Of all the questions I’m asked about how to write a good bio, this one is near the top of the list: “How should I format my bio?”
There is no one right or wrong way to format a bio, but there are several easy guidelines to follow to ensure your bio looks professional, and is inviting to read.
- Stick to one page or less. Most good bios are short bios, 4-5 paragraphs, max.
- Use a font that’s easy to read. Stick with classics like Times Roman or Arial. I also like fonts that have been designed specifically for viewing on a screen or monitor, like Tahoma or Verdana.
- Don’t indent your paragraphs. Put a line of space between them instead. Indenting paragraphs ages you, as does putting two spaces after a period. (This is a throwback to the days when we didn’t have too many formatting options at our disposal other than double spacing and indenting. And yes, I am talking about the ‘dinosaur’ days of the typewriter!)
- Include a photo if you have one you like. Insert it in your document on the right hand side of the page, near the top, and wrap your text around it. (Do not center a huge head shot at the top of the page.)
- Consider where your bio will be seen/read. If it’s on your company website, there’s no need to explain (in detail) what your company does. If, however, it’s going to be seen elsewhere, make sure to include that information.
- Don’t worry — or apologize — if you don’t have a degree. Many, many very successful people don’t.
- Include something personal about you, usually in your last paragraph. People like to read about other people, and this has the effect of ‘humanizing’ you to your readers.
- Don’t over-format. Use bullet points, bold text and italic if it seems appropriate, but remember, your goal is clean and easy to read.
That’s it! Follow these simple rules to format your bio and you’ll be well on your way to completing a bio that stands out in a crowd.