Personal bios can be hard to write. Waxing lyrical about yourself can be uncomfortable, especially in the context of professional achievements and amazing things you’ve done. But, in a world where we’re often separated from other humans via a screen, your personal bio is one of the easiest ways for a company, colleague, or a potential lead to learn more about you. If you don’t know what to include or how to get started, we’ve pulled together some personal bio examples that showcase a handful of creative and engaging ways to present yourself on your social media accounts, your personal website, and on any bylined articles you write outside of your site.
Now, you don’t have to scramble around at the last minute to come up with a short bio of yourself when you’re suddenly asked to send one over via email.
The business case for personal bios: why you should write one
You might be wondering what the big deal is--it’s just a bio, right? Do people even read them? The answer is actually, yes, they do. Personal bios can be a great way to find out more about the person behind a website or an article. This helps establish a connection and encourages readers to relate to you.
The thing is, you might not think a lot of people care about where you went to school or what you like to do in your spare time, but you just don’t know who’s reading your professional bio. It might be a hotshot manager for your dream company who also loves to spend their weekends kayaking the coast. Or it might be the marketer for a well-known brand looking for a freelancer. Learning little nuggets of information about you can put you ahead of other candidates they’re researching or other freelancers they’re in talks with. It could be the difference between getting that contract and not.
What’s the difference between a personal bio and a resume?
Your resume is a list of your professional roles. Your personal bio digs deeper than this and gives readers an insight into things like:
- Your interests outside of work
- Your backstory
- What gets you up in the morning
- Your passions and values
- Your goals
Understanding this information can help them see if you’d be a good fit, or if you have the personal qualities they’re looking for in someone they want to work with. This information also helps you connect better with like-minded people. Say, for example, you’re scrolling through Twitter, see a fun Tweet, and click on the person’s bio only to find out they also run 5km every evening and are passionate about addressing climate change. Chances are, you’re going to want to connect with them.
How to write a personal bio
Before we share some creative bio examples, let’s take a look at what your personal biography should include. Bear in mind, this will vary depending on what platform you’re posting it on (platforms like Twitter and Instagram have a limited word count). However, you can have a “master” bio that you pull snippets from for other platforms. Not only does this keep your messaging cohesive across platforms, but it makes it easy to get a bio together at short notice because you already have all the information you need written down.
What to include in a bio on your site
For this particular exercise, let’s focus on what you need to include in a personal bio on your website. This will be your “master” bio as it’ll probably be the longest and go into the most detail. People who are poking around on your website have already shown an interest in who you are and what you do, so they’re more likely to stick around and read a longer bio. Here’s what you should include:
- Your name: obviously, you need to state your name. Most people choose to include their full name, including surname, at the start of their bio. However, if your website URL or personal brand is already your full name, you can shorten it to just your first name.
- Your position: your current position and the tasks you’re responsible for should get a mention. This is particularly important if you’re looking for jobs or are writing a bio for a networking platform like LinkedIn.
- Your experience: mention any key roles you held in the past and how you came to be where you are today. Stories like this show readers your journey and give an insight into your specialisms and professional skills.
- What you do and who you do it for: kind of like stating your “niche”, talking about what exactly it is you do (like graphic design or paid ad campaigns), and who you do it for (like finance companies or busy e-commerce owners) can help readers identify if you’re a good fit.
- What you do outside of work: personal bios should be more personal than a resume or professional bio and should therefore include some information about what you like to do when you’re not working--frequent pop-up restaurants? Attend dog shows with your puppy? Rock climbing in the mountains?
- Professional accomplishments: talk about what you’ve achieved both at work and outside of work. This gives readers an idea about the things you value and what you might be able to achieve for them (it’s also a great talking point for people who want to reach out).
- Personal story: share a personal anecdote to add a splash of personality. It can be anything from the disastrous first birthday party you held for your daughter to the time you were taken in by a local family after getting lost in Mongolia.
How Often Should You Refresh Your Personal Bio?
The life you live now isn’t the same life you were living ten, five, or even two years ago. Your personal bio should reflect your current situation, which means it’ll probably need to be regularly updated.
If you’re not sure about when to give it a refresh, consider:
- When you land a new job
- When you achieve a big milestone (either at work or in your personal life)
- When your old one doesn’t have the same ring to it
Schedule time every few months to go back over your personal bio and see if everything is still true and up-to-date.
