You will create a professional biographical statement that tells colleagues, clients, and the public about your background, your work, and your interests. A professional bio is often used as an introduction of a new employees or when an employee taking on new responsibilities (like a promotion).
This assignment is a kind of job application project, since you will be using the kind of details that you could include on your resume or in a cover letter. The difference is that you are framing the details in a biographical statement. It is another way to position yourself as a professional in your career field.
The Project Assignment
Step 1: Decide on a specific audience and purpose for your bio.
Your writing will be stronger if you have specific readers in mind, so decide on a company or organization that you will write your bio for. You can choose any of the following:
- a company you did an internship for.
- a company you have worked for in the past.
- a club or Greek organization you are a member of.
- your department or a special office or program on campus.
- a situation you choose (you can check with me if you’re unsure).
Imagine that your bio will be published in a staff newsletter or on a “Meet the Team”-type webpage. You can also write the bio for use on a campus website or in a publication for alumni. While your scenario is imaginary, the details in your biographies should be current and accurate.
Once you have decided on a situation for your bio, think carefully about who will read your bio. Your audience might include any (or several) of the following:
- coworkers and team members.
- managers or supervisors.
- employees you manage.
- clients and potential clients.
- employees at competing companies.
- potential employers.
- the public.
Think carefully about how to strike a balance between demonstrating your capabilities and sharing personal details that will help people get to know you.
Step 2: Read advice about writing bio statements.
The following websites (in no particular order) offer advice on writing short bio statements:
- How to Write a Professional Bio as a College Student (Pullman Foundation)
- How to Write Short Company Newsletter Bios of Employees (eHow)
- Transform Staff Bios from Mundane to Magical in 6 Easy Steps (GettingAttention.org)
- “Meet the Team” Pages: Examples and Trends (Smashing Magazine)
- How to Write a Short Bio About Yourself (Chron)
- How to Write a Snappy, Tight Professional Bio (NBC Chicago)
- How to Write a Sample Self-Bio at a New Job (Global Post)
- Top Ten Tips for Writing a Professional Overview or Biography (Ezine @rticles)
- How to Write A Bio- Tips for Building Your Personal Brand (Brand Yourself)
- Samples of Professional Branding Statements (Dummies.com)
Step 3: Review some example bios.
Because it is impossible to make bios anonymous, I can’t share student bios for this project. Instead, you can review real-world examples listed below. You may need to click on the person’s name to see the bio.
- Corps of Cadets Staff Biographies
- Athletic Fund Staff
- Rackspace Leadership
- Tenneco Leadership
- Thompson Hospitality
- Kauffman & Associates
- National Hispanic Corporate Council
- McKissack & McKissack
Step 4: Write your biography statement.
As you compose your bio, focus on strong, specific details that tell readers about who you are. The details in your biography should be current and accurate. You can pretend that you have graduated, but do not make up any other future information.
In your bio, do the following:
- Include biographical facts that relate to the company, organization, or group.
- Discuss your interest in ethical and/or intercultural and global issues in your field or career, or related to the company, organization, or group.
- Use design elements (like headings, layout, etc.) to highlight key information and make the bio easy to read and visually appealing.
- Include well-chosen photo(s) that fit the audience and purpose of the bio.
Share your draft with your writing group for peer feedback. Use the advice you receive from your readers to revise your bio before the due date.
Step 5. Review your project for design and basic writing errors.
Everything you write should use accurate/appropriate image editing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and formatting. These are important basic writing skills that you should have developed in high school.
Also review your project, considering the layout and design of your project. Refer to the details on the course website listed in the Ten Ways to Improve Your Writing (under the Course Help menu) and the grammar and design Lynda.com videos included on that page.
Step 6: Submit your project in Canvas.
Upload your completed self-assessment and your project in Canvas.
Photo Credit: 170126-A-RJ696-005 by 8th Theater Sustainment Command PAO on Flickr, used under Public Domain.