in detail the work experience, job positions and responsibilities, education with colleges attended, skill certificates achieved and trainings completed)
  • normally formatted in bullet form and chronological order
  • more formal than a bio
  • usually longer than a bio

Help is here!

A bio template simplifies the process of writing a professional bio If you are looking for a bio template, please visit How to Write a Bio where I provide downloadable fill-in-the-blank bio templates for over 150 different types of jobs. You’ll have it done in the correct style and format within the next 20 minutes.

How to write a good Twitter bio profileThe biggest challenge in writing a good Twitter bio is that Twitter allows you only 160 characters. That means your bio must capture the attention of a potential follower in about 20 words.

Writing 20 words shouldn’t be tough, but it’s actually harder to write succinctly than it is to write at length. Here are five important tips to help you write your Twitter bio, along with some good Twitter bio examples.

Tip #1 – Include Your Area of Expertise
Your expertise should be included in your Twitter bio, showing off what you are good at. This is an opportunity to highlight what’s unique about you so people can decide if they want to follow you. Here’s a good example from a personal trainer and fitness coach that clearly states her area of expertise (helping clients overcome their mental blocks):

@coachkate1 Kate is a Health & Fitness Coach who helps clients overcome their mental blocks to living a healthy lifestyle.

Tip #2 – Use Powerful Keywords
Don’t neglect keywords on Twitter. Using relevant keywords in your bio helps people who have the same interests to find you, and will also help you show up in search results. In addition, using keywords in your bio will help you pop up in Twitter apps that group users together by interest.

For example, can you guess what keywords the @mashsocialmedia bio is targeting?

The latest happenings in social media, plus tips on using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare and more.

If you guessed “social media” plus the four major social media sites mentioned, you’d be correct.

Here’s another example of someone who does a good job of using keywords in her Twitter bio:

@MyMelange #Italy & #France travel planning, #travel consulting, #food tours Writer. Queen of the carry-on bag. How can I help with your next trip?

I don’t need to tell you that @MyMelange (Robin Locker Lacey) specializes in Italy and France travel planning: it’s clear from her bio.

Notice Robin’s use of hashtags, which makes it even more likely that she will be found in the top results when someone searches Twitter for those words.

Robin finishes her bio with the question “How can I help with your next trip?” which addresses the advice in the next tip – “mention what you offer”. Robin’s clever question makes it clear that she offers Italy and France trip planning services.

Tip #3 – Mention What You Offer
Mention what you offer within your Twitter profile. Show potential followers who you are and how you can be useful to them.

My friend and colleague Natalie Tucker Miller has a company called “Ageless-Sages”, which provides picture books for elders. Here’s how she mentions in her Twitter bio what her company offers, while at the same time including her other main activity as a coach certifier and educator:

@NatalieTM Helping families reconnect through Picture Books for Elders™ Teaching the magic of loving all phases. IAC Lead Certifier, coach educator.

Here’s another good example that shows how to mention what you offer in an engaging way:

@danielgoh Beer hawker, entrepreneur and owner of The Good Beer Company. Food fanatic. Avid geek. Blogger and social media enthusiast.

When you read Daniel’s bio, you instantly know that he’s interested in beer, food, business, blogging and social media. Pretty efficient use of 19 words!

Tip #4 – Write with Personality

Last, give a sense of your personality in your Twitter bio. Are you funny, sincere, sarcastic? Don’t be afraid to be real – that’s what people enjoy. Letting your personality shine through takes a profile from ho-hum to intriguing – which will make people want to follow.

Looking again at Daniel Goh’s bio above, you get a sense of his personality from the use of words such as “hawker”, “fanatic” and “geek”. Someone who uses those types of descriptors is probably witty, unpretentious and enthusiastic about his interests. I follow Daniel, and I can tell you that he’s definitely all three of those things!

Tip #5 – Remember, It’s All Public
In the previous tip I advised “Don’t be afraid to be real”. I’m now going to put a caveat on that. Remember that everything you write on Twitter is public and shows up in the search engines, even if you’ve deleted it.

That bitingly funny Twitter bio you wrote and then deleted after realizing that it could offend some of your customers? It’s not really deleted. It’s indexed in the search engines for anyone to see…forever.

Even if you just use Twitter for friends (and not for business purposes), keep in mind that business contacts can and will read your Twitter page. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a completely open platform; people do not need permission to follow you. Sure you can block someone; but they can still do a Google search for site:twitter.com/yourtwittername and see every tweet you’ve ever published. Try it.

Socializing on Twitter is not the same as socializing in the privacy of your own home, or even your local coffee shop. As my mother used to tell me about gossip, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want published on the front page of the newspaper. Twitter is the digital age equivalent of the front page of the newspaper. So yes, be real and be professional as well.

