Who Are You? Writing your personal/professional Bio

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Format

Bios are written in the first or third person and are typically one or two paragraphs, depending on your level of experience. Your bio should start with your name and a quick sentence that describes your basic background. This can include your school, year in school, academic focus, and professional interest. Your bio should be brief, concise, and clear.

Establish a Background Story

Highlighting your background will give the reader an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your personal narrative, which may not be evident on your resume. Find a couple of moments in your life that have impacted your identity or interests, and briefly, mention them. This will personalize your bio and help you stand out from your peers.

Explain Your Interests

You will want to elaborate on your interests. For students with a significant amount of professional experience, this will focus more on career goals. If you don’t feel you have enough job experience to write about or are not sure about your professional goals, describe your academic or extracurricular interests. Feel free to add any hobbies that highlight your uniqueness, such as painting, running marathons, or cooking. Remember, your personal biography is an area to describe your personality that is not as easily communicated on your resume.

Emphasize How You Can Add Value

You want to end on a high note by emphasizing how you can add value. Depending on where you use this bio, this sentence or two can refer to adding value to a company, team, or event. Highlight your unique talents and skills that would interest your audience. Rather than explicitly stating, “I can add value by…,” share this message subtly. You want your reader to understand that you are a well-rounded individual and professional who can contribute significant knowledge and experience.

Alison Johnson is finishing her first year at DePaul University where she is interested in business. Although she has yet to declare a major, she’s considering finance or marketing. After watching her parents run a restaurant for years, she knew at a very young age that she also wanted to go into business. In high school, Alison waited tables at the family restaurant during the summer and was fascinated by the many working parts it takes to operate a successful business. From this experience, she learned the value of hard work, efficiency, and communication. In the future, she hopes to continue her parents’ legacy and run her own five-star restaurant in downtown Chicago. Alison spends her spare time singing in her church choir and cooking for friends and family.

Jared Smith is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he is majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America. His interest in international development began during the fall semester of 2012 when he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru. He learned about the inequalities affecting indigenous communities, experienced the Peruvian culture, and became proficient in Spanish. Inspired by this international experience, Jared interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America. Jared aspires to pursue a career in international development and write policy for a government agency. When he is not busy reading about current affairs in Latin America, he enjoys playing intramural basketball and training for the Chicago marathon.

Jessica Cervantes, 18, Miami, Florida

“Get out and talk to different people about your business idea. You have to go after it; you can’t just wait for it to come to you.”

Ever since her grandmother taught her how to bake, Jessica has loved measuring and tasting different ingredients – and experimenting with fun new flavors. But it was not until Jessica enrolled in an entrepreneurship course at her school that baking and business came together in a brand new recipe for success. For her business plan, Jessica decided to create a new cupcake concept called Popsy Cakes – a cake on an edible stick. The budding baker won first place in her high school’s business plan competition, and second place in the South Florida regional competition. Jessica hopes to attend the University of Miami, get an M.B.A, and take Popsy Cakes nationwide. www.popsycakes.com

Jeremy Kollross attended Dirksen Jr. High. Jeremy is a creative student, who has used his talent to write, direct and perform skits for more than 120 hours of community service for Reality Check. Reality Check performs skits to promote drug prevention at Junior Highs and Elementary Schools. In addition to being the student director for Reality Check, Jeremy has been a section leader for the Symphonic Pep Band, Marching Band, Big Band and the Symphonic Orchestra. He has been on the tennis team and CASA Club for four years. He is an officer for Key Club and a member of the National Honor Society. Jeremy was selected Division 1 Ensemble Musician and IMEA All-State Musician for playing the trombone. He is a Mr. J Finalist, a Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Award winner, an Illinois State Scholar and an ACT, AP and PSAE Pacesetter. He is in the Arts & Communication Academy. Jeremy plans on attending Joliet Junior College, then transferring to Southern Illinois University. He would like to major in computer hardware engineering.

Writing Your Personal Bio

Having a difficult time capturing your identity, ask a friend. Often times others have a great perspective about key traits to highlight in a personal/professional bio. Remember, this is a work in progress and that there are no strict rules.

Be creative and let your personality shine through!

Here are a list of some sentence starters if you are looking for some inspiration:

I was an active (or quiet, knowledge-loving, shy, curious, etc.) child.

My childhood dream was…

My earliest memory is…

I am grateful to my parents (or teachers, friends, etc.) because…

My role model was…

My lifetime dream is…

The most memorable day of my life was…

One phrase that I will never forget is…

If only one of my dreams could come true, I would wish for…

My main belief in life is…

I am driven by my desire/passion/wish to…

The main lesson that my parents taught me was…

The childhood hobby that most shaped my personality is…

One event that influenced who I am today is…

My motto in life is…

My favorite book/movie/author is…

When I was growing up, I always dreamed of becoming a…

One thing I wish I knew five (or ten, twenty, etc.) years ago is that…

My favorite childhood picture is...

http://nectafy.com/how-to-write-a-professional-bio/

http://www.ten9eight.com/downloads/STUDENT%20PROFILES.pdf

https://www.slideshare.net/rockefellercenter/sample-bio

https://www.pullmanfoundation.org/professional-bio-writing-101/

http://penandthepad.com/write-short-professional-bio-5066753.html

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