Self Biographical Essay Example

A biography is simply an account of someone’s life written by another person. A biography can be short in the case of few sentences biography, and it can also be long enough to fill an entire book. The short biographies explain a person’s basic life facts and their importance, but the long biographies would go an extra mile and include more details to make an interesting read. You may find yourself in a situation which requires you to write a biography of a famous person, a close friend or a relative. For this reason, it pays to know how to come up with a biography and the important details that you should include in it. The lives of many people have interesting bits of information, but you ought to know what to capture in the biography and what to leave out.

Contents

Biography Examples

What to include in a biography

The length of a biography depends on the type of information that should be included. The length will determine the nature of information and how extensively it will explain the life of a person. For instance, if you are to write a short paragraph about a person it will mostly capture the important details that identify the person compared to a pages-long biography that may even include the person’s childhood experiences and achievements shaping their life.

For a short biography, maybe a paragraph or two long, the following details should be captured:

  • A person’s date and place of birth, at times with the date and place of death as may be applicable
  • The person’s major achievements in life
  • Their educational background and notable awards
  • Work facts of a person and their contribution to that field if any
  • A brief account of the significance of an individual in the community

A lengthy biography will bring out more details of a person’s life making it a bit more complex. His/her history will be brought out more clearly especially the details that shaped them to be the persons they turned out to be.

The target audience will also dictate the nature of the information that is to be included. The relation of the audience to an individual will have an impact on how the information is presented and the important details that they could be interested in. In a case where the audience is unknown, more details will have to be included. This mostly happens in the case of a several paged biography. You will have to scrutinize the person in a more detailed way and establish more people relating to the person. Focusing on the uniqueness of an individual can do wonders in this case and this might turn out to be inspirational to many people. The field that the person has majored in or had majored in ought to influence the direction that the biography will take as this will help to bring out the contribution of the individual to their field of study.

How to write a good Biography

A biography is meant to analyze a person’s life and interpret it as well. A good biographer will try to join the dots and explain certain actions and events that a certain figure was involved in. This will help in clearly bringing out the significance of a person’s life through their accomplishments or remarkable deeds.

Biographies are usually written in a chronological order. Some biographers could also draft them in a themed order that is early life, educational background, a person’s achievements or accomplishments. But some especially the short ones will focus on one area in a person’s life.

There are several sources of information that could aid one in writing an astounding biography. These sources of information can be grouped into either primary sources or secondary sources. The primary sources of information include materials like letters, newspaper accounts or diaries. A biographer can also make an arrangement to interview an individual they want to write about. This is also considered as a primary source of information. The secondary sources are reference books, other biographies or historical records that are related to the subject being written about.

Steps in writing a biography;

  1. Select the individual you want to write about
  2. Search for the basic facts that relate to a person’s life. The encyclopedia or almanac could be handy at this.
  3. Think about the details to add in the biography which can bring out clearly about the person’s life. Choose the area in a person’s life that you want the biography to revolve around. Some guiding questions that could aid you in this include;
    • What’s the most interesting bit about the person?
    • What is the significance of the individual to the society and the world in general?
    • What qualities or adjectives will be best suited for the description of the individual?
    • What actions or life events bring out the qualities or adjectives chosen above?
    • What life events or world events shaped the individual or brought out the best in them?
    • Did they face obstacles or take some risks in life? How did they handle the obstacles and did they happen to be lucky?
    • What impact did they have in the world? Did they add value to the way people view certain aspects of life? Did they come up with a thing, idea or way of action that transformed the way things are handled or rather done in their societies or world in general?
  4. Carry out some additional research on the internet to answer some of the questions mentioned above. Ensure that you find information that will help you tell a story that many will love.
  5. After getting everything in order, you can proceed to write the biography. We have provided sample biographies in this site that you could check out in order to get the drift.

Biography templates

A biography template is meant to specifically aid a writer come up with an excellent biography. For this purpose to be achieved the writer needs to get his/her hands on a high-quality biography template, just like the ones provided on this site.

The best biography templates should provide clear instructions, and this should be in great detail to avoid the risk of the writer missing out some important facts. The templates available on this site will help you capture all of the details.

The biography templates should also be precise and avoid beating around the bush. Going round one idea or item will make the biography boring to read and it is prudent for the writer to be straight to the point. By doing this it will be easier for the readers to skim through and find the details they might be interested in with lots of easy. The writer will also save his/her time and concentrate on writing other things.

