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Biography Examples

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!

Write hair salon stylist biographyA good bio is an effective tool in helping to acquire new customers. Here are some guidelines and examples for how to write a  professional hair stylist’s bio.

1. See what’s standard and then go beyond it.

Check out the bios of a few other stylists, preferably those in your own area, maybe even those whose work or salon you know. What are they doing? When you read their bios, what grabs you and what makes you go, “Eh.” Then improve on what’s out there.

2. Write a bio, not a book.

This is not the moment to launch into your version of Zen and the Art of Hair Maintenance. People reading the bio want to know if the stylist can work with children or create a perm that doesn’t make the recipient look like a prize poodle. They’re interested in results, not theories.

3. Establish a warm and friendly tone.

If you’re a Swiss banker, a certain amount of formality in any document is probably a good idea. However, at least half of the appeal of a good stylist is their personality and how well they can relate to a client, make him or her relax, and how well the stylist listens to the customer’s needs to ensure that the final result is what was desired. For that reason, it’s perfectly fine to start a bio with “Hi. My name is ___________________ and I love to cut hair. I can give you a style that will make all your friends say you look fabulous!”

4. Prove it.

No one wants a stylist who just picked up a pair of scissors one day and started practicing on her dolls. Where were you trained and when? What awards or professional recognition have you received? What are your specialties?

There’s no crime in saying that you prefer to do haircuts instead of color. The wrong time for a potential client to discover that you’re no color expert is when she’s in the chair and her hair has turned lilac. On the other hand, if you have special certifications in hair color, facials, make-up, or any other beauty routine, be sure to list them.

5. What products do you use?

In some salons, you may not have any control over that, but in many cases, stylists have favorite products that they use consistently. If you’re one of those, be sure to say so. Customers are often loyal to particular brands, so if a Paul Mitchell girl reads your bio and sees that you only use his products, she’s likely to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment.

6. Are you a special events maven?

In other words, do you love to do weddings, proms, styles for graduation pictures, etc.? Do you really love to work with small children? Many people who normally give their hair cut at the $7.99 Walk-In Shop have no idea where to go when they need something out of the ordinary. If you can offer that, they’ll come to you.

7. Why do you love doing this?

Let’s hope you do, because again, a stylist’s personality is nearly as important as your technical skills. If you simply love making people look their best, then say so. Share why you chose this career instead of X-ray tech. let potential customers know that when they’re in your hands, they’re in the hands of someone who genuinely cares about making the world more beautiful.

8. Be sure to include the basic info.

People want to know where your shop is located, when your shop is open, and if they need an appointment. Some stylists will accept walk-ins for a shampoo or cut but need appointments for perms, coloring, and special occasion groups. Include all that information so unhappy surprises are avoided.

A sample bio might look something like this:
Hi, my name is _____________ and welcome to my shop/salon ______________. Ever since I gave my first Barbie a wedge cut like Dorothy Hamill, I’ve loved to cut hair. In ___________ I graduated from the ________________ School of Beauty and Hairstyling.

In addition to passing all of my final tests with high scores, I also received certification in coloring, facials, and waxing. I specialize in working with long hair, creating updos and styles that can be worn every day.

I recently took courses in make-up design and application, and I love the opportunity to work on clients before their proms or entire wedding parties. I’ll make certain the bride’s lipstick doesn’t clash with the maid of honor’s dress.
I am available for haircuts and shampoo/styles during regular shop hours, ______________ Monday thorough ___________. In addition, perms and hair coloring appointments are usually available a minimum of 48 hours in advance, and with 72 hours’ notice, my assistants and I can handle bridal and special events groups of up to eight individuals.

Our salon proudly uses _________products, which are eco-friendly, not tested on animals, and hypoallergenic. Our fine lines of shampoos, conditioners, mousses, and de-tanglers are also available for purchase__________ . Nail Boutique is located at the rear of our salon, and our customers get a 10 percent discount on all manicures.
Just as every stylist and salon are different, so will every stylist’s bio. The important points to remember are using this information to establish trust, confidence, and desire in potential customers. Once they’ve read your bio and seen your work, you want them to come to you instead of clicking on the next site. Creating a lively, informational, and friendly bio is a great way to get them in your door.

 

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 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.

accountant-cpa-bio-templateWriting a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) bio is a great way to advertise your services and connect with new clients.

To stand out from the competition, you need a bio that gets your message across clearly. The key is to focus on what you can do for your potential clients, and what makes you uniquely qualified to handle their accounting business.

Here are seven key tips to help you write an effective CPA, CA or other accounting professional biography.

