Are you getting ready to write your personal bio section on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or similar sites? If so, get ready to make some outlines, rehearse your "elevator pitch," and craft the content based on your needs, the platform on which it will appear, and several other factors. We have also built a social media bio generator that works for all the aforementioned social networks.
Steps For Getting Started
The best way to get started is to examine the task in four separate ways. Step One First, learn about general bio guidelines and review several short professional bio examples as well as a few short personal bio examples. Personal and professional wording, tone, and intention are different. Step Two Next, keep in mind that if you're still a student, what you write for your bio section, personal or professional, should be different than what you'd write if you were already working. Step Three Third, review suggestions for how to structure your bios to fit the format and style of Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, the three main platforms.
Learn By Example (and Don't Plagiarize!)
Learn by example and practice by checking out several short professional bio examples and personal write-ups on all three of those sites. It makes no sense to copy someone else's bio, of course, but you can learn a lot just by reading excellent examples and seeing how other people put their life, experience, skills, and desires into a few short, succinct paragraphs. Let's get started with LinkedIn's guidelines, followed by a couple of short professional bio examples for LinkedIn. After that, we'll do the same for Instagram and Twitter. Remember that if you want to see short personal bio examples for students, you're always free to visit Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn and see what college students write to attract the attention of employers, followers, and prospective members of their personal network.
What are the basic ingredients of a successful LinkedIn bio? The first is something readers never see, your outline. Spend time making a detailed outline before posting anything on LinkedIn. Then, start the bio off with a strong opening sentence that lets everyone know exactly what you do. Here are the rest of the steps:
- List your industry skills in bullet points
- Give specific data and numbers to back up your skill points
- Explain why you are interested in what you do but don't write a life story
- Include several sentences about your goals. What are you looking for?
- If your aim is to find a job, say so. Don't beat around the bush about "desired roles" and other euphemisms. Use real words. "I'm looking for a job in the accounting industry" is an apt example of direct, clear writing.
- Highlight you education and credentials but save the detailed resume for later in your LinkedIn post. Remember, this is the professional bio section, not the resume or list of all the jobs you've ever had.
For your first-ever LinkedIn bio, whether it's personal or professional, the main idea is to keep things simple. Focus on your interests, experience, and strengths. You get up to 2,000 words to say what you want, but no one will be looking past the first three lines unless they see something that interests them. That's because LinkedIn only shows the first few lines of content in our bio, with a "click to read more" link underneath it. If you don't capture someone's attention in the first 50 or so words, they won't be clicking to continue. Try to get your entire message, in microscopic form, into those first 50 words, then expand on each point after that.
What Not To Do
- Don't be too informal. A bit of relaxed wording is okay, but LinkedIn is primarily a professional platform where people go to find jobs, employees, or new members of their network. Avoid trying to be humorous or overly friendly. Save that kind of writing for social media sites like Facebook and others.
- Don't use offensive words or super-technical jargon. People who do end up with zero views.
- Don't mention other people by name unless they've given you express permission to do so.
- Don't write a life story or tell a long-winded anecdote about why you became interested in chemical engineering or whatever your field is. LinkedIn readers who view your intro want just a taste of what you're about, what you can do, and why your profile is listed. Give them the short version of the story.
Learn By Reading Real Bios
The following links are for actual short professional bio examples for LinkedIn. Read them all very carefully and try to get a feel for how individuals express themselves and convey their unique skills, interests, and experience. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 The three examples above are not short, but that's because each of the candidates has extensive experience and several key areas of interest. Notice how they weave a few personal points into the write-ups but only as a way to highlight their professional standing and abilities.
Compared to LinkedIn, your Instagram personal or professional bio is a super-short message. You only have 150 characters to get all the relevant information in, so keep it tight and hit all the high points quickly. Here are some essential tips to get you started:
- Consider putting a tag word or phrase next to your name
- Waste no words
- Include all your relevant contact info
- Include a website link if you have one
- Use headline-writing style to convey information as quickly as possible
- Before you begin, make a list of 10 keywords you want to include in the bio
- Structure personal and professional bios the same
- Approach the task as you would if you were writing a short advertisement for yourself or for your company
Examples You Can Learn From
Here are a few short personal bio examples for Instagram. Click the links and read each one before continuing on to the comments below. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
Comments for Instagram Bios
The three linked examples are excellent because each one includes what's needed and conveys a sense of what they do or are interested in quickly and eloquently. Notice that each also includes either website, publication, hashtag, or contact info so the reader can instantly click on a hyperlink and find out more information.
Twitter is famous for its short messaging platform where people tend to use as many emojis as they do words. When you create a personal or professional bio on Twitter, be creative in order to stand out from the millions of other bios. You only have 160 characters to get the job done, but the best Twitter bios are shorter than that. When people scroll through dozens of bios on the platform, they're looking for something that catches their attention within the first few seconds, or perhaps the first 10 words and emojis they see. Here are some tips for creating a solid Twitter bio, whether you're aiming for a personal or professional version:
- Use emojis only when appropriate. Nothing will kill the power of your Twitter bio more than unnecessary emoji use. Keep it to just one or two per bio
- Don't go hashtag crazy. As with emojis, limit tag usage, preferably to no more than two per bio
- Triple-check spelling, grammar, and link accuracy. You don't want to accidentally link someone else's website because of a typo. That's no only bad form but can open you up to legal liability. So, ask at least two friends to check your text for accuracy before going live with the post
- Think "elevator pitch," but even shorter. Elevator pitches are traditionally 30 to 60 seconds long and delivered orally. You have nowhere near that much leeway on Twitter. The allotted 160 characters are more like a five-second elevator pitch, so try to imagine how you'd tell someone what you do in just five seconds.
- Don't forget CTAs, calls-to-action. If you want viewers to do anything, tell them in plain language. For example, "Click the link below," or, "Buy my new book by clicking here," etc.
- If you have several Twitter accounts, don't forget to show them and make it easy for people to view them
- Unlike LinkedIn, you can use your Twitter bio to be humorous, clever, or endearing. Of course, there's not enough space to tell a story, but consider using emojis and carefully chosen words to make your point, highlight your talents, or get folks to click your website link.
- The main search engines log Twitter's bios, so choose words as you would select central keywords in a piece of published content. Spend time reviewing top keywords in pertinent categories before writing your bio.
- Unlike on Instagram, you'll want to use every one of your allowed characters on Twitter bios. That means coming as close to the 160-character limit as possible without going over it.
- Remember your brand, if you have one. Try to convey the sense of your brand from the beginning. If you sell plastic sheeting at super-discount prices, make "saving money" a focal point of the bio. However, if you are an author who specializes in children's books, keep things light and interesting, or closely matched to the way you write your books.
Examples That Instruct
Comments For Twitter Samples
Check out the following short personal bio examples for Twitter. Note the different styles and tones when compared to the other sites. Twitter is short and to the point. People present their information in very condensed formats and waste no words.
Getting Your Bio Right
There's no one-size-fits-all bio, whether it's for personal or professional reasons. Each platform has its own atmosphere and guidelines. Plus, no two individuals are exactly alike, which means your bios should be as unique as you are. Consider writing at least three pieces of content or one personal or professional bio for each of the three main platforms. And don't forget to update them at least every few months or more frequently if your situation changes. Finally, ask friends, colleagues, and fellow students for feedback. Reward anyone who finds a typo, misspelled word, or grammar error. Your personal summaries are the key to building networks, finding jobs, acquiring new customers, or getting a new business off the ground. Write with attention, review your work, and be ready to update your postings whenever necessary.