Adobe-full Adobe Behance arrow-down arrow-right LineCreated with Sketch. close-tablet-03 close-tablet-05 comment dropdown-close dropdown-open facebook instagram linkedin rss search share twitter
Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

Resumes, Bios & Portfolios

The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King

Why writing a compelling personal bio is crucial to your career, and tips on how to craft one.


If you’re a designer, entrepreneur, or creative – you probably haven’t been asked for your resume in a long time. Instead, people Google you – and quickly assess your talents based on your website, portfolio, and social media profiles. Do they resonate with what you’re sharing? Do they identify with your story? Are you even giving them a story to wrap their head around?
G

one are the days of “Just the facts, M’am.” Instead we’re all trying to suss each other out in the relationship economy. Do I share something in common with you? How do we relate to each other? Are you relevant to my work?That’s why the resume is on the out, and the bio is on the rise. People work with people they can relate to and identify with. Trust comes from personal disclosure. And that kind of sharing is hard to convey in a resume. Your bio needs to tell the bigger story. Especially, when you’re in business for yourself, or in the business of relationships. It’s your bio that’s read first.

To help you with this, your bio should address the following 5 questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. How can I help you?
  3. How did I get here (i.e. know what I know)?
  4. Why can you trust me?
  5. What do we share in common?

Your bio is the lynchpin for expanding your thought leadership and recognition, especially online. It frames the conversation and sets the tone. It’s your job to reveal a bit about yourself and how you see the world. Do this well, and people will eagerly want to engage with you further.

Here’s the challenge: who taught you how to write your bio?

Admittedly, most of us never got a lesson in this essential task. You’re not alone. Even the most skilled communicators get tongue-tied and twisted when trying to represent themselves in writing. We fear the two extremes: obnoxious self-importance or boring earnestness. It gets further complicated when you’re in the midst of a career or business reinvention. You have to reconcile the different twists and turns of your past into a coherent professional storyline.

The personal branding industry has only muddied the waters. It’s easy to feel turned off by the heavy-handed acts of self-promotion that the various gurus out there say you’re supposed to do. We’ve been told to carefully construct a persona that will differentiate and trademark our skills into a unique value proposition. That’s mostly a bunch of buzzword bingo bullshit.

Instead, share more of what you really care about. And then write your bio in service to your reader, not just ego validation. Imagine that: A compelling reason to tell your story beyond bragging to the world that you’re “kind of a big deal.” Embrace the holy-grail of storytelling: tell a story that people can identify with as their own – and the need to persuade, convince, or sell them on anything disappears.

With all this in mind, here’s a few key pointers for reinventing your bio as a story:

1. Share a Point of View.

You’re a creative. Having something to say is the ultimate proof. What’s missing from the larger conversation? Speak to that. Don’t be afraid to tell the bigger story. We want to know how you see the world. Show us that you have a unique perspective or fresh vantage point on the things that matter most.

2. Create a Backstory.

Explain the origin for how you came to see the world in this way. Maybe it was something that happened to you as a kid or early in your career.  Consider your superhero origins. How did you come into these powers? What set you off on this quest or journey? What’s the riddle or mystery you are still trying to solve? When you tell the story of who you were meant to be, it becomes an undeniable story.  Natural authority is speaking from the place of what you know and have lived.

3. Incorporate External Validators.

Think frugally here. To paraphrase the artist De La Vega, we spend too much time trying to convince others, instead of believing in ourselves. Nonetheless, if you’re doing something new, different, or innovative – you have to anchor it into the familiar. Help people see that your novel ideas are connected to things they recognize and trust. That might be your notable clients, press, publications, or things you’ve created. Just enough to show people your story is for real.

4. Invite people into a relationship.

Now that you’ve established you’ve got something to share, remind people you’re not so different from them. Vulnerability is the new black. Share some guilty pleasures. Describe what you like to geek out on. Reveal a couple things you obsess about as hobbies or interests. This will make you more approachable and relatable. You’re human, too. Help people find the invisible lines of connection.

To revamp your bio, start with these simple storytelling principles and questions above. In the process, you’ll discover a greater potential to shift how you see yourself and how the world sees you. Your story sets the boundaries for everything else that follows.

If you’re having trouble being heard, recognized, or understood, it’s probably an issue related to your story and identity. The good news? It’s never to late to reinvent your story.

What’s Your Take?

Have you updated your bio recently? What do you struggle with?

