4 Best Practices For Writing an Awesome Executive Biography

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Executive Bio Header

Focal Points:

  • What is an Executive Bio?
  • Why Your Executive Biography is More Important Than Your Resume
  • Best Practices For Writing an Executive Profile
  • Executive Bio Samples

As a business leader, it can be easy to let your professional branding fall to the wayside. You’re busy running a company, leading a new corporate division, or meeting with stakeholders regularly. 

With what little spare time you have left at the end of the day, you probably don’t want to spend it positioning yourself how you’d like to be seen professionally. We’re here to tell you that you should take a moment to brand yourself, and particularly the importance of your executive biography for your career.

If you know that it’s important to have a corporate bio but are unsure of how to write it, keep reading to find out how to write a corporate biography, with a few examples included.

What is an Executive Bio?

An executive bio or professional bio is a one-page document outlining your achievements, skills, core competencies, and results as a leadership professional. Essentially, it’s a sales document for you to pitch yourself to companies!

Be careful, though, because your executive profile is not the same thing as your resume. Writing your executive bio with the mindset of writing a resume is an easy trap to fall into. Your resume is a chronological document stating your work experience and relevant skills for a certain position, whereas your executive bio looks one layer further out.

how to write an executive bio

Why Your Executive Biography is More Important Than Your Resume

Your executive bio sets the tone for any prospective business partner or company’s first impression of you. The executive profile serves as an example of what someone might expect if they were to bring you onto their team.

Essential Parts of an Executive Biography:

  • Written in third person (no “I” or “you”).
  • Engaging content, think: photos, videos.
  • Structure—the most important information should be at the top as you work your way down.
  • Detailed job descriptions.
  • Skills, core values, and priorities/results with data to back it.
  • Awards and achievements.
  • News mentions/publications.
  • Education experience.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Passion projects.
  • Contact information.

Best Practices

If you’re still unsure about how to write a corporate biography, don’t worry. We’ve listed some best practices below that you can use as guidelines while writing your bio.

Don’t stress too much about your first draft. Once you get all your ideas down on paper, it will be much easier to refine and format how you want it to look and feel.

Do: Keep it concise

If you’re a CEO, a short bio with hyper-relevant details will set you apart from the rest of C-suite-level executives. Why? Because you’re painting a picture that shows your most relatable skills and achievements to the project at hand.

Especially for CEOs, short bios are best. Aim to make your biography one page, maximum. You don’t want to make the mistake of copying your resume, so try and focus your bio to show only the most relevant, concise, and poignant information.

Do: Showcase your skills and achievements first

The main difference between your professional bio and your resume is that in your resume, you likely list your employment history and responsibilities in chronological order. With your professional biography, you want to instead focus on your skills and achievements throughout the document.

This will highlight the unique leadership qualities that will set you apart from other leaders. Remember, your bio is your personal marketing material, so take advantage of marketing yourself how you’d like to be seen and remembered.

Do: Add photos and videos if possible

One of the biggest distinctions between your bio and your resume is that your bio can also show some creative flair. If you have multimedia assets, say, your professional headshot, an interview with a publication, or other marketing assets, you should definitely include them in your biography.

Video is one of the most engaging types of content which makes it ideal for your biography. Keep in mind the length of your videos, though, and aim for them to be less than five minutes long if possible.

Do: Show off your personality

Your bio is your chance to showcase your business philosophy, leadership style, and your vision for the future. If you have an unorthodox policy that you believe boosts workspace morale or productivity, share it in your biography and explain your rationale.

Bad Practices

Don’t: Including an objective summary

Remember that your executive bio isn’t your resume, and generally speaking some people choose to include a unique objective summary on their resumes that is tailored to each job they apply for.

Because you’re using your executive bio as your own professional marketing material, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to include an objective summary, since the document is already about you. It’s best to avoid objective summaries when possible.

Don’t: Use strictly chronological information

Your CV and resume may include information in a strictly chronological pattern based on your work history, which is to be expected. With your professional bio, however, you don’t necessarily need to follow that same structure.

Instead, start with your contact information and highlight achievements or accolades that you’d like everyone to know about.

Don’t: Use any data or statistics that you cannot explain

Quantitative data is great for showing off your results…except for when you can’t explain how you got it. Be strategic with how you use data and statistics in your biography, because someone reading it may ask you to explain yourself.

Don’t: Include vague or irrelevant information

You’re limited to one page of space for your bio, so don’t waste it with irrelevant information! Depending on how far into your career you are, it may be difficult to discern what information is pertinent and what information can be left off. 

It may be a good idea to consult a C-suite or leadership level HR professional to help navigate what to include and what not to include in your executive bio.

Executive Bio Examples

You can find plenty of executive bio templates on creative, artisan marketplaces like Etsy.com, or create your own template. It might be a good idea to create or use an executive team bio template if you’re trying to showcase the profiles of an entire leadership team for shareholder purposes.

Once you create or find a few templates that you like, pick one that you believe suits you and your industry the best. Having examples of good executive bios to choose from will ensure you present yourself in the best light possible.

Example 1: CEO Biography Sample

This CEO bio example is for businessman Mark Cuban.

executive bio sample

As you can see, the biography starts with an attention-getting headline that draws the reader in for more. It’s then followed by:

1 – his education experience,

2 – the most important information in the first paragraph, and

3 – detailed job experiences.

Example 2: Executive Bio for a CPA

Here’s what a professional executive bio example might look like for a CPA.

CPA biography

In Closing

Be decisive on what you’d like to be known for and how you’d like to stand out from the crowd of other professionals. Include your passions and how you’ve worked them into your professional career. Try to revisit your bio and make updates as your career progresses, and always keep your contact information up to date.

Think of your executive bio as your own marketing materials that compliment your CV and resume. It may contain some of the same information, but portrayed in a way that tells the story of you and your leadership qualities. 

We hope this article and the examples included informs and inspires you to create and revamp your own executive summary.

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