How to write a bio for motivational speakerA speaker bio is a brief summary of your education, work history and experience that is relevant to your speaking topic (the focus is on brief and relevant). The organization requesting your speaker’s bio may specify a format and length. If they don’t, follow these speaker bio guidelines:

  • Keep your speaker biography brief—no more than 75 to 100 words. Biographies that are too long simply don’t get read. Or worse, the organization may summarize your bio in a way that you don’t like.
  • Include your current position and a brief mention of work history and experience that is relevant to your speaking topic and audience
  • Include academic qualifications, awards, and a reference to published work, but only if applicable to the material you are presenting

Getting started writing your speaker’s bio

To start writing, use a point form method or use a speaker bio template. A bio template is just an outline for you to fill in the blanks. You can list out the following points:

1) Profession
2) Years of experience
3) Awards or achievements
4) Contact details

Speaker bio examples

Joan Smith is the Chief Innovation Officer for PeopleCAD® and a frequent speaker at industry events. For the past four  years, Joan has written a monthly magazine column called “Industry News”. She started using PeopleCAD® software with Release 1.0, almost 20 years ago. She also taught at the university level for several years. Her latest book is entitled PeopleCAD® Demystified.

Dr. Jones heads up the post graduate program at the Health Sciences Hospital of Alberta. His numerous professional publications focus on his research and clinical interests in the psycho-social aspects of hospice care. His current research focuses on the tools of orthomolecular medicine in palliative medicine. This is Dr. Jones’ third year speaking at the CMA annual conference.

Variations in speaker bio style

Sometimes, a different style is needed when the age group is known. If you need to speak to young people in a Career Guidance Day session, your bio needs to be less formal and certain sentences can be rephrased. Instead of this formal style:

Charles Granger, CPA founded the Financial Planner SBO systems to track hedge funds for the bank. This system enabled the bank to monitor and project profits and ultimately offered a prudent way of multiplying the banks overall capital.

You could write something that young people would understand and better relate to:

Mr. Granger made a lot of money for Citizens Business Bank by using a system he patented.

To summarize, a speaker bio is:

  • used as introductory or promotional material
  • an overview of the person written in narrative form
  • written in the third person
  • brief and relevant to the speaking engagement topic
  • a summary of education, experience and achievements

A template makes writing a speaker bio quick and easy!

Does writing a speaker bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks bio template written specifically for professional speaking engagements. You’ll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes. (Note: choose the bio template that relates to your main profession.)

How to Write a Music Bio

The purpose of your music artist bio is to introduce you and your music to the world. Your bio needs to be informative as well as creative if it is going to make an impact on those you wish to impress.

Impress? Yes, you want your musician bio to impress. Even though you may feel that your music should speak for itself, you still need to provide fans, agents, journalists and others with some compelling words about you and your music so that they decide to engage further with you. You want them to read your music artist bio and think “wow, this musician sounds interesting. I want to learn more. I may just give them some of my hard-earned money/time/space”.

So what should be in your music bio?

1. Introduce yourself. Start out by saying who you are and what you do. “Jane Z. Smith sings traditional blues songs” conveys your name and style clearly and economically.

2. Use plain language to present yourself professionally. This is not the place to be cute, cryptic or ironic (unless that’s part of your band’s image and branding).

3. Don’t make them guess. Please, please, please don’t say that your music is unclassifiable. Not only is it a boring cliche, but booking agents need to know what kind of music you perform in order to book you in the right venues. Think of it this way: if you love Thai food the best, and you’re really craving Thai food tonight, and there are literally thousands of restaurants in your city, which restaurant would you choose: “Yummy Thai” or “Mystery Restaurant”? I thought so.

4. Keep it short. The shorter your bio, the more likely people will be to read the whole thing. Start out by writing everything that comes to mind, and then edit, edit, edit. Ideally your bio should be no more than a couple of paragraphs long. As songwiters know, much can be conveyed in a few words!

5. Showcase some of the most important achievements of your career. If you’ve received awards or performed with other well-known artists be sure to mention that. This will allow your audience to know that your talents are respected by others in the industry.

6. The first couple of paragraphs should be given to what is going on right now with you and your band. If you are expecting to have a new album or CD ready for release soon, give the date so that your fans will be ready to purchase it. Give dates and locations for where you will be if you are going on tour.

7. Give some personal background. Your fans will want to know what made you want to enter the music business, and how and when you met the members of your band. Let your audience know what adversities you had to overcome in order to get where you are today.

8. Ask for help. Writing a bio on yourself is different than any other kind of writing. Almost everyone finds it difficult to write about themselves. Where to start? What to include? More to the point, what to leave out? You’re a musician, not a technicial writer. So ask a writer friend to help you with your bio, or consider using our musician bio template or band bio template to get a professional bio in the correct style and format.