Where to display your personal bio
Your personal bio can be displayed anywhere that you might want people to find out more about you. Often, this will be places like social media, your website, guest post bylines, or your speaker profile, but you can also include it in other marketing materials like flyers for events you’re hosting or the blurb for your latest ebook.
- Twitter: cramming a personal bio into 160 characters can be hard, but it can also be a great lesson in identifying what information matters the most (use up as many of the characters as you can, as those with longer bios tend to have more followers).
- LinkedIn: the summary section of your LinkedIn profile gives you up to 2,000 characters to use. This is the ideal place to share your “master” bio.
- Instagram: at 150 characters, you have just a few words to explain who you are and what you do on Instagram--use them wisely.
- Personal website: people who land on your website are already interested in you--share your “master” bio here in all its glory.
- Guest posts: bylined articles need a couple of sentences about the author. Make it engaging to encourage readers to click through to your site or remember your name.
- Speaker profile: if you speak at events or conferences, you’ll need a short but sweet speaker bio that gets attendees interested in your session.
Get inspired: fun personal bio examples
#1 Twitter bio example: Sally Fox
Sally includes what she does and who she does it for as well as a humorous bit of information about her and her contact information--all within Twitter’s 160 character limit.
#2 Twitter bio example: Kash Bhattacharya
Kash showcases his accomplishments as well as a bit of backstory about what he’s doing and how long he’s been doing it.
#3 Twitter bio example: Jay Acunzo
Jay shares his mission in his Twitter bio, as well as what he’s best known for.
#4 Pinterest bio example: Grey & Scout
Liz of Grey & Scout introduces herself and tells her followers what they can expect to see from her - not an easy feat with such a limited word count.
#5 Guest post bio example: Justin Champion
In this guest author byline, Justin uses the third person to introduce who he is and what he does, as well as share his goal with readers.
#6 LinkedIn bio example: Katrina Ortiz
Katrina uses her LinkedIn bio to tell a story. Readers are hooked from the first sentence, but she also gives key insights into her specialities and achievements.
#7 LinkedIn bio example: Karen Abbate
Karen does things a bit differently with her LinkedIn profile and lists out key things readers might want to know about her and her career.
#8 LinkedIn bio example: Katie Clancy
Katie starts her LinkedIn bio with an analogy that serves to hook readers from the start. From there, she branches out into how it relates to her profession, as well as her key achievements and career highlights.
#9 Personal website bio example: Dave Harland
Dave Harland’s About Page shares the story about how he got into writing in the first place. At the end, he highlights his experience and why this story has helped him become a go-to copywriter.
#10 Personal website bio example: Gummi Sig
Gummi Sig begins his bio in the third person before diving into first-person storytelling mode. Perhaps the best part about this personal bio is the call to action at the end that encourages potential leads to get in touch.
#11 Personal website bio example: Leigh Whipday
Leigh Whipday of Toy Fight has a short professional bio on the website. It manages to include both his professional achievements as well as insights about his life outside of work to attract his target audience.
#12 Personal website bio example: Blake Fili Suarez
Blake includes both a short and a long version of his bio so that readers can choose the best option for them. Both include what he does as well as personal anecdotes about his life and business.
Create your own with the Jarvis personal bio template
Struggling with a blank page? Not sure which words to put down first? Overwhelmed by all the great professional bio examples out there and have now got writer’s paralysis? Jarvis’ personal bio template can save the day. Simply plug in a few key pieces of information about yourself (use the list we mentioned above as a starting point) and choose the tone of voice you want to portray. Jarvis will then work its AI magic and create a collection of personal bios you can tweak or use as they are.
Also related: the Jarvis company bio template
Companies can also make use of Jarvis’ bio templates with the company bio template. Again, just input some key facts about your business, and--voila!--Jarvis will create a fun and creative bio you can use wherever you like.
Create your punchy personal bio today
Never again be asked to send over a personal bio “on the fly”. Instead, create a “master” bio that can be chopped up into engaging chunks and shared on your chosen promotional platforms. Include key information about your job title, achievements, and what exactly it is you do, as well as personal anecdotes, your interests, and how you spend your spare time. Your personal bio is a chance to connect with potential clients, hiring managers, and like-minded colleagues, so take the time to write one that really presents you as you want to be presented. Start a free trial to create your Personal Bio using Jarvis today.