Here at Maven we get to see a lot of professional bios. Some are great and some are… well… not so great. So how do you make your bio “perfect”? There is no absolute formula or methodology, but here are 5 quick tips that you should follow when writing or editing your Maven bio:
1) THIRD PERSON– A professional-looking bio appears as if it were written by somebody else about you. Avoid first-person pronouns like “I,” “me,” and “my.” Instead use “This Maven,” “he/she,” and “his/her.”
2) COMPLETE SENTENCES- Your bio is a story about you and your knowledge, not a list of phrases. So write it like a story… in prose. Use complete English sentences and skip the bullets. They belong in your resume, not your professional bio.
3) CORRECT GRAMMAR/SPELLING– This is obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised at how many people submit bio’s that are laden with obvious spelling and grammar issues. It looks unprofessional and our Clients tend to pass over people who appear inarticulate in favor of those who spend the time to make sure that their bio is error-free. The bio entry box has a spellchecker built into it; use it.
4) KEYWORD-RICH: When our Clients search our network they usually start with keyword(s) related to the topic they are interested in. If the keyword doesn’t appear somewhere in your Maven profile, guess what… you don’t show up in the search! You might be the world’s leading expert in tiddlywinks and doohickeys, but if your profile doesn’t include that information, you’ll probably never get invited to consult. Now, this doesn’t mean to put every keyword related to your expertise in your bio. There are plenty of other places in your profile to include everything about yourself. However, the top 5-10 keywords related to your expertise should appear in your bio. Can’t think of any? Try naming:
Your profession- “This Maven is a professional tiddlywinker and one of the world’s leading authorities on tiddlywinks.”
A product you use as part of your work- “She is an avid user of the Super-Whamodyne Tiddlywink system.”
Something you design, purchase, sell, or consult on- “She has helped design several doohickeys for use in professional tiddlywinking, including the Ajax UltraMaster Doohickey XP.”
A company you interact with frequently- “She frequently consults with the Acme Tiddlyhickey Company on new product design.”
A technology you are familiar with- “She is an expert on GIZMO technology and has helped several companies to implement GIZMO PRO into their tiddlywinking operations.”
5) NO MBA-SPEAK: Ok, you’re “a driven and career-minded professional who always seeks to maximize value and facilitate etc. etc. etc.” Show me somebody who claims to be otherwise. Instead of wasting your time trying to impress us with MBA-speak, how about telling us who you are, what you do, and what you know? Be specific. What do you actually do for a living and how do you do it?
Follow these 5 tips and your profile will automatically become more visible, readable, and attractive to our Clients.
Editor’s Note: To see the 5 Tips in Action, see our post on “A Tale of Two Bio’s“