What Is a Professional Biography?

, Staff Writer
Updated November 8, 2016
professional biography for woman architect
    professional biography for woman architect
    monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The business world has become a completely different place in the past few years. Business owners and entrepreneurs must engage the world in a way they never had to before. Once upon a time, having a bare bones resume and being good at your job was enough to get you the attention you needed in almost anything you might do. Nowadays, that simply isn't true. Even a sole proprietor of a business needs to know the basics of a professional biography. Learn the importance of a professional biography, along with how to write one.

A Professional Biography Defined

What is a professional biography? A professional biography is a summary of who you are as an employer, business person, or professional. A professional biography is the art of presenting yourself in the best possible and most interesting light.

A professional biography may be used for a description of you in the following places:

  • on your website
  • in a brochure
  • on a book jacket, should you write a book
  • as an employee in a company Facebook or other company literature

Why Write a Professional Biography?

Your customers (and a potential employer or partner) need to know who you are. A professional biography isn't merely a resume; it's a statement, short or long, of who you are. Additionally, it's written in such a way as to be amusing, engaging, and informative. Your professional biography is meant to draw the reader or listener into the subject, which, of course, is you!

Personal Sales Pitch

It's a sales pitch that doesn't read like one. These days, everything is marketed to potential purchasers, and people you meet fall into the same category. Ignoring this type of personal marketing in this day and age could lead to your peril.

How to Write a Professional Biography

What should a professional biography include? Everything you want people to know about you. Therefore, you can write a professional biography in a few ways. Follow these basic steps.

  1. Research famous professional biographies. This will help you get a feel for writing your own.
  2. Sum up your early life in an amusing or interesting sentence or two.
  3. Next, add information about your education.
  4. Discuss what makes you special. Did you win academic awards? Were you a member of an honor society? Did you also work while you went to school?

Remember, the "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" ability is much prized by employers, potential business partners, and anyone who might be thinking of working with you or lending you money. They like knowing you care about the value of a dollar. Any true statements that tell the world that you are the kind of principled, discerning, and hardworking person of character they want to place their money with will do much to get you the kind of business relationships you are hoping for.


Tips for Writing a Professional Biography

When it comes time to write a professional biography, these writing tips can help.

  • Don't let the necessity for weighing words carefully stop you from being spontaneous. The thing about writing, especially on a computer, is that it only takes a few strokes to erase and edit what you've done.
  • Don't self-edit to the point where you can't put a word on paper. This kind of writing freeze has tabled the best of writers on occasion. You're not an expert, so you need to put down more than you will eventually wind up with. That's what editing is for. Don't edit yourself before you've written a word.
  • Remember: shorter is better, breezy is fine, but too informal won't sell.
  • Be serious but be friendly. Make your history accessible to the people learning about you.

It is important not to bore your audience. Write the kind of biography you'd like to read if it were written about someone else. Using your own good taste and judgment will do a lot to win potential business colleagues to your side.


Third Person Please

When writing a biography, you should never use the word "I" in it. Always talk about yourself in the third person or like someone else was writing about you.

Remember the person reading or listening to your biography doesn't want to feel like he stole your diary. Use your imagination and turn yourself into a person you are observing. Use that special insight gained by sitting back and watching to write your professional biography.

The Perfect Biography

Writing a biography can be hard because you are writing about yourself. However, you also know yourself the best. Just remember to capture your audience's attention and keep it concise. Now that you understand professional biographies, give thematic biographies a look.