How To Look Good on Paper: 4 Examples of Great Bios
I suppose you want to look good. You want to look good when you see yourself in the mirror, when you go to work, when you attend an event or a friends party. And you probably want to look good in the social media sphere, for example on Facebook.
It comes natural for today’s people: we know we’re being judged based on our appearances and we all want to look our best when we’re being watched. But many people tend to forget one important place to look good: On paper, in your bio.
5 Reasons why you need a bio
1. The difference between a bio and a resume is that a bio speaks more about your reputation, attributes, tone and makeup than a resume does.
2. Written in third person and without the rigid structure of a resume, your bio is much more readable and conversational than a resume.
3. A bio has become increasingly important as most of us suffer from information overload and cannot be bothered to read lengthy documents about anything.
4. A bio is useful for lots of reasons, such as applying for a job, publishing an article or guest blog, as well as general networking on social media sites.
5. It’s a great tool for quickly communicating who you are and what you do.
How to look good elsewhere
Go ahead and write your bio!
When you’re about to write your first bio, it’s useful to look how others have written theirs.
4 great bio examples
In this article, I have included four bios which I like. They are all different in lengths and used for different purposes, but they are all a pleasure to read. They make me eager to know more about these people, and that’s what defines a really good bio.
1. Mark Levy at Levy Innovations has bios of different lengths on his website.
Below is the shorter version:
Mark Levy is the founder of Levy Innovation, a marketing strategy firm. David Meerman Scott has called him “a positioning guru extraordinaire,” and Debbie Weil referred to him as “a horse whisperer for writers and business thinkers.” He has written for The New York Times, and has written or co-created five books. His latest is a revised, expanded, and re-subtitled edition of his bestseller, Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content. Mark also creates magic tricks and shows. His work has been performed Off-Broadway, in Las Vegas, and on all the major television networks. Visit him and read his blog at levyinnovation.com.
2. Graphic designer Jacob Cass goes for a professional attitude.
This bio is published on his website.
Strategic, multidisciplinary designer & art director with an eye for innovation and pixel perfection. I’ve worked the gamut of clients (Disney, Red Bull, Nike & Star Wars to name a few) and although my skill set is vast, my greatest expertise revolve in the worlds of interactive design, UX, social media, brand identity design, content creation and print collateral. My wish is to combine my knowledge and experience in these areas, to deliver the best creative to my employer’s clients and their audiences. I have a strong personal following of over 42,000 Twitter followers and 30,000 blog subscribers. I also love coffee.
3. @maxxhendriks is into 140 characters
His 140 character Twitter bio says it all.
I was born. When I was 11 I got my first computer. Then I started writing funny tweets. That’s still what I am doing. The end.
4. Laura Zigman’s absolute sincerity is the key to why it is so amusing to read
Laura is a novelist and a blogger, loves writing about herself in third person and has published this funny and all true bio.
Laura Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts (where she felt she never quite fit in), and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (where she didn’t fit in either) and the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course (where she finally started to feel like she fit in).
She spent ten years working (slaving away) in New York in book publishing where she was a (much-abused under-appreciated) publicist for Times Books, Vintage Books, Turtle Bay Books, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Alfred A. Knopf.
After moving to Washington, D.C. (because she was burnt out and didn’t know where else to go) and working briefly as a project manager for The Smithsonian Associates (she had a cubicle) and a consultant for Share Our Strength, an anti-poverty non-profit group (she didn’t even have a cubicle), she (finally) finished her first novel (that she’d been writing in her “spare time” for the last five years).
(The thinly-disguised autobiographical novel) Animal Husbandry was published in 1998 by The Dial Press and became a national bestseller. It was published in fourteen countries (or more, she’s not sure — see here) and in 2001 the film based on the book, Someone Like You, (they changed the title at the last minute because they were afraid people wouldn’t “get” the meaning of the original title — not that she’s complaining or anything) starring Ashley Judd and (excuse her while she drools) Hugh Jackman, was released by Fox 2000. Her second (thinly-disguised autobiographical) novel, Dating Big Bird, also published by The Dial Press, came out in 2000, and her third (thinly disguised autobiographical) novel, Her, published by Knopf (where she once worked — an exquisite irony), followed in 2002. Her latest (thinly-disguised autobiographical) novel, Piece of Work, to be published by Warner Books on September 25, 2006 (finally, after four long years in between books — maybe her parents will now leave her alone), is based on her (horrific but entertaining) experiences as a publicist and has been optioned by Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone Pictures, with My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Nia Vardalos (luff her) set to write the screenplay and star in the movie (please God let that happen).
She currently lives outside Boston (in the same town she grew up in — how weird is that? — and where she now feels like fits in) with her husband and young son.
How about you? Have you written your bio yet? Please take the poll!