Simply Irresistible – Show Them How Great You Really Are

I’m always surprised when I ask a person who’s been working professionally for 15+ years if they have a bio and they say, “No, I’ve never needed one” or “I’m not sure what I’d use it for.”

Stable employment can breed complacency.

If there is a silver lining to our current unemployment situation it is that many people now know they need to continually network proactively. An essential tool for networking is a bio. Whether you are providing background information about yourself for a committee position at your church or a board at a non profit; a bio makes it easy for people to get a good glimpse into who you are and what your experience has been.

A bio is different from a resume in that it is a narrative. The goal is tell a story about yourself that helps the reader understand where you’ve worked, what interests you and what is special about you. It only needs to be 4-5 well written paragraphs.

When someone asks to meet me for networking and they send me a resume, I assume they want to ask me for a job. But when they send me a bio, I learn interesting information about the person and I can build a conversation around things I read. I have more information about how I might be able to help.

I happen to be a published author (poetry and non-fiction.) My publications are not related to my work experience but I can highlight this work in my bio. It helps me to let people know my various skills and interests in a short, readable format. I can also highlight the foreign languages I speak or the charities I’m involved in. These help me be human and memorable.

Make sure you have several trusted people read your bio. Writing a concise and compelling story is not easy. Everyone has a story. Be sure yours is less blah, blah and more hmm, that’s interesting.

What is it that makes you unique?

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  • By Cheryl, August 10, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    I use a :30 elevator speech which is almost the same thing but shorter. I have found that after :30 people are onto another thought or question. Thanks for sharing.

  • By Deborah, August 10, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

    Hi Cheryl, thanks for your comment. I agree an elevator speech is very important but that can’t be emailed and doesn’t give the kind of breadth and depth of experience that a bio can. Two different tools for two different purposes!

  • By Arthur, August 11, 2009 @ 3:20 pm


    Loved your blog! I’m a great example for you to use – 18 years in advertising and marketing and I never needed one. Your blog showed me the value that a good bio can have, so I’ll add that to my to-do list!

    Arthur Catalanello

  • By Deborah, August 11, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    Arthur, thanks for your comment; your visual cv is terrific. Keep up the great work.

  • By Jenna Mourey, August 14, 2009 @ 1:59 pm


    You know way more about everything than me. You’re amazing!!

    <3 your daughter Jenna

  • By Deborah, August 14, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    Thank you my darling daughter. you rock.

  • By Tim Tyrell-Smith, August 31, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

    Hi Deborah – I really like the blog. Keep up the good work! Job search (especially your first in a while) is a huge teachable moment. I agree that complacency can be very damaging. Keeping your marketing materials current and fresh is key.

  • By Deborah, September 1, 2009 @ 6:51 am

    Hi Tim, I’ve talked to over a thousand job seekers and HR professionals about using social media in the job search. As part of that, I talk about alternative types of resumes and tools and I mention spin strategy. thank you for your wonderful contribution to helping people find work.

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