Whether it’s a LinkedIn profile, your Twitter account, or your business website, having a professional-sounding bio needs to make a positive statement.
It should be brief to ensure that readers don’t switch off or tune out. This means that you have anywhere from around 10 words, in the case of Twitter, to 100 words, which is suitable for LinkedIn, to relay what you do, how you excel at doing it, and why readers should choose you over others.
Below, we have found 20 effective examples of short bios that you can use for inspiration to help you craft your own compelling intro.
Professional bios can be found in everything from the pages of your website to your LinkedIn and other social media profiles.
As such, it is tempting to compile a single bio and then just copy and paste it to all of your profiles, but every platform is a little different:
LinkedIn is a professional network where you will benefit by putting your credentials and qualifications front and center. Facebook is personal and personable. Twitter is brief and hard-hitting. Medium is in-depth and heavy on words.
Instagram is visual and fun. So, it demands a visually appealing bio. Award-winning blogger Rebecca Bollwitt uses emojis to help categorize the sections of her bio. They also give it a bit more color, a lot of character, and they make it relevant to the Instagram platform. She also keeps it very short on words, because this is a platform where pictures carry more weight than words.
Psychology Today is a professional industry website, which is yet another location for a well-honed professional bio.
Lena Axelsson identifies with readers with her first sentence. She recognizes a problem that her potential clients are suffering from and shows that she has the empathy to identify why it is a problem.
This opening sentence enables Lena to launch into the rest of her bio. She explains how she helps clients and the benefits that help brings. She also shows why she is a good fit, how she differs from others within the same field, and the professional credentials that qualify her to help you and your family.
In the final paragraph, readers find the slightly drier but equally important educational background information. Overall, the bio shows passion, empathy, and understanding, which is what most counseling clients want.
Audra Simpson is a Professor in the Anthropology Department of Columbia University. The University website is not only the ideal location to show off her qualifications, but visitors will expect to see these qualifications.
The bio is written in the third person, which is actually less common nowadays than it once was because many people prefer the personal touch of the first person bio. A third person bio sounds more authoritative, allows the writer to relay information without sounding like they are bragging, and is more commonly used in professional situations like on university websites.
Audra’s bio does a good job of getting across some quite complex language and topics in a short space. It shows off her credentials clearly, without necessarily bragging, and it not only shows what she specializes in but how she goes about her studies and professional work.
Corey Wainwright is a content marketer, and we know that from her professional bio on the HubSpot website. Her bio is written in the third person but it retains character thanks to the very personal information that it opens with.
The whole bio is less than 25 words and, as pointed out on the HubSpot blog itself, it makes Corey seem approachable while linking to her content. It almost feels like she’s giving away a secret about her personal life.
Right above Corey’s picture are links to her main social media profiles which means that readers have the opportunity to click through to her profiles where they will be able to find out more, should they wish.
This type of bio won’t work for everybody, in every instance, but in the right situation, it can be highly effective. It is likely to have led to some clicks through to Corey’s social media profiles, which was part of the point.
Talent acquisition may not be the most interesting career to everybody, but if you’re looking for somebody to deal with recruitment for your firm, you want to know that the individual dealing with it on your behalf, does find it intriguing and highly interesting.
Marie Mikhail doesn’t just tell us that she is passionate about recruitment, she tells a story to show us. Novelists and fiction writers are routinely told to show something, don’t tell it, and this is just as true in a lot of aspects of professional writing. In this case, it turns a relatively dry topic into something a little more interesting and with some character and backstory.
In her LinkedIn bio, Marie shows us her experience, including her extra-curricular love of convincing people to take on roles. Following this, she gives us details of her experience and relevant qualifications.
There are a lot of social media platforms, and most professionals are advised to put the bulk of their efforts into one or two platforms, rather than trying to spread themselves too thinly over 10 or even five.
Doing so enables you to customize content for each platform, too. While this does mean that you should write a separate bio for each of your profiles, there’s no reason that you can’t use the bios themselves to cross-promote your other platforms.
Megan Gilmore is a cookbook and food writer. She highlights the kind of writing you can expect with the statement “no fads” and then goes on to show off some of her past experience by listing the books she has previously written.
After this, she includes a platform-relevant pointing emoji, links to her LinkedIn profile, and Megan even gives away access to some of her recipes as a means of showing her credentials to potential book buyers.
7. Tim Cook
You’ve probably heard of Tim Cook. He is, after all, the CEO of one of, if not the most valuable companies in the world, Apple. He has been, according to the bio on the Apple website, since 2011, too, so you would be forgiven for thinking that a lot of people visiting the website would already have a decent idea who he is.
However, Tim does not assume that any readers know who he is or what he does. His bio is professional. It obviously highlights his current position as CEO of Apple and the fact that he serves on its board of directors.
Then, it goes on to explain that he served as the company’s COO and gives details of his earlier working career. Despite having an incredibly enviable CV, his bio does not make any assumptions and ensures that readers are given all the information they need to find out about him.
A lot of the bios we’ve looked at so far have been written in the third person and most people choose this because it sounds professional but it also allows them to speak about their own experience and qualifications without it sounding like too much of a brag.
It sounds informational. However, writing in the first person can also be very effective and highly emotive.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal gets plenty of stuff right in his LinkedIn profile, as you would expect from a man with a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a doctorate.
Shaq starts with his greatest achievement and the thing that most people will recognize him for. He goes on to highlight his unique achievements and what he has done since getting out of basketball. He is clearly a polymath and can add writing bios in the first person to his list of credentials and skills that already includes “purveyor of fun.”
Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group: a man as well known for failures as his successes, but there have been a lot of the latter.
In his bio, he gives an abridged version of his career to date, the last couple of sentences of his bio are where it really shines. He plays up to the well-known image of being a “tie-loathing adventurer” and being known as “Dr. Yes!”
10. Anthony Gioeli
Some people can find it difficult to brag about themselves, but it is an important professional skill. You don’t have to come across as being big-headed but you do need to be able to highlight your accomplishments and achievements because it is these that will attract people to use your services, hire you for a position, or otherwise engage with you.
Anthony Gioeli’s LinkedIn profile does boast about his accomplishments, but it is factual rather than boasting. Which is an achievement in itself when some of those achievements include negotiating multi-million dollar contracts with the likes of Vodafone.
His profile is also a good example of the benefits of good formatting because the paragraph and bullet point hybrid does a very good job of clearly and reliably setting out the information for readers to easily get through.
Although his is quite a long profile, if you’ve got it and you can format it well, you might as well flaunt it.
11. Katrina O.
Intrigue arouses curiosity. It is what persuades us to keep watching films or reading the next page of a book, even when we know we should turn it off or put the book down. It can also be used in a professional bio to encourage people to read more, click through, or get in touch.
Katrina Ortiz’s profile is all about intrigue. The first sentence of her bio reads “I caught fire coding.” This instantly makes you want to read more to quench your curiosity.
Even her display name, Katrina O, starts to build a sense of fascination.
After explaining the first sentence of her bio (no spoilers here, sorry) Katrina then goes on to give details of her specialties and the programming languages she has mastered.
12. Karen Abbate
There are quite a few points worth noting in Karen Abbate’s LinkedIn profile, starting with the layout. We love a list, and while it isn’t that unusual to see a bulleted list, it is more unusual to see a numbered list. In this case, Karen lists the six most important, or at least most prominent, things about her and her work. As she puts it, “in, out, nobody gets hurt.”
She has also mastered the brag.
- Point 1 highlights the brands that she has worked with, and it is an impressive list.
- Point 2 is another brag and it also highlights a little of what she does.
- Point 3 not only gives an insight into her education and experience but also her work while point 4 is a very personal piece of backstory.
- Point 5 highlights the benefits she has to offer.
- Point 6 is fun and personable while also showing a passion for her work.
It’s a relatively innovative way of getting all the required information into a bio and something you might expect from a talented creative director.
13. Gijo Mathew
Bullet points can help identify and highlight important information. They can improve readability, maintain order in an otherwise complicated list, and they can make your LinkedIn profile look a lot more effective than a bullet-free bio.
In his bio, Gijo Mathew uses bullet points to provide supporting evidence that backs up how he can help clients with their work. It makes the page look more intriguing and helps break information down. Attempting to write the points out in full would have been clunky and almost impossible to follow along.
