How to Write a Branded Biography - dummies

By Susan Chritton

A branded biography is a narrative of your personal brand story. It tells the story of your unique promise value to your target audience. Your bio needs to emotionally connect with your readers and be written in a way that engages them.

It positions you for how you want to be known going forward while giving relevant confirmation of your experience and qualifications. It expresses who you are, what you offer, and what is important to you.

Bios are most frequently written for people in the workforce who want to emphasize their professional accomplishments. However, you can write a bio during any stage in your life. A bio tells your story to an identified audience that is important to you.

If you’re looking for work after an absence from the workplace, for example, that story could focus on your achievements in raising a family, performing community service, serving in the military, or completing your new college degree.

Here are some other specific situations when a bio can be very useful:

  • If you write a work proposal, a bio offers insight into who will be working on the assignment.

  • On your website, you likely want to include a bio in the “About Us” section.

  • If you plan to give a speech, you want to give your host a bio so that you can be properly introduced.

  • When you’re looking for a job, a bio offers potential employers and network contacts an overview of who you are that is more personal than a resume.

  • If you have the opportunity to serve as a committee chair, your bio can be shared with constituents of the committee so that they understand your qualifications.

  • Boy Scouts write bios to present themselves at an Eagle Court of Honor.

  • Authors write short bios that appear in their books.

Biographies are especially powerful when your resume looks disjointed or when your experience doesn’t follow a traditional path. A bio can weave the threads of your work experience and your personal brand message into a meaningful story that makes sense to the reader.

You want to include your interests, strengths, personal descriptors, unique promise of value, and personal brand statement. The bio should effectively complete these statements:

  • People recognize my expertise in …

  • I know I am in my element when …

In other words, what are you really good at? And what things do you do related to this target audience that you have enthusiasm for?

Tell one or two shortened versions of those same stories in your bio to show your accomplishments through an interesting narrative.

To find out more about crafting an excellent professional biography, try reading Be Sharp (CreateSpace Publishing), by Paula Asinof and Mina Brown. If you need additional help with the writing process, you can always hire a professional resume writer to write your biography for you.

Check out this branded biography. Note how the biography catches your attention with the first sentence. Not only does his bio tell you what he does — a creative strategic marketing leader — but also it tells you how he does it — with a love of life and a passion for excellence.

Both what he does and how he does it are important elements of his brand. Read his bio to discover how the language used paints a picture of his skill set and his personality. His bio ends with some keywords that remind the reader of his key knowledge and show his personal brand’s leadership style.

[Credit: Courtesy of Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI]
Credit: Courtesy of Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI