Are you job hunting or looking to build more personal marketing content about you for various purposes? Do you have an executive biography?
Many of the executives I speak with want to know more about biographies:
- What they are
- How to use one
- How they differ from resumes
- Do they really need one
I’m sure you’ve read a typical bio that walks you through the person’s career progression and provides hard facts. Aside from touching briefly on their families and perhaps hobbies, they lack vibrancy. They give you little feel for what kind of person you’re reading about and what drives them.
A brand biography is a storytelling tool that breathes life into an otherwise flat rehash of your resume. For job search and career management, a bio affords the opportunity to reinforce your brand with storytelling in a way that a resume doesn’t allow.
What you can do with a bio that you can’t do as well with a resume:
- Showcase your leadership and management acumen through softer skills and “good fit” attributes, and link them to your value proposition.
- Personalize your C-A-Rs stories and use them to reinforce your brand attributes and key strengths.
- Generate chemistry around your personal brand. Tell people how you use your key personal attributes, passions, strengths, and motivated skills to make things happen for employers.
- Help employers connect with you and envision you on the job, having a positive impact.
Your bio, resume and LinkedIn profile are the foundation for a successful job search. The three work in tandem to promote the unique value you offer and provide people assessing you the social proof they need.
When I’m creating online profiles for clients, I use pieces of both their resumes and bios, mixing it up a bit to distinguish profiles from each other, and provide a little additional info in each.
Below you’ll find basic guidelines to write your executive biography.
A few questions to help you write your executive biography:
- What are 3 or 4 defining moments for you as your career progressed? Think of events or things that shaped your career path, had the most impact on making you who you are today, and led you to add value to your companies.
- Which of your personal attributes have been most beneficial to you in your career? Explain why.
- How have adversity and challenges made you stronger and a more valuable employee?
- What are the two or three most important lessons you learned along the way that others could benefit from?
- Who have you mentored and how did your guidance impact that person, your team, your department, and your company? How do you describe your leadership style?
Move your executive biography from bland to brand-solid:
Pack a punch in the first paragraph.
Compel readers to want to continue to the end. Capture attention by leading with your brand positioning statement, or a quote from an industry celebrity or subject matter expert. Or compose a quote of your own that encapsulates your brand value. It could be something that others tell you you’re always saying — or a direct quote about you from someone you’ve worked with.
Or, you can be more personal by beginning your bio with a story about what led you to your career choice.
Format the document for visual appeal and ease in reading.
Break up long, dense paragraphs into 2 or 3 smaller ones to add more white space, drawing readers’ eyes down the page and compelling them to read the entire document or web page, if it’s an online profile.
One innovative technique is to include high-impact sub-headings throughout, which is also an opportunity to build in more relevant keywords. I used this strategy in my own brand bio, which I used for my website About page.
Get My Full Worksheet for Executive Biography Development
The suggestions above represent just a portion of the important work you need to do to develop a robust, vibrant biography to help you land a job you covet and deserve. The full worksheet covers it all.
My full biography worksheet is the actual proprietary document I use with my clients to create a biography that complements their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and other job search materials.
In all, you’ll get 10 pages of DIY tips and advice to help you tell your story and create your biography.
Along with the worksheet itself, here’s some of the other information included:
- What a biography does better than a resume
- More ways to propel your bio from bland to brand-solid
- 10 ways to use your biography
- When to use your bio INSTEAD of your resume
Get my full biography worksheet (with all the extras noted above) . . . OR the complete package of my 4 proprietary executive job search worksheets.
Along with the Biography Worksheet, the complete worksheet package includes my 3 other proprietary worksheets and so much more:
- Personal Branding Worksheet
- Job Search Targeting & Research Worksheet
- Career History Worksheet
- Each worksheet above contains numerous resources and DIY tips and strategies to help you land the job you want.