The general sections of any biography as outlined by our sample biographies will have;

  • The name of the person
  • A picture of the person
  • An account of their early life
  • The person’s family life
  • The major achievements of the person
  • The three main interesting qualities or facts about the individual

A professional Biography Template

A professional biography is a statement that could either be short or long that is written about a person, business or company. It should be engaging, informative and interesting for the readers to identify with the person or business entity being talked about. It has a sales pitch that is a little bit different. A professional biography template is meant to ease the process of generating printed professional biographies especially for an individual who wants to reach a lot of people or institutions.

Elements that should be captured in a professional biography are:

  • A summary of one’s early life in a sentence or two, make it interesting
  • Then information touching on your education, mention any academic awards or the clubs and societies that you were part of. Any work experience while in school.
  • Talk about how creative and innovative you are with coming with solutions to the problems that you have faced as an individual, mention any situation that you were self-reliant in coming up with solutions
  • Mention qualities that make you stand out for instance, being independent, principled or discerning to increase your trustworthiness.

The following tips will enable you to come up with the best professional biography;

  • Be brief and precise to the point. This is to enable the reader to easily and quickly get to know about you.
  • Be spontaneous in your writing
  • Be as expressive as possible and avoid too much of self-editing while drafting the professional biography in the initial stages to capture as much information as possible
  • Be friendly but not too informal
  • Be as interesting as you could in order to get the attention of many people out there
  • Write it in third person. Talk about your life as if someone else were describing it.

This site offers you a professional biography template that could aid in making the generation of professional biographies an easy and less time consuming task. You can also check out sample bios to figure out how to go about the whole process of coming up with a professional biography.

Personal Biography Template

A personal biography is a short account of who you are, your credentials and your notable accomplishments in life. Personal bios ought to be short, precise and relevant to your target audience. The use of personal statistics such as hobbies or family should be avoided. A personal biography template will help one to easily and conveniently come up with personal bios.

The key elements in a personal biography are;

  • Give an introduction of yourself. Remember to write it in third person and include the year that your professional career started to be relevant. You could give a list of any relevant specializations in your field.
  • State your educational facts and credentials. Mention the degrees that you have pursued and the respective institutions. Add any relevant experiences you have that are required for your career and mention the name of the society that you are legally a member of.
  • Proceed to outline any notable achievements or awards you have earned in your practice. Remember that the information ought to be relevant to the audience being addressed. If you happen to be an author you could mention the magazines or any publishing house that has recognized your works.
  • Your conclusion should mention any upcoming projects or works in progress that people should lookout for in the near future. Don’t forget to mention your current place of residence.

As you age, it is good to keep on updating your biography to reflect who you are at present time. You can make use of the personal biography template offered by this site to easily and in a more convenient way generate your own biography without missing out on the important details.

We also provide sample biographies to give you a feel of what your end draft should look like. If you have kids and you want to let them in on famous historical figures, this site offers biographies for kids. These will help them know the notable people who help shape the world to what it has become to be.

 

How to Write a Bio

  1. Start by writing a professional bio.
  2. Personalize your bio with values you care about.
  3. Consider adding humor, personal anecdotes, and an extended version.

A short, professional bio is one of those things most people don't think about until, all of a sudden, we've been asked to "shoot one over via email" and have approximately one afternoon to come up with it.

That's when we scramble.

And when we scramble, our bio ends up reading like this:

Rodney Erickson is a content marketing professional at HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Rodney worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. He graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing."

... Woof, that was dull. Are you still with me? I swear, not even adding a tidbit about his cats would liven that bio up.

To be fair, in certain contexts, your professional bio does need to be more formal, like Mr. Erickson's up there. But in many cases, writing a bio that's readable -- even conversational -- is actually a really good thing. That means dropping that traditional format of listing your accomplishments like a robot and cramming as much professional-sounding jargon in there as you can.

Remember: The people reading your bio are suffering from information fatigue. If you don't hook 'em in the first line, you'll lose them quickly.

Alright, I know what you may be thinking ... So what? It's just a bio.

(P.S. Want to give your professional brand a boost? Take one of HubSpot Academy's free certification courses. In just one weekend, you can add a line to your resume and bio that's coveted by over 60,000 marketers.)

Why Does Your Professional Bio Matter?

I mean, how many people actually read those things, anyway?

The answer: A lot of people. More importantly, though, there's no way to tell exactly who is reading it -- and you always want it to be ready for when the right people to come across it. And when they do, you want it to catch their eye. In a good way.

You see, while your resume is only useful for when you're actively applying for specific positions, your professional bio is much more visible. It can live on your LinkedIn profile, your company's website, your guest blog posts, your speaker profiles, your Twitter bio, and many other places.

And, most importantly, it's the tool that you can leverage most when you're networking.

Bottom line? People will read your professional bio. Whether they remember it, and whether it makes them actually care about you, is a matter of how well you present yourself to your intended audience.

So, what does a top-notch professional bio look like?

