10 Tips for Writing a 100-word Professional Bio

August and September: Time to prep for publishing.

Lay the groundwork for publishing by polishing your professional materials.

Here are ten tips for writing a 100-word professional bio:

#1 The choice of which POV to use (first-person “I” or third-person “he,” “she,” or singular “they”) typically depends on who is introducing you. Use third-person when another entity is introducing you (e.g., when being introduced at a conference). A third-person bio is appropriate for your platform when introducing yourself to your audience (e.g. your website and social media profiles) but so is first-person. Consider who is making the introduction to the intended audience and then decide accordingly. Realize your choice of POV may affect the tone of your bio.

#2 The first time your name appears in your professional bio, use both your first and last name. Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to include any professional titles prefixing your name (e.g., “Dr.” but not “Mr.” or “Ms.”). When appropriate, include suffixes indicating earned academic degrees but be aware that adding these prefixes and suffixes will adjust the tone of your bio. Decide if this tone will resonant with your intended audience, or distance them. Professional prefixes and suffixes indicating earned degrees are most appropriate for writers of nonfiction when the credentials support the subject matter.

#3 Try to strike a balance in tone. Professional yet friendly.

#4 Include current professional credentials (what you do now).

#5 Cite professional accomplishments.

#6 Cite publishing credentials including titles of novels and publications where your work has appeared.

#7 If there’s room within the 100-word limit, include personal interests, alluding to who you are outside of your professional life.

#8 Include website and appropriate social media.

#9 Write more than one 100-word bio. The underlying function of a professional bio is to state qualifications. When asked to provide a bio with a word count restricted to 100 words, tailor those words to meet the needs of the intended audience. The 100-word bio you write on your social media profile may not be appropriate when speaking at a conference.

#10 Mark your calendar to ensure frequent editing and updating of professional bios in the many places in which they are posted (e.g., your website, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).

Julie Valerie

Julie Valerie

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from the first word to the first reader.

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