4 Best Practices For Writing an Awesome Executive Biography in 2023
- April 12, 2022
- Clean up Your Online Presence
Last Updated on February 23, 2023
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 an executive 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.
In this article, executives and CEOs can learn how to write an executive biography, with examples included.
- 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
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.
Why Writing an Executive Biography is More Important Than Your Resume
In terms of the reputation of a CEO, an 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
Here’s what to include when writing an executive bio:
- 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.
- A strong introduction to hook readers.
- Your unique value proposition.
- 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 (email address and links to social media profiles).
How to Write an Executive Bio 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 executive 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.
Tips for writing an executive bio:
- Keep your executive bio concise
- Showcase your skills
- Add photos and videos
- Show off your personality
- Know your target audience
- Don’t include your objective summary
- Don’t use strictly chronological information
- Avoid using any data or statistics that you cannot explain
Keep your executive bio to include relevant information and the following key elements.
Do: Keep your executive bio 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 on showing 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 set you apart from other leaders. Remember, your bio is your personal marketing material, so take advantage of marketing yourself how you want 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 content types, making 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.
Don’t: Include an objective summary in your bio
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. When writing 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
Including quantitative data in your executive bio 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 when writing 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.
Examples of Well-Written Executive Bios
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 the industry you work in the best. Having examples of good executive bios will ensure you present yourself in the best light possible.
Example 1: CEO Biography Sample
This CEO bio example is for businessman Mark Cuban.
As you can see, the biography starts with an attention-getting headline that draws the reader in for more. It’s then followed by:
- education experience
- the most important information in the first paragraph
- detailed job experiences
Example 2: Executive Bio for a CPA
Here’s what a professional executive bio example might look like for a CPA.
Wrapping Up: How to Write an Awesome Executive Bio
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 and in line with your personal brand.
CEOs should think of your executive bio as your own marketing materials that complement your CV and resume. It may contain some of the same information but portray it in a way that tells the story of you and your leadership qualities. Don’t forget to update your executive LinkedIn profile as well!
We hope this article and the examples included informs and inspire you to create and revamp your own executive summary.
At Reputation911, we provide both personal reputation management, and career reputation management for executives and CEOs across many industries to help in you job search.
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