Let's take a look at some great examples. We've curated some of the best real professional bio examples we've ever seen online. Check 'em out, and use them as inspiration when crafting your own.

6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We've Ever Seen

1) Phil Gutowski

Phil is a real estate broker for the East Boston neighborhood, and he's mastered the art of adding a warm personality to the professional bio on his website.

First, check out the header of his bio: "Promoting positive community and economic growth in our neighborhood."

The header isn't all about him, nor is it a hard sell about his business. Instead, he's chosen to start with a value proposition. Why? Because Phil knows that his value proposition is the core of his competitive advantage. In header text that stands out on the page, he clearly articulates why someone would want to hire him instead of a competitor: This guy doesn't just sell houses to make money; he promotes community and economic growth in the area.

The rest of his bio includes personal touches that make him more human. He does talk about his business history and accomplishments, but he does so while including personal details that invite readers to relate to him as a person.

For instance, he talks about where he's from (a relevant detail for a real estate broker), his love of the water, why he started his business, and how he's committed to the local community. His bio indicates he's friendly and probably a pleasure to work with, which is important for a real estate broker someone would be working with one-on-one.

2) Ann Handley

If you're a marketer, you've likely heard of Ann Handley. Her list of credentials is lengthy, and if she really wanted to, she could go on and on and on about her accomplishments.

But when people list out all their accomplishments in their bios, they risk sounding a little egotistical. Sure, you might impress a handful of people with all those laurels, but many people who read your bio will end up feeling either intimidated or annoyed. Think about it: Is that how you want the majority of your readers to feel when they read your bio?

To minimize the egoism that comes with talking about yourself, think about how you can list out your accomplishments without sounding like you're bragging. Ann does this really well, choosing a tone in her bio that's more approachable.

It starts with the excerpt in the footer of her personal website. Give it a quick read, paying close attention to the opening and closing lines:

"This is Ann Handley's website, and this is a bit of copy about her ... That's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So read more here." This is the kind of simple, friendly language that invites the reader in rather than shutting them out.

Follow the link and you'll be led to a page dedicated to a fuller bio, which she's divided into two parts: a "short version" (literally a bulleted list of key facts) and a "long version," which includes traditional paragraphs. There's something in there for everyone.

3) Mark Gallion

As a venture capitalist and an executive at several start-ups, Mark Gallion has different versions of his bio all over the internet. You can imagine some are more formal than others. But when it comes to his Twitter bio, he carefully phrased his information in a way that helps him connect with his audience -- specifically, through the use of humor.

Why would he choose humor when he runs four start-ups and constantly seeks funding for them? Well, Mark's tactic is totally intentional: it's a lever he pulls to refresh his brand while maintaining his already impressive and established identity as an entrepreneur.

Mark leverages his Twitter bio because it’s place where he can be human. And it helps him relate to his followers and potential investors.

When crafting your own Twitter bio, consider your audience and the personal brand you're trying to create for yourself. Use it as an opportunity to be relatable. (And check out this list of amusing Twitter bios for inspiration.)

4) Lena Axelsson

When it all comes down to it, your professional bio is no different than any other piece of persuasive copy -- no matter where it lives. One of the most common mistakes people make is thinking of it as its own beast, separate from other pieces of writing. If you think about it that way, you're far more likely to write something painfully uninteresting.

When you sit down to write your professional bio and you're watching that cursor blinking on the screen, think about how you would introduce a blog post. You don't just dive right into the meat of the thing, now, do you? No. You start with an introduction.

The best bios are often concise (around 200–300 words), so you don't have a lot of room to play around. But a single sentence that tees your reader up and provides context for the accomplishments that follow could make the rest of your bio that much more persuasive.

Take Lena Axelsson's bio, for instance. She's a marriage and family therapist -- a job where empathy and compassion are a big part of the job description. That's why she chooses to open her bio with a great introductory sentence: "When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel."

Then, she goes into why she's passionate about her job, how she helps her clients, and how she caters her approach to each individual patient. The necessary educational information is left for the end, after the reader has been hooked.

Your bio doesn't have to be super serious, nor does it have to start with a joke. This bio shows how you can capture your reader's attention by being empathetic or telling a brief story.

5) Mark Levy

Mark Levy is a small business owner who's taken a more traditional approach to the professional bio on his website -- but in a way that takes care to speak to his intended audience.

What we love about his bio is the way he's set it up: On his business' "About" page, he's listed two biographies, which he's labeled "Mark Levy's Biography #1" and "Mark Levy's Biography #2."

Click here to see the full version.

Like Ann, Mark's given his readers two different options. The first biography is a "short version," which includes a combination of bullet points listing his credentials and a few short paragraphs.

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