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DCE Magazine

Write a Captivating Bio in 10 Easy Steps

CareerZOT Talk by Kathy Seaton

Summer 2018

Your professional biography is the most important copy that you will ever write.

A compelling and aggressive biography must accompany your resume if you're looking to land a new job.

This is a huge undertaking and an arduous task. However, your bio, if written with intent and passion, will yield significant results.

HR managers read bios first and base their initial perception of your abilities and accomplishments on this prized document.

Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Kathy SeatonIdentify yourself and your purpose immediately. This needs to be a short and very concise statement. Don't overwrite this section—no one wants to read a dissertation.
  2. Develop an elevator pitch. This is your way to present yourself in an elevator—in as little time as a ride from the 1st to the 5th floor. It's the 30-60 second persuasive discussion that positions you as a pro.
  3. Tell your story. Establish your professional vision and beliefs. Then lead into situations where you overcame adversities and challenges and came out successful on the other side.
  4. Think about yourself as a brand. This is your opportunity to market yourself and be viewed as an influencer and thought-leader.
  5. Quantify leadership, strategies, and initiatives where you lead change, instituted new processes, used resources to save time and money, and created big returns.
  6. Use an active voice and statements that communicate action.
  7. Use a conversional tone. Don't use a bunch of industry lingo because it makes you look like you're “showing off.”
  8. Use humor—appropriately. You want to add personality— something unexpected. Don't be standard or boring. It will read like a “snoozer.”
  9. Keep your paragraphs short. Two or three sentences are enough.
  10. Create three different versions of your bio. Micro (one sentence), short form (100-150 words), and long form (250 words.)

Read more at ce.uci.edu/careerzot