  • http://andigrantblog.skyrock.com/3228445105-Les-meilleurs-conseils-de-Sneaker-que-vous-allez-lire.html Adidas Jeremy Scott Instinct

    Adidas Jeremy Scott Instinct

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  • http://ivanmendoza.net/diseno/moma-hische-enlaces MOMA, Hische y más enlaces - El blog imposible de diseño El blog imposible de diseño

    […] The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King. | Inglés; […]

  • http://jakekahana.com/your-work-doesnt-matter/ Jake Kahana » Your Work Doesn’t Matter

    […] Keep going: 99U, “The Resume Is Dead” […]

  • https://lawyerist.com/28968/legal-resume-v-professional-bio-is-the-resume-dead/ Legal Resume v. Professional Bio: Is the Resume Dead?

    […] suggested via Twitter that the resume is dead, and that instead, law students should be creating professional bios. Is this sound advice for those entering the legal […]

  • Ashley

    How long should your bio be? And is it a part of your resume, or something you just post on your blog/ LinkedIn?

  • http://www.gp.se/fescvea http://www.gp.se/fescvea

    http://www.gp.se/fescvea

    […]Every as soon as inside a although we pick out blogs that we read. Listed below are the most current sites that we decide on […]

  • http://www.google.com/tlrxsuhh Google

    Google

    The information and facts talked about within the post are several of the most effective readily available.

  • http://cakeresumes.com/what-to-do-with-a-bland-brand/ What to Do with a Bland Brand - Cake Resumes

    […] The Bio Is King The Power of Testimonials 5 Tips to Make Your Brand Pop And, because I can, this compilation of cat Vines […]

  • http://cakeresumes.com/welcome-to-planet-lookit-me/ Welcome to Planet "Lookit me" - Cake Resumes

    […] The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King (although, I’m not in love with this title!) […]

  • alberta d'alessio

    I love it!!! Finally!!!!!!!!!! Can you + Pinterest? thanksssss

  • Deepak

    Bio is always a king therefore we found http://www.biotuft.com

  • RMBA

    Thanks so much. This was to the point.

  • http://ideafm.org/2015/05/05/how-to-share-you-resumes-splash-pages-and-more/ How To Share YOU: Résumés, Splash Pages, and More | ideaFM

    […] An interesting aspect of landing pages is that they give your students an opportunity to write a personal bio. Personal bios don’t just appear on splash or landing pages, they appear in social media and in “About” pages on a blog. You should introduce your students to writing their own bio by having them read this great how to write an effective bio article. […]

  • http://www.coxpurtell.com.au/blog/the-social-future/ The Social Future - Cox Purtell

    […] only started using it heavily in the last 5 or 6 years. Will this increased usage mean the death of the resume as we know it? These days people peruse LinkedIn profiles to gain an understanding of a person’s […]

  • http://coachingavenue.fr/personal-branding-adieu-cv-bonjour-bio/ Personal branding : Adieu CV, bonjour Bio ! | Coaching Avenue

    […] article de Michael Margolis a été initialement publié sur The99Percent.com sous le titre  The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King et est devenu viral avec plus de 6000 retweets et partages. Il a été réédité sur LifeHacker […]

  • http://www.brainsonfire.com/blog/2015/08/18/personal-branding-matters/ Personal Branding Matters - Brains on Fire

    […] up everywhere these days. Fast Company recent dubbed it “essential to career success.” 99u says “the resume is dead, the bio is king.” Inc says “virtually everyone” […]

  • http://brainsonfire.wpengine.com/personal-branding-matters/ Personal Branding Matters | Brains on Fire

    […] up everywhere these days. Fast Company recent dubbed it “essential to career success.” 99u says “the resume is dead, the bio is king.” Inc says “virtually everyone” […]

  • https://zartnerds.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/homework-due-0928/ Homework Due 09/28 | Del's Digital Classroom

    […] help? Check out this article on bios for creatives. And another article complete with examples. I like the 140 character one, but I do expect a few […]

  • http://horizoom.com/personal-branding-adieu-cv-bonjour-bio/ Personal branding : Adieu CV, bonjour Bio ! | HORIZOOM

    […] article a été initialement publié sur The99Percent.com sous le titre  The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King et est devenu viral avec plus de 6000 retweets et partages. Il a été réédité sur LifeHacker […]

  • http://coachingavenue.fr/personal-branding-art-du-storytelling/ Personal branding : l’art du storytelling | Coaching Avenue

    […] article de Michael Margolis a été initialement publié sur The99Percent.com sous le titre  The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King et est devenu viral avec plus de 6000 retweets et partages. Il a été réédité sur LifeHacker […]

1 6
blog comments powered by Disqus

More articles on Resumes, Bios & Portfolios

BradyImagelarge
Behance_05_02
Behance_SKILL_Final
006
Unknown copy
Claudio Guglieri's early sketch for a Reuters project.