1. Draw the client in

Grab your client’s attention by bringing their interests into it right from the beginning. They want to know what you can do for them, so begin by answering that question. What makes you uniquely qualified to help them? There’s no one formula for this, but open with your name and then jump right into a short, engaging sentence that sums up why you stand out from the crowd.

Example of how to begin an Accountant or CPA professional biography:

_____________ (your name) is a/an ____________ (your professional designation, e.g. Certified Public Accountant; Chartered Accountant; Certified Internal Auditor; Controller; Chief Financial Officer) and a/an/the ____________ (your position title, if different from your professional designation e.g. owner; founder; President; Principal; Staff Tax Preparer; Taxation Department Head) at __________ (name of company or organization), a/an ___________ (description of your company or organization, e.g. full-service accounting firm; tax practice; accounting consultancy; private equity audit firm) in _____________ (location).

2. Write in third person

Traditionally, professional biographies are written in third person (as though someone else is talking about you). With the advent of social media there is a trend toward shorter, less formal bios, especially on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. However, for an professional accountant or company bio third person is more appropriate because it conveys a more professional impression.

If you’ve forgotten the difference between first-person and third-person voice, here’s a short refresher: Instead of writing “I am” and “I graduated”, write “Jane Smith is” and “She graduated”. Use your full name (first and last) the first time. After that, it’s up to you whether to refer to yourself by your full name, just your first name, or just your last name.

3. Focus on client needs

When listing your expertise and education, focus on how your credentials can benefit your client. Don’t assume your credentials will speak for themselves: your potential clients don’t necessarily understand everything about your job or what you can do for them, so it’s your job to inform them in terms they will understand.

Focus on specific client needs, and then tie in your skills. For example, if you have specialized experience in auditing, you might focus on how you can help the company implement internal control systems and procedures. Don’t be afraid to address the client directly as “you” or “your company.”

For example: ______(your name) can help your company ______(accomplish an important goal, such as make decisions about allocating resources) by _________ (using relevant skills or experience, such as providing assurance about financial information).

4. Make it memorable

There are lots of accountants out there, but only one of them has your unique set of experiences, skills, and qualifications. Think about what sets you apart, and focus on your strongest, most relevant, and most unique skills. Chances are, your client is skimming a lot of bios, so make sure you stand out by using memorable details.

For example, you might focus on your area(s) of specialization, your many years of experience, or your exceptional education, depending on what is most relevant and impressive to the clients you are trying to attract.

Example:

_______________ (your name) earned his/her __________ degree from the University of __________ and his/her ___________ (name of professional designation, e.g. CPA, CA, CGA) from ____________ (designating body, e.g. the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario). He/She is also a/an __________ (additional designations, e.g. Civil and Criminal court-appointed accounting expert).

5. Make it easy to read

When you write your accountancy bio, break the information into short paragraphs (no more than three sentences in each paragraph). Studies show that when people are faced with a large block of text (especially on a computer screen), they just skim over it quickly. By making your paragraphs nice and short, you’ll increase the likelihood that people will actually read your bio.

6. Eliminate passive voice

Whenever possible, use action verbs that focus directly on what you have done or can do. Avoid passive voice, which not only makes your writing wordier but often means you’re taking your customer out of the action. If that happens, they’ll quickly drift away.

A trick that I use is to scan my document for the word “of”. Often when you find “of” you’ll find the passive voice, and you can easily change it to active voice. For example:

Passive voice: Our accounting company was involved in the conducting of major audits.

Active voice: Our accounting acompany conducted major audits.

7. End with a call to action

In your conclusion, speak directly to your potential clients. Make sure they walk away with a clear message about what makes you uniquely suited to help them.

For example: Contact _______ (your name) today to get started ________ (accomplishing an important goal) at _______ (phone number and/or other contact info).

Again, the key to writing a strong bio is staying focused on what you can do for your client. Remember, although your accountant biography is written about you, it’s written for your client. Include your skills and qualifications, but always link it back to the client’s needs and interests.

There are some special considerations to keep in mind when writing a work biography for a police officer, trooper or other law enforcement professional.

police-officer-bio-template
For one thing, police officers must be able to present themselves in different ways for different constituencies. While their primary role is obviously to prevent, stop, or solve crimes, they must also be able to serve the community at large, protect vulnerable populations, and maintain a relationship of mutual respect and understanding with their community.

One tool that helps in all of these tasks is a well-written professional biography, letting the reader know who this person is besides a badge and a uniform.

