My favorite thing about writing a bio might surprise you

There are many ways to write a good bio. It can first or third person, depending on the audience. It can be one paragraph, or two, or three, four or five. (I generally don’t advise going longer than five when writing a bio.) But my favorite part is always the same… it’s what I call “the good stuff at the end”. The personal stuff. The one or two things you share about yourself that ‘humanizes’ you, and often puts everything that’s come before in greater context.

For instance, you might tell me in your bio you are the VP of a company that makes travel accessories for left-handed people. (I’m making this particular one up, but I’ll bet they’re out there!) Or you might tell me you manage an assisted living facility, or are a top real estate agent, or are a teacher, or firefighter.

But it’s what you tell me, your bio reader, at the end that brings your bio full circle, and makes your story stand out.

Here are a few recent (real life, I promise) examples of bios I have written or reviewed in recent weeks, with “the good stuff at the end”. Whether or not you read anything else in their bios, you learn something important and unique about these people.

  1. Warren has been married over 40 years and has five sons, one daughter, 13 grandchildren, and eight brothers and sisters. He enjoys working out, burning CD’s/DVD’s for resale after church services, and hosting large family gatherings.
  2. Dan enjoys a plethora of hobbies ranging from weightlifting, baking from scratch, refinishing furniture, or simply being a tourist in his home city. His mantra, “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Just do it!”
  3. June and her husband, William, an M.D., have been married for 32 years and have five children.  Son Bruce served five years in the Marine Corps and all the girls played college basketball. The family has lived in Burdville since the early 1980’s. June, a graduate of Iowa State University, loves cooking, working for the Church, weddings, women’s basketball and spending time with her family.
  4. Having grown up around general aviation I developed a passion for all things that fly. My wife and I currently own a 1949 Cessna 170 that we use on family trips to Florida, and lots of flying taking in the local sights. I also own an antique truck that I enjoy working on and driving.
  5. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Edna moved to United States in 2001 to join her family.  In her spare time, she enjoys staying fit, gardening, traveling, cooking, bowling, badminton and table tennis.
  6. Hobbies and interests include traveling, cooking, hosting dinner parties for friends and family, and sitting on a patio with great cocktails and conversation. He is not married and has no children, but holds firm to the idea of such. “Laughter is my medicine,” Jimmy says, and his many friends describe him as “full of life, laughter and love — the kind of person you always want to sit next to.”
  7. I grew up in a Christian home in Greenville with loving parents and numerous siblings. In our home, attending church and Sunday school was expected, not optional. We had no cable, no computer, and no video games. We adjusted our TV antennae by applying a piece of aluminum foil around the tip.
  8. Brenda has also served as a Focused Monitoring Parent for the Georgia Department of Education, Division for Special Education Services, for over two years.  She volunteers as a support parent for the organization, Parent to Parent, where she speaks with mothers on early intervention for children who have been diagnosed with autism. As the parent of a 16-year old autistic son herself, she is uniquely qualified to understand these parents’ challenges, and help them find the resources they need to help their children lead productive and fulfilling lives.
  9. Kay and her husband Mark, have four sons, two daughters, two grandchildren and one pet, Peaches, the family’s Lhasa Opso. Kayenjoys ballroom dancing, the outdoors, reading Zane Grey and experimenting in the kitchen with cooking styles and ingredients.

Do you see what I mean? Pretty cool, huh? So if you need to write your bio, or want to update the bio you have, remember to add “the good stuff at the end”.

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