Just like your professional resume, writing your executive bio can pose quite a challenge. Here are a few keys to helping tame this beast and make your bio a winner:
1. Don’t talk about yourself. Instead, tell a story about this successful person. In other words, it shouldn’t be “I” did this or even “you” did this. Instead, “Steve Jones is recognized for…”.
2. Start with an overview similar to the summary on your resume. This should be a paragraph that emphasizes what makes you unique — sell your bottom line value so that someone reading your bio gets a quick snapshot on why YOU have what they might be seeking. To this end, you might recognize also that your bio should be targeted to opportunities. Unless you are a broad-reaching consultant, write your bio for a special company and/or opportunity.
3. Work in reverse chronological order talking about your most recent position first. Focus on top line items – position title, company name, chief accomplishment(s) emphasizing your most recent career opportunities. Early career prior to ten years back can be kept brief and summarized.
4. Include any details that might have added value, if you did not express them in the initial summary. These might include board positions, industry certifications, or major awards.
5. End by summarizing your educational background. If you do not have a degree or executive development, it is OK to leave this section out.
6. Keep your bio to one page.
7. Include a headshot in the top right if desired. Do this only when it adds to your professional image by using an up-to-date, professional photo.
8. Leave out personal details about family, hobbies, and pets.
Your bio is about selling you. Stay brief yet sharp and focus on what makes you unique with the high points of your career.