The days of mailing resumes to employers are long gone. Advanced technology has broadened the global marketplace and created a global job market. Candidates must present their knowledge, skills and abilities in unique and intriguing ways to get the attention of employers who have an overload of applicants from which to choose. Job seekers must use every advantage they can to compete for jobs, advancement and satisfying careers. An employment bio is part of an arsenal of presentation tools a candidate should use to stand out from competing job seekers.
Write a focused introduction to your bio that starts with your name, qualifications and accomplishments. Include unique selling points designed to get employers’ attention. For example, you might write, “I’m John Smith, a graduate of Wharton Business School and a finance veteran with 10 years in CFO roles in the manufacturing industry. My passion for finance drives me to mentor Wharton finance undergrads and serve on the Wharton alumni committee.”
Build Your Brand
In their book “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0,” Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry explain the importance of building your brand as an outstanding employment candidate. It often means more than just getting an interview or a job offer. The candidates who best package and present their experience, skills and abilities are often offered higher starting salaries. Your brand must reflect the skills employers want and need, including leadership, communication, bias toward action, passion and cultural compatibility. Emphasize your achievements and abilities in these areas in your employment bio.
How Long or Short?
You can prepare different versions of your bio for different purposes. A bio in a cover letter might be just three sentences long and used as an opening. A bio for an employment portfolio might be a page long, with different sections for education, professional experience and career focus. A micro bio may be just one or two sentences to use on Twitter, as an elevator pitch at networking events, or in professional development situations such as conferences and workshops.
Put some personality into your bio to let potential employers get to know a little about you personally. If you enjoy Bikram yoga and have been practicing it for years, add something such as “I have practiced Bikram yoga for years and attend yoga class weekly for fitness and stress management.” Choose your personality piece carefully, using only those aspects that put you in a positive light.