Here are six key things to include in a police officer autobiography, along with sample wording and fill-in-the-blank examples for crafting an effective law enforcement biography.

1. Identify your audience

The first thing you should ask is “who is the audience for this bio?” In most cases, the biography is being written for a PR handout or a website, so the main audience will be the community at large.

For that reason, the tone needs to be warm and respectful without seeming too casual. “Hi, my name is_______________” is appropriate for many profiles, even professional bios, but it is not the right tone to set when trying to establish a professional rapport between an officer and the community (it’s too casual).

A better way to introduce yourself would be to use your title and name: “(Title: Patrolman, Office, Deputy, Sergeant, etc.)_______________ is a two-year veteran of the _______________ Police Force. Formerly working in__________________ division, he/she now serves in the __________________ department as ______________________.

2. Avoid jargon and acronyms

The text should be straightforward, and informational without a great deal of jargon or acronyms that are understood only by the police. On the other hand, if the bio is being written for other law enforcement professionals, it may use more of the terms and vocabulary commonly used by those on the job. Again, think about your audience and their needs.

3. Leave out the boring stuff

One of the hardest things about writing any professional bio is deciding what merits inclusion and what can be left out. Considering that the most common mistake in writing a professional bio is including too much boring information, my rule of thumb is “when in doubt, leave it out.” Think back to “who is the audience?”and ask yourself what information is relevant to them.

4. List your credentials

Just like that of a doctor or lawyer, the bio of a police officer should include specific information about his or her background, including education, experience, and other relevant work experience that demonstrates qualifications and suitability for the job.

For example: _____________ is a __________ graduate of the ____________________ Police Academy, where he/she graduated in the top __________% of the class.

Alternately, if the individual in question studied law enforcement in college, the bio might read:  ____________ (name) majored in _________________ at ____________ College/University.

5. Include awards, memberships, and other positive information

One of the key goals of a good police officer bio is to establish trust as well as competence. This can be achieved by including mention of any awards or citations the officer has received, as well as any benevolent or professional organizations he or she may be a member of.

Other worthy mentions are membership in any organization that may not be directly related to police work but shows concern for the community, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, a food bank, or a group that distributes Thanksgiving dinners to the needy. These can be included in this manner:

_________________ has been decorated _____(number of times) for outstanding performance in the line of duty. In _________ he/she received the__________________ for his/her work in/with ____________________.

If you do public speaking on behalf of your department, include that as well. Give a brief mention of work history and experience that is relevant to your speaking topic and audience.

6. What NOT to include

Under normal circumstances, many professional bios feature personal information such as whether the individual is married, the spouse’s name and occupation, and whether the person has children.

While commonplace in many professions, this is not necessarily a good idea for a police officer biography. Law enforcement can be a dangerous occupation, not just for the officer but also for his or her family. In a small town police department where everyone already knows about everyone else’s family, that might be acceptable, but even then, the information might well be kept private on general principle. Never include any information about your family unless you’re comfortable with it and you know the department’s policy regarding it.

Part Two: Bio writing for those in command positions

When writing a bio for a police captain, department head, chief of police, or other high-ranking law enforcement officer, all of the rules above apply. In addition, since this individual will be commanding others and may quite possibly by the “public face” of the department, it’s important to balance their past experience in the field, which speaks of their understanding of the challenges faced by their officers as well as their own experience in what makes for effective police work, with information that reassures those on the force, those in local government, community and business leaders, and the public at large that this individual can:

  1. lead others
  2. deal with crises from a position of strength
  3. use his or her authority and position as a force for good
  4. ensure justice will be done, no matter what the situation

Therefore, begin the senior police officer bio with the basics: current position in the department or on the force, background, education, and experience, and any awards or citations. Then continue with specifics about the individual’s leadership skills.

For example:

Before becoming the _________(current position) of _______________ Police Department, __________ worked as a ___________________, overseeing ___________ cases and _______________ of officers.

In addition to his/her current position, _____________ frequently speaks on the topic of ______at law enforcement seminars (and/or) has been published in ____________ journal.

He/She has spearheaded a campaign to obtain ______________ in order to better equip the department and enable it to_________________.

All of this will vary depending on the individual’s specific education, experience, and expertise, but the important fact to remember is that a professional autobiography bio for someone in command should be more detailed and offer more bona fides than that of his/her subordinate. Any other presentation will undermine the leader in the eyes of his/her own department and probably in the eyes of the community as well.

More help needed? A detailed police office bio template that is professionally written in the correct style and format for law enforcement professionals is available here.

