I’m currently in the process of trying to encourage the members of my writing group to write their bio’s and get a head shot. You would think I was asking people for their permission to pull out their molars with pliers. I think some of the members would prefer it.
A professional looking bio is an incredibly useful thing to have in your writing arsenal. I have known so many people who have spent weeks polishing a short story for a competition only to miss the deadline because they didn’t have a headshot or bio. For the creative writer tutor, when this happens it is more than a tad irritating. That’s why I try to get members to write and update a bio every year.
Ideally I would like members to have three bios, plus a headshot.
Most of the time, someone else will dictate the length of your bio. They will likely tell you how many words you can use to ensure that yours is the same length as other bios. Because of this, one bio will not do. You need three bios:
- One sentence bio
- 100 word bio
- 250 word bio
Lead in with your name. People need to know who you are they hear what you’re all about.
Your most noteworthy details should go in the first sentence. Remember: people on the web rarely read more than the first and last sentence. So bite the bullet and admit you are a writer!
A bio is not a CV; it is simply a quick summary of who you are. If you have space, mention them. If not, ignore them.
You should have a line in your bio that makes it easy for people to contact you. Stick to the norm and put your contact info in the last sentence.
Since your bio is something other people use to describe you, make it sound like someone else is talking about you. “John Jones is a writer”
Get feedback. A great way to test your bio is to have someone else read it. Ask for their feedback. Does it accurately state who you are and what you do?
You’re constantly moving forward in your career, and your bio should reflect that.