12 Questions to Help You Write an Engaging Bio for LinkedIn
Are you trying to write your own bio?
If so, you’ve probably discovered how hard it is to give your bio a personal touch—without making it sound like a personal ad—while still making contacts feel like they’re in good, competent, professional hands.
You might not realize it, but your LinkedIn summary section is one of the most important parts of your profile.
Why? Because after the headline, the summary is the first thing visitors read when they check out your profile on LinkedIn.
Think of your summary as an elevator pitch – you only have a few seconds to present
yourself, so you need to make it count. When done well, it can grab people’s attention and get them excited about knowing you, learning from you, or working with you.
How many of us compress our lives into 400 words or less in a real-life conversation? Only the most annoying ones, that’s who. It seems that bio-speak has practically developed into its own language.
On the other hand, no one wants to read a huge chunk of text. So, break up your LinkedIn summary by using elements of readability, like short paragraphs, bullet points, and even appropriate emojis.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bio that sounded like an actual person wrote it—rather than the Terminator?
The following 12 questions are designed to help you produce the raw information needed to write bios that are engaging, interesting, and not full of the “Bio-Speak.”
But before you get started, please read these
A. Set a timer for 26 minutes.
This is very important. Do not skip this step! If you’re a Level-9 Procrastinator like I was,
you’ll never start this exercise if you don’t give yourself permission to do it quickly. This
doesn’t have to become a 3-hour, story-of your-life writing intervention. (Unless you
want it to.)
B. Answer the questions below in a rambling, conversational style.
You might even write them in the body of an
email you pretend to send to a friend. Don’t
worry about perfect sentences. This step is
not designed to help you craft your bio. It’s
simply to help you dig up all the good, fresh
stuff buried in your brain, which you can then use to craft your bio. If you hate writing and are better at thinking on your feet, then speak your answers into a recorder or iPhone and transcribe them.
C. Let your answers sit for a while.
Then bold the answers that seem interesting,
unexpected, insightful, profound, or just plain feel like you.
D. Important: Be Yourself! Don’t try to copy anyone else.
Now you’re ready to go. Here are 12 “ish”
questions to get you started and to keep you from writing a robotic-sounding bio.
1. How did you arrive at running your business
or in your profession? What path brought
2. What are you known for professionally?
What do you have a knack for?
3. What’s the one problem you are best at
solving for your clients? What do your ideal
clients say about you?
4. Who have you worked with in the past? And
what have you done for them?
5. What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about
your work & the contribution you can make?
6. What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
7. Where can we find you when you’re not
working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
8. How long have you been doing what you
9. Where did you grow up and why aren’t you there now?
10. Any volunteer activities you’re crazy
11. Any awards or medals, or even medallions? Personal okay, too.
12. Anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself?
If you’ve been following along, it’s 26 minutes later and you’ve got answers to all of these questions. After you’ve let them sit for a bit, and highlighted the best parts of your answers, It’s time to start putting them into sentences and paragraphs.
It’s that simple! You’ll take those rambling
quips and edit them into professional sentences. All of the answers are right there in front of you. You can use this bio for your LinkedIn profile, for your website’s About page, or for a speaking-engagement bio.
Having an awesome professional bio is a skill that stands out for you. Over your career, there will likely be dozens of times you need to elegantly explain who you are and what you do to people who may have heard your name in passing—or have absolutely no idea you exist.
If you can do it well, without stressing about
it, you’re more likely to be remembered, get
the job, and generally succeed in your professional life.
Talk to you next month!