 

 

Photo credit: carlwwycoff

Craftsperson colored paperIf you’re a craftsperson, you have great talent and love to share your abilities, with weaving, creating pottery or jewelry, woodworking, sewing, and so much more. When you work on a project, you’re comfortable and confident of the result.

However, that may not be true when you have to write about yourself in order to market your wares. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a difficult or time-consuming task. Let’s break it down.

1. Who’s your audience?

Are you writing for repeat customers, trying to attract new fans, or addressing other craftspeople? Most bios are designed simply to introduce the artisan to an audience; they don’t have to be too technical.

2. KISS—Keep it simple, silly.

Again, unless you’re creating a bio for a juried show and need to impress the judges with your knowledge of greenware and batik, keep your bio simple. Let the audience know who you are, what you love to make, and how long you’ve been making it.

3. Start with the basics.

There’s nothing wrong with a bio that begins with, “Hi. My name is____________ and I love to make and sell____________________.” Be sure to add the “sell” part, because if you’re like most craftspeople, you do love to make your wares, but you also enjoy paying the bills.

4. Strut your stuff.

This could also be called establishing your bona-fides. How long have you been doing this? Were you formally trained in your craft? Have you won awards? Were your pieces chosen for prestigious craft shows? How many pieces do you make in a week, a month, or a year? You can put all of that in just a few sentences, like this:

“Ever since I took my first pottery class in __________, I have loved making painted and glazed water jugs. One of my cobalt-blue jugs won Best in Show at ______________. My work has been featured in_____________ magazine and on the _______________ Web site. Each month, I make twenty-five unique jugs, all hand-decorated and triple-fired.”

5. When in doubt, cut it out.

You don’t have to tell your readers about every single craft fair you ever attended or list all the online courses that you’ve ever taken. You want to keep readers interested, not give them a laundry list of minutiae.

6. Start plump, end lean.

By that I mean write down everything that you think might be important or interesting to your audience. Once you have six pages, read through everything and start pruning. See if you can get six pages down to three, and then go through again and see if three pages can become two—or one.

7. Always link up.

Be sure you provide links to your gallery page, your blog, your Facebook page, your Etsy store—wherever you advertise or sell your wares. It’s a big digital universe; you want to make as many connections as possible. Think of your bio as another of your finely-crafted items.

A good bio will help you sell more, reach more potential customers, and grow your business. If you need help, ask a professional writer or use one of the craftsperson bio templates that are available. All you’ll need to do is add the decorative touches.

100 word bio examples It’s just 100 words (or fewer) so why is it so friggin’ difficult? You know what I’m talking about…the short bio that you need for social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all the others. I always find it so much easier to have bio examples to follow, so here are some fill-in-the-blank templates for you to customize for your own short social media profiles. Pick and choose the parts that work for you.

How many words exactly?

Twitter: 160 characters, which means only 20 – 25 words. Make each word count!

Pinterest: 200 characters, which translates into approximately 30 words.

Instagram: 150 characters, or about 20 words.

First-Person or Third-Person Format?

Before you get started though, you’re probably wondering if you should write in first-person (I am a …)  or third-person (your name, such as “Barbra is a …”).

In the past, experts would tell you that bios should always be written in third person. These days, particularly with informal social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, first person is common. On  the other hand, on professional networks such as LinkedIn you’ll normally see bios written in the more formal third-person voice. It all depends on whether you want to project a formal, business-like feeling (third-person), or an informal social feeling (first-person).

Choose whatever works best for you

In the example templates below, I used both first-person and third-person formats. Choose whichever works best for your needs, but keep it consistent throughout your bio. In other words, don’t switch back and forth from first-person to third-person.

 Fill-in-the-blank templates

_______ (your name) is a _________, __________, and _________. He/She helps _______ (who you help, i.e. your clients or customers) to _________ (what you help them with, usually a problem you solve). __________

(your name) has always enjoyed starting and running businesses. In fact, by the time she/he was ________ (age), she/he had already ____________ . Soon afterwards, ___________ (your name) began a _________ and a ___________. Now she/he is the ________ (your title) of _________ (your business name), which __________ (short description of your business).

I’m the owner/operator of ________________ (your business name, linked to your website). ___________ (your business name) provides ___________ (your service or product) to ____________ (your customers) so they can ____________ (what your customers do with your service or product).

I got into this line of business in ______ (year) when _________ (tell how you got started).

My favorite part of having a ___________ (type of business) business is ____________, because it allows me to ____________ (why you enjoy it). Also, _________________ (a part of your job) can be a lot of fun!

When I’m not working on ___________ (your business name, linked to your website), I like to _________ (your hobbies).

