When it comes to writing bios, I’ve always believed this to be true: If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anyone. That’s why creating the ideal awesome bio takes genuine expertise to separate the superfluous bragging and general B.S. from the important, relevant, specific life experiences.
Never ever refer to yourself as a “powerhouse”!
“Otherwise, you’re just another self-proclaimed guru in a field that’s long on salesmanship and short on specifics,” according to Jonathan Rick in his article in fastcompany.com. He goes on to say that what makes real credentials stand out from all the overt pontification and puffery are concise, circumscribed understatement with credentials that are corroborated by experts and recognized authorities. The dilemma when writing your own bio, Rick explains as: “How do you balance the need for objectivity with the temptation to hyperbolize?” And he answers his own question with these two tips:
- Consider your audience. For example, say your niche is nonprofits, your emphasis is going to be quite different than if you’re chasing the Fortune 500.
- Engage an editor or copywriter. The tendency to see ourselves as a little thinner, a little taller, a little smarter is perfectly natural. But the way you’re described professionally is too important to be left entirely to you.