Let’s face it, writing a music artist bio is not easy. In fact, writing your bio is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do in your music career. The good news is that once you’ve written a good basic music bio, you’ll only have to update it for various situations (e.g. longer, shorter, focussing on a specific audience).

If you use these tips to help you write a music bio, you will certainly create a compelling story that will help your music career.

A bio template makes writing a music biography quick and easy!

Does writing a music bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? Are you unsure about your ability to present yourself in the best possible light? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks music bio template written specifically for a musician. You’ll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes.

Military army navy airforce board biographyThe military bio format is much like the bio format used in civilian life, although there are a few key differences that you should be aware of. Regardless of whether your military service is in the army, navy, airforce or coast guard, your military bio is designed to do one thing: provide a brief but impressive narrative summary of the highlights of your military career. You’ll be asked for a military biography if you’re applying to get a promotion or move into a different branch of the military. You might also need a military bio to introduce you as a speaker or to credit you as the author of an article or book.

If you’re not sure how to write a military biography, here are some guidelines that will help:

1) Be brief. The standard military bio format is roughly 150 words when written and no longer than 60 seconds when read aloud.

2) Write in third person but use first person when reading it aloud. Third person would be like this: “Jane Smith trained with”, while first person would be like this: “I trained with”.

3) Start with personal information such as your name, rank, branch, and place of birth.

4) Focus on your military history in chronological order from basic training to the present.

5) Sunmarize the training and duties you have completed, as well as your deployment history and status. Don’t forget about your civilian training and experience. Even if it’s in a different occupation, civilian training and experience can be a major selling point because it sets you apart from someone who has only military experience.

6) Include additional information such as awards and accomplishments, as well as any interesting or impressive details of how you rose in the ranks

7) Conclude by briefly stating your goals for the future.

That’s a lot of information to get out in 60 seconds! You’re either going have write succintly or talk fast! (joke)

A bio template makes writing a military biography quick and easy!

Does writing a military bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? Are you unsure about your ability to present yourself in the best possible light? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks military bio template written specifically for military service. You’ll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes.

How to write a motivational speaker biography You’ve finished writing your article and are ready to send it off, but there’s one last task: writing an author bio. It’s hard to know exactly how to write an author bio, even if you’re a writer. So many things to say and so few words allowed in the author box! How do you decide what to focus on and which URLs to link to?

Here are some points to consider when writing an “about the author” box.

1) Decide on the purpose of the article. Is it to get people to view you as an expert? Then make sure your author box highlights your most impressive relevant qualifications. Do you also want them to go to your website? Then be sure to include a link to the exact page you want them to land on.

2) Prepare several versions of your bio in different lengths, so you can have them on hand for various uses. The “about the author” box at the end of an online article is generally two or three brief sentences (or 50 to 100 words). However, your author blurb in a newspaper or magazine might only be a few words such as “Sally Smith is an Ottawa based gardening writer”, followed by your email address. An author bio in a query letter for a book proposal would also be no more than 100 words. You can include a longer bio when you write your website biography.

3) Decide on the points you want to include. Most authors find that they have more information than they need. Be ruthless in editing your bio to include only points that are relevant. Does your fishing hobby provide good background for a murder mystery novel you are submitting to a publisher? Probably not. You worked in a coroner’s office for a couple of weeks to learn about medical examiner’s terminology? Now that’s relevant!

4) Make a list of writing credits to highlight, but confine yourself to three or else it will take up too much space.

5) Include contact information and a website so readers can learn more about you and your writing.

6) An author bio plays an important role because it communicates who you are. In the same way that a business card introduces you, a bio serves as a short introduction to your writing. Take the time to think carefully about what you want readers to remember when they hear your name.

7) Readers like to know about you. Biographical information such as marital status, number of children, pets and hobbies show that you are a normal person and helps readers relate to you.

8) Reflect your unique writing style in your author bio. Your bio provides an opportunity to give readers a sense of what to expect from your writing. Reflect the content and style of your work in how you write your author bio. For example, if you’re a humorous or satirical writer, include some humor in your bio. If you’re an academic writer, take an academic approach. The tone you take in writing your bio creates expectation of your written work.

Here are two contrasting examples of how to write an author bio to create an expectation of your writing style:

Norman Langford grew up spying on the neighbours and taking notes in a little black book. No surprise that he ended up writing spy novels!

Dr. Laura Smith has been writing on gender studies for over 20 years. Her research interests include mothering, gender roles and media representation of women.

Consider Using a Template

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. We have a fill-in-the-blanks author bio template that will help you write a great bio. That way you can complete your bio writing task and get back to the writing that you actually enjoy!