I’m a _________, ________ and _________ (list three things that describe you, e.g. small business owner, writer, cat lover, devoted father) from __________ (list the general area you live in, e.g. country, state or city, but obviously: don’t ever give your address).

I think of myself as a _______ (your temperament e.g. quiet, bubbly, shy, outgoing) person, although I’ve also been known to __________ when __________ .

The things I love most in life are ______, _________ and ________ (list your favorite things, e.g. hanging with friends, my relationship with God, photography, cycling, family, my kids).

I’ve been ___________ (your profession or hobby) for ____ years, and I really love it.

My idea of the perfect day would start with _________. And then I’d _______ and finish off by ________. The kinds of people I’d like to meet are ones who are ________ and ________. That’s important to me because __________.

The secret to writing a bio

Thinking about writing your small business or entrepreneur bio?  Great idea, because it’s an important document that shapes first impressions of you and your company. A strong entrepreneur biography written in the correct style and format will positively reflect who you are and what you have accomplished in your career.

Here are  9 important points to consider when writing your entrepreneur bio.

1. Define your audience

The first step when writing an entrepreneur bio requires a bit of analysis. You need to ask yourself what you want your bio to accomplish. Is it to get investors? If so, you’ll want to emphasize your financial track record and and profit potential. On the other hand, if the purpose of your bio is to introduce you as a keynote speaker at an industry conference, you may choose to put more emphasis on your status as an expert in your field.

2. Begin with a clear statement

After you’ve determined the purpose of your professional bio, you can start to write. The first sentence of your bio should state WHO you are and WHAT you do.

Here’s an example: _________ (your name) has been an entrepreneur and a __________ (another role, normally describing your professional expertise, e.g. plastics consultant) since ____ (year).

Or you could start with something like this: _________ (your name) started __________ (company name) in ______ (year).

Notice both these opening sentences quickly and concisely give your basic information and let the reader know WHO and WHAT the bio is about.

3. Establish your credibility

For best results, waste no time establishing your credibility. Quite often, people will only read the first one or two sentences so you want to make a strong impression right away.

Your second sentence can establish your credibility as someone worth listening to simply by writing something like this:

He/She has over ___ (number) years of experience in ________, _________,  and ________ (the fields or disciplines that you have worked in).

4. Keep it short

It’s easy to fill up a personal bio with so many facts and numbers that you leave your readers glassy-eyed. Your bio should not be a boring list of certifications and former positions. It should state in simple language what you have to offer potential investors, clients or audiences.

5. Avoid jargon

The most effective professional bios use clear, simple language. Think about really excellent print advertisements: the best ones get their message across with simple but punchy language. It is possible to describe your background without requiring your readers to get out a dictionary!

6. Get it all down and then edit

The first draft of your entrepreneur biography will likely be quite long. That’s OK. It’s better to get all your ideas down and then edit out the unnecessary parts, than to sit in front of a blank screen paralyzed by trying to get it perfect right off the bat.

After you’ve listed everything you have done and what you have to offer, it’s time for the red pen. Trim the fat – all of it. Of each piece of information ask, “Do they really need to know this?” Readers, especially online readers, get distracted quickly. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of keeping your bio short and concise.

7. Choose the most flattering bits

What should be cut during the edit? What you decide to include may be different depending upon which audience your bio is intended for, but the bottom line is: Leave out anything that does not present you at your best.

Remember, a bio is not a resume. You are under no obligation to include your entire work history. That’s what resumes are for. In contrast, a bio is a document meant to present you in the most advantageous way.

For example, if you are an on-the-job learner who bypassed college, leave out a discussion of education. Anyone who really wants to know can contact you. Likewise, did you win an award that is recognized within your industry but not heard of outside of it? Leave it out unless your intended audience is industry-specific.

8. Use numbers

Provide data to validate your successes. Do you have any hard numbers on percentage of growth? Market share? Dollar volume? Put this data in context by contrasting it against previous results or larger industry trends. For example:

Under ______’s (your name) leadership, __________ (company or division name) grew from/achieved/improved (choose one of the foregoing) ___________ (quantifiable business result you achieved).

9. Provide links for more information

If you are writing an online bio, include links to your company’s website,  relevant publications you have authored, and any social media profile you have set up for business purposes.  If you do this, remember to keep those links and profiles updated.

If you put the same energy and creativity into writing your bio as you do into developing your business ideas, you will certainly come up with an effective professional bio. One final tip: Ask the best writer you know to edit your bio, or consider using a professionally written entrepreneur bio template to save time and hassle. Good luck!

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