How to write a bio if you have been out of the job market for a while – or longer

If the title of this blog resonates with you, you’re not alone. One of the questions I get asked frequently is how to write a good bio when you have been out of work for a while — sometimes a long while.

It’s a good question, and one that doesn’t have an easy answer. The circumstances behind the time off will be different for everyone. Some will have left the job force voluntarily — to travel, go to school, have a family, take a break. Some will have been laid off, or fired.

Regardless, here is my advice on how to write a good bio if you’ve been out of work for whatever amount of time.

Be honest. Explain the history of your unemployment, briefly and simply. Do not feel the need to go into detail. A prospective employer can ask for more information later if they choose.

Example: I left my previous position in 2009 to (insert reason here). Have a family. Go back to school. Care for an elderly relative. Travel the world.

Example: I was laid off from my previous position in 2009 because (insert reason here). Downsizing. New management. Relocation issues.

Again, be concise. Don’t apologize or over explain.

A good bio is an honest representation of who you are today, and how you got to that point. Adversity does not equate to negativity, by any means. All of us have faced adversity in our lives and our jobs and (hopefully) learned from our experience. A good employer will recognize that, even reward it.

So, if you’ve been out of work for a while and are wondering how to write your bio, keep these simple tips in mind to help you get started.

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