Using a site like LinkedIn can be viewed as a form of social media marketing. In some cases, rather than promoting a business or website, however, you’re promoting yourself, and you need to approach it in a similar way.
One thing that social media marketers are told is that they need to encourage engagement, which means trying to spark a conversation or get readers involved in some kind of discussion or other activity.
Genevieve McKelly tells us all about the books she is reading and the podcasts she is listening to before inviting us to tell her about our own reads and listens. It’s a great way to start a conversation but it also makes Genevieve sound more approachable which makes it even more likely that her profile visitors will engage in the desired discourse.
After the personal questions, she then throws in a question related to her role and what she is looking for.
15. Darrell Evans
Customer pain points are problems that potential clients experience. These could be anything related to the product or service that you offer, and by setting your product or service up as a means of combating the pain caused by those pain points, you show empathy with potential customers as well as provide them with a solution to remove that pain.
In this bio, Darrell Evans highlights spending a lot of money on marketing to yield no results as being a major pain point for businesses. He then identifies himself as the solution: the painkiller that beats the pain, if you will.
He then highlights who he is, what his company does, and gives you some facts and figures to try and convince you that Darrell’s brand of painkiller is the best and will provide you with the relief you need.
16. Fernando Silva
Most professional bios start with the professional and end with the bio. That is, they highlight the professional credentials of the individual. They showcase the qualifications, work experience, and what they can do for a business or clients.
After this, they might briefly show a personal like or some other personal tidbit in order to appear more personable and friendly to the reader. This isn’t the only way it works out, though.
Fernando Silva, in his LinkedIn profile, turns the formula around and starts out with personal information. He lets them know that he is a “city dweller who loves to travel”. He then gives us some professional details, such as the fact that he is experienced in working in SaaS, before telling us that he likes to meet new people.
17. Nikki Ivey
There is no greater way to connect with potential leads and customers than to tell a story that they can connect with. It shows empathy and identifies a shared history. It shows your personal side and it encourages conversation.
It means that the reader is already emotionally invested in you and your future, and they will want to see success for both of you. Creating that narrative can be tricky because it needs to be heartfelt and personable, but it also needs to be relevant to what you do while attracting plenty of attention.
Nikki Ivey shares a heartfelt story about her past and how it led her to become the “sales coach wing-woman” that she is today.
18. Raphael Parker
You can use your bio to tell any story you want, but you do need to ensure that it is relevant, in some way, to what you are trying to achieve.
Generally, this means getting across important information about your experiences, qualifications, or skills. This doesn’t mean that you have to simply write a dry list of those achievements.
Raphael Parker opted to highlight several things he has done in the past to show off some of his skills. He leaves quite a lot to the imagination, but also gives a lot of information away. That’s a lot to achieve in just a couple of lines of LinkedIn bio content.
19. Allison Zia
You can use the first sentence of your bio almost like a headline. The headline of a news article is designed to hook the reader.
It pulls people in so that they read the rest of the story. Typically, the headline is only a few words long, which means that it has a lot of work to do in a very small amount of space.
Some of the most effective bios do something similar using the headline or the first sentence of their bio.
Allison Zia’s first sentence is “I like to solve problems” which is a bold statement that will hook most readers and encourage them to read more.
At this point, it is the role of the rest of the bio to keep the reader’s attention. Allison manages that by highlighting what she does, using examples, and showing off her specialties and her skills.
20. Ann Handley
Ann Handley is a skilled and experienced marketer. Somebody that most people in marketing will have heard of at some point. As such, she has plenty of credentials and a lot of experience that she could boast about in her bio.
Instead, she only gives a little information and encourages you to click and read more. Her website and profiles have seen several iterations, and the most recent is possibly one of the shortest.
It is, in fact, the header of the home page of her website, but it highlights her achievements as a writer, partner of a major marketing company, and speaker, while also encouraging visitors to get in touch. Powerful stuff from a skilled marketer.
Your professional bio may only offer a few dozen words but it is your opportunity to shine. Show readers or leads why they should deal with you and the benefits of doing so.
Use the examples above to give you some ideas on how to create a compelling and effective bio of your own.