When writing a short bio, first ask yourself who will be reading it. Will it be visitors to your website? Someone introducing you as a speaker? Potential investors in your business venture? The reason why this is important is because what you include in a short bio will vary depending on the target audience.
Here's an important distinction: Although a short bio is written is about you, it is written for your audience. In other words, think about what aspects of you and your background would be important to the reader.
One of the hardest things about writing short bios is deciding what to include and what to leave out. It's hard to summarize a life and career in just a few sentences. Again, the key is to think about who is going to be reading your bio. If your bio is going to be used to introduce you as a speaker at an industry conference, what do those folks in the audience want to know about you? Probably they want to know whether you are worth listening to! So for that audience, focus your short bio on your accomplishments as they relate to that industry.
To get started writing a bio, list the highlights of your life, career and accomplishments as they relate to the target audience. Then ruthlessly edit the list down to a few key details---things that can easily be described in a sentence or two---and discard the rest. Yes, I know it's painful but it must be done!
The reality is that people are only going to spend 30 - 60 seconds reading your bio. If you write too much, readers are simply going to skip over the details. Take charge of what people remember about you by writing a short bio that highlights your best accomplishments.
Begin with a statement that puts your career in perspective ---for example, "John Smith has over 20 years experience as a senior manager," or "Jane Doe is an award-winning mystery writer." Follow that with other details that demonstrate your expertise and underscore your relevant achievements.
Finish off your short bio with a statement about your personal life--for example, "She lives in Seattle with her husband and three cats." Don't forget to include your contact information at the end of your short bio.
Does writing a short bio seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? If so, get a fill-in-the-blanks bio template written specifically for your type of job. You'll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes.