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.
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;
- Select the individual you want to write about
- Search for the basic facts that relate to a person’s life. The encyclopedia or almanac could be handy at this.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Everyone desires and deserves to look good in his or her professional space. Whether it’s on LinkedIn or attending a business event, you ensure to look good in front of others. And why not? You are constantly being judged on the basis of how you present yourselves to the world. Hence, you take grooming seriously. But, many of you constantly overlook an area that deserves much more attention. It’s how you look on paper. Precisely speaking, it is your professional bio. And if you think that how many people go through such things (if you have one)? I’ll say that there are lots of people scanning it. And even if you are not taking it seriously, they are (I assure you that).
Professional bios are much more visible than your resumes. You can use it on LinkedIn, Twitter, on your blog or website, as an author bio and any place where you need to present yourself. In a nutshell, professional bio is your juju to empower your professional network.
Well, you can find out how to create a five-star professional bio by clicking here. But before that, you should see some examples of first-rate professional bios. They are less in number but certainly inspiring. Continue to read.
1. Mark Levy
Mark Levy (he founded Levy Innovations) has different bios (they differ in length) for different purposes. Here is a shorter version of his professional bio. Have a look at it:-
“Mark Levy is the founder of Levy Innovation, a marketing strategy firm. David Meerman Scott has called him “a positioning guru extraordinaire,” and Debbie Weil referred to him as “a horse whisperer for writers and business thinkers.” He has written for The New York Times, and has written or co-created five books. His latest is a revised, expanded, and re-subtitled edition of his bestseller, Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content. Mark also creates magic tricks and shows. His work has been performed Off-Broadway, in Las Vegas, and on all the major television networks. Visit him and read his blog at levyinnovation.com.”
2. Ann Hardley
Another wizard from the marketing world, Ann Hardley, has her awesome manner of telling things about herself without bragging too much. She has got the credentials to build a lengthy list but as she keeps it short and smart to keep the audience interested in her. Have a look at her bio on her website:-
“Ann Handley is a veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Ann is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content (September 2014, Wiley) and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (2011, Wiley). She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs; a LinkedIn Influencer; a keynote speaker, mom, and writer.”
You can also see the shorter and longer version of her bios at the same place.
3. Lena Alexson
A professional bio is not at all different from a persuasive article and Lena Alexson proves it through a very engaging professional bio. A Family and Marriage Therapist by profession, Lena uses first person narrative in the entire bio and describes beautifully about herself.
The text is written below:-
“When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My great passion is bringing healing to people who have been through a traumatic/stressful experience. I help my clients, who include children, adults and families, to find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their relationships so they can know themselves as peaceful, complete, whole and safe.
I know that no single approach is the right one for every individual, and so I have been trained in a range of modalities including Relational Gestalt Therapy, Gestalt Play Therapy, Somatic Experiencing and NARM somatic approaches to the treatment of trauma
My educational background includes a MA in Counseling Psychology and a Doctor in Clinical Psychology from Ryokan College in Los Angeles. I have a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Stockholm, Sweden a graduate certificate in Gestalt Psychotherapy from the University of Derby in the U.K.
Call or Email Lena Axelsson for a free phone consultation now – (831) 216-6727.”
You can find another version of her professional bio (third person narrative) on her official website.
4. Laura Zigman
Laura has a good sense of humour and that reflects in her professional bio. She takes the help of third person narrative to describe her journey as a blogger and a novelist. Here is how she does it:-
“Laura Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts (where she felt she never quite fit in), and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (where she didn’t fit in either) and the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course (where she finally started to feel like she fit in).
She spent ten years working (slaving away) in New York in book publishing where she was a (much-abused under-appreciated) publicist for Times Books, Vintage Books, Turtle Bay Books, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Alfred A. Knopf.
After moving to Washington, D.C. (because she was burnt out and didn’t know where else to go) and working briefly as a project manager for The Smithsonian Associates (she had a cubicle) and a consultant for Share Our Strength, an anti-poverty non-profit group (she didn’t even have a cubicle), she (finally) finished her first novel (that she’d been writing in her “spare time” for the last five years).
(The thinly-disguised autobiographical novel) Animal Husbandry was published in 1998 by The Dial Press and became a national bestseller. It was published in fourteen countries (or more, she’s not sure — see here) and in 2001 the film based on the book, Someone Like You, (they changed the title at the last minute because they were afraid people wouldn’t “get” the meaning of the original title — not that she’s complaining or anything) starring Ashley Judd and (excuse her while she drools) Hugh Jackman, was released by Fox 2000. Her second (thinly-disguised autobiographical) novel, Dating Big Bird, also published by The Dial Press, came out in 2000, and her third (thinly disguised autobiographical) novel, Her, published by Knopf (where she once worked — an exquisite irony), followed in 2002. Her latest (thinly-disguised autobiographical) novel, Piece of Work, to be published by Warner Books on September 25, 2006 (finally, after four long years in between books — maybe her parents will now leave her alone), is based on her (horrific but entertaining) experiences as a publicist and has been optioned by Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone Pictures, with My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Nia Vardalos (luff her) set to write the screenplay and star in the movie (please God let that happen).
She currently lives outside Boston (in the same town she grew up in — how weird is that? — and where she now feels like fits in) with her husband and young son.”
You can find other versions of Laura’s bio in Huffington Post and Twitter.
5. Jacob Cass
Jacob Cass has a got an impressive professional bio. The graphic designer has also got great credentials like Anna and has listed them with creativity. Not too much of talking. Help yourself with his bio.
“Hello, my name is Jacob Cass and I am the founder of JUST Creative which is my design studio and graphic design blog.
I specialize in logo design, branding, web design and offer design services to businesses of all sizes around the world, ultimately improving their bottom line by crafting creative solutions to their business problems. Shoot me a quick email to see how I can help you!
Past clients have included the likes of Disney, Nintendo, Jerry Seinfeld and hundreds more. Feel free to read some lovely testimonials from them.
I hold a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Graphic Design Major) from The University of Newcastle, Sydney, Australia with a Dean’s Recommendation of Honours, and have over 15 years of experience in the field with multiple awards under my belt, including the ‘Best of Brand Design‘ awarded by LinkedIn.
I’m a digital nomad and I travel the world while freelancing & blogging (currently up to 80+ countries). You can see my current location on my travel blog, JUST Globetrotting. Rest assured, my clients are always my first priority.
Please do check out my graphic design portfolio and get in touch especially if you’re in need of a distinctive brand identity.”
Lastly, I like to be surprised and surprise others.
So, here’s a section to show you how cool an About Us page of a company can be (I couldn’t resist to show it to you as I am in love with it).
To get more of it, click on the source.
Hence, these are some great bios I would like to share with you. Hope it will helps to carve your first-rate professional bio in mind and paper. If you want to learn how to create them, refer to the link provided in the introduction.
A last piece of advice: First person narrative or third person narrative, it doesn’t matter as long as your content is interesting. Consider your professional bio as as any other write up and make sure that it’s interesting. Also, do not brag too much about yourselves and annoy your audience. Rest of the things will follow.
Thank you for reading!
Who is Kavita
Kavita is Marketing Analyst at LoginRadius- leading customer identity management platform. Die hard lover of chocolates, novels and adventures, her aim is to write a novel based on her own life. Connect with Kavita on Twitter and Linkedin!