How to write a bio for actor playbill - templateAn actor bio is a brief summary of your education, work history and experience that is relevant to the acting profession (the focus is on brief and relevant). The theatre or agency requesting your actor bio may specify a format and length. If they don’t, follow these actor bio guidelines:

  • Keep your actor biography brief—about 100 – 250 words. Biographies that are too long simply don’t get read.
  • Write in the third person (“John Smith acted in”, not “I acted in”).
  • Include your acting credits and your training. If you have a long list of credits, just mention a few credits (the most impressive ones) in the narrative part of your bio and then add a point-form list of all credits at the end.
  • It’s optional to include biographical information such as marital status, number of children, and place of birth. If you don’t have many acting credits yet, this personal information can help flesh out your bio.
  • List your contact details at the end. Since a bio doesn’t have room to reflect all your achievements, you can also include a website link to your portfolio and contact email address.

Accentuate the positive

You might have a lot of experience but no formal training. Or you might have attended a prestigious acting school but you don’t have much experience yet. Don’t worry about it. You can choose what gets highlighted in your actor bio. Just write about what you have and don’t even address what you don’t have. In the end, the ability you show at the audition will count most of all. There are plenty of people performing on Broadway who did not attend the “name-brand” schools.

You have a brand

Like a fashion designer, you have a brand to sell. You’ve got skills, you’ve trained and studied your craft, you’ve acted, and you do good work. Project this in your theatre bio by describing yourself with confidence and verve.

Write more than one bio

You need more than one theatre or actor bio, depending on its intended purpose. Here are the most typical bios you might need.

  • a short bio or “blurb” that you would use in a theatre program. A short bio is normally no more than two or three sentences.
  • a longer bio would be needed for an audition. This would be 100 – 250 words long.
  • a full biography might be required for your website or a press release. A full length biography could up to a page in length (250 – 500 words).

Get started writing your actor’s bio

To start writing, use a point form method or use an actor bio template. A bio template is just an outline for you to fill in the blanks. You can list out the following points:

1) Training

2) Experience

3) Awards or achievements

4) Contact details

5) Acting credits

To summarize, an actor bio is:

  • used as introductory or promotional material
  • an overview of the person written in narrative form
  • written in the third person
  • brief and relevant to the acting job
  • a summary of education, experience and achievements

A template makes writing an actor bio quick and easy!

Does writing an actor or theatre bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks bio template written specifically for theatre and acting professionals. You’ll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes.

When writing a short bio, first ask yourself who will be reading it. Will it be visitors to your website? Someone introducing you as a speaker? Potential investors in your business venture? The reason why this is important is because what you include in a short bio will vary depending on the target audience.

Think about what’s most important to the reader

Here’s an important distinction: Although a short bio is written is about you, it is written for your audience. In other words, think about what aspects of you and your background would be important to the reader.

By definition, a short bio is short

One of the hardest things about writing short bios is deciding what to include and what to leave out. It’s hard to summarize a life and career in just a few sentences. Again, the key is to think about who is going to be reading your bio. If your bio is going to be used to introduce you as a speaker at an industry conference, what do those folks in the audience want to know about you? Probably they want to know whether you are worth listening to! So for that audience, focus your short bio on your accomplishments as they relate to that industry.

Focus on the highlights

To get started writing a bio, list the highlights of your life, career and accomplishments as they relate to the target audience. Then ruthlessly edit the list down to a few key details—things that can easily be described in a sentence or two—and discard the rest. Yes, I know it’s painful but it must be done!

Get rid of unnecessary details

The reality is that people are only going to spend 30 – 60 seconds reading your bio. If you write too much, readers are simply going to skip over the details. Take charge of what people remember about you by writing a short bio that highlights your best accomplishments.

Begin with a strong statement

Begin with a statement that puts your career in perspective —for example, “John Smith has over 20 years experience as a senior manager,” or “Jane Doe is an award-winning mystery writer.” Follow that with other details that demonstrate your expertise and underscore your relevant achievements.

Conclude with personal and contact info

Finish off your short bio with a statement about your personal life–for example, “She lives in Seattle with her husband and three cats.”

Do you have to include personal information? It’s up to you. Some people say that personal information such as hometown, family and hobbies is not relevant in a professional bio, because it has nothing to do with the job. That may be true, but I find that most readers like getting a sense of who you are outside of your professional role.
And finally, don’t forget to include your contact information at the end of your brief bio. You can word it like this: _____ (NAME) can be contacted at ______ (WEBSITE OR EMAIL ADDRESS).

A bio template makes writing a short bio quick and easy!

Does writing a short bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks bio template written specifically for your type of job. You’ll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes.

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