What to Include in a Biography About Yourself

What to Include in a Biography About Yourself

Biography is an account that makes up someone’s life. Put differently; it is simply a person’s life. Unlike writing essays and term papers, which entail consulting reference materials, drafting your history poses ‘what and how’ questions. What do I write about my life? How do I write about myself? Thus, understanding what to include in a biography about yourself is the first step towards finding answers to the two pertinent questions.

The beauty about describing yourself on paper is that you are the reference point. Depending on what you want to reveal, an autobiography should be the easiest assignment on earth. However, you realize that it is not that rosy when such homework lands on your to do list.

In this guide to effective bio writing, you will find elements of a good bio, mistakes to avoid and sample autobiographies to help you better your writing skills. Let us go …

Getting Started: What to Include in a Biography about Yourself

There is every reason to enjoy writing about yourself. According to the Wall Street Journal, penning stuff about yourself will make you happy. Are you having a bad day? Consider writing your bio and it could turn around your day into smiles.

While we spend too much time in a day bragging ourselves, writing a professional bio of yourself can be challenging. Why?

The problem lies in the content and structure. What to include in a biography about yourself plays a major role in determining your introduction, body and conclusion in a coherent manner. It also determines the length of your biography. For example, one-paragraph bio will have general information as compared to several pages about yourself.

Basic elements to include in your short biography are:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Major achievements
  • Educational background
  • Work history
  • Closing statement

Notably, the content of your biography will get complex as it gets lengthy. For example, for longer write-ups about yourself, you need elaborated facts to consider for inclusion. Detailed biographies demand that you dig deep into your life history and bring out elements that define yourself.

With these introductory remarks, let us examine a practical example and see how to integrate some of these elements.

Sample #1 Personal Biography

“My name is Jean Johnson. I was born in 1980, in California, USA, in a family of six. As the eldest child, my life was characterized by helping my parents and keeping an eye on my siblings.

I never had enough time to concentrate on my studies. This resulted into poor performance. Nevertheless, I managed to graduate from school in time before our dad passed on.

The untimely demise of dad was a turning point in my life; I assumed his role in supporting my family. This really shaped my character in becoming the person I am today.”

This excerpt adapted from bioexamples.net shows what to include in a biography about yourself as we listed in the previous section. The writer gives her full name, date and place of birth, family status, and education background. She helps the reader know where she is coming from. It is a good approach for you to consider.

Things to always remember and include in your biography

Just like in any written work, your biography has an audience. As you write, imagine yourself reading that bio. If it does not appeal to you, no one will want to look at it either. Present a good image of yourself that readers will not only want to reread but also emulate your writing style.

Apart from class assignments, you may need a personal bio for your blog, or social sites, including FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn among others. Importantly, you may need your bio for publication. Always see beyond today; you may be the next big thing in the world in the next few years.

To nail that bio, know the following:

Know your audience. Though you are the subject matter, it is important to have in mind the readers of your biography. Think about that person likely to read your bio and write for him or her.

Always customize your bio depending on the audience. For example, a personal bio you write for a company website will be different from what you write for freshmen joining your former college. It becomes a lot easier to decide what to include in a biography about yourself when you have your audience well defined.

Know Yourself: Determining what to include in a biography about yourself

Did you know that you know better about yourself than no one else? Regardless of how much you confide in others and tell the world about yourself, you never say it all. Remember that your bio is not a compilation of achievements; that is a CV.

The reader wants to know the person behind the accolades. Who are you when your job is gone? If you are a comedian, what makes you good at your career?

Knowing yourself, is knowing your voice. Write confidently about the things you know about yourself. Write your bio exactly the way you talk.

Sample #2: Personal Biography

ABC always wanted to be a police officer… He worked as a detective with the Gang enforcement department. Of all the tasks, he undertook as a police officer, being a patrol sergeant was his best…

…He retired earlier than expected from the police force owing to a series of injuries he picked in the line of duty. … Though he misses his time in the forces, he tries keeping himself busy.

… He currently runs a private investigation firm, and pursuing a Master’s degree in psychology. His ultimate goal is offering psycho-social support to members of the disciplined forces…

In this extract of a personal biography, the writer understands himself. He tells the reader about his experience in the police force, memorable moments at work and why he quit. In addition, he captures his status and where he wants to be in future. You can read the entire bio here to learn more on what to include in a biography about yourself.

Why you should know your limits when writing a biography about yourself

Just like a good resume fits on a single page, aim at restricting yourself to a certain length. Respect the limit of your bio and work towards just having 50% of the maximum. Avoid personal biographies that go beyond 500 words.

This principle is vital because your bio will always be among others. To stand out, it has to be brief but appealing and compact. This will make readers interested in knowing something about you.

Write your bio with clarity

As you tell people about yourself, remember that not everyone speaks your language. If you have visited Toronto, some people have gone to Brussels while others have not completely traveled beyond the US borders.

Use plain English in your language without professional jargon that adds no value to your bio. Describe yourself with the simplest words.

More on what to include in a biography about yourself

As we have discussed above, your audience largely determines the content of your biography. Below are additional elements to give a thought to make your bio standout.

Include your contact information in your bio. Besides knowing what to include in a biography about yourself, a good bio writer allows readers to talk back. The joy of writing about yourself should be hearing other people’s opinions about yourself.

Your contact information ensures that you get feedback. This information should come towards the end of your bio. However, for online publication, be cautious about sharing personal details with the whole world. In case you have enough space, include your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile page.

Proofread and revise. Publish or present a flawless biography of yourself. By rereading your bio, you are likely to notice mistakes, irrelevant information or poor order of ideas. Do not present yourself to the world as a careless person who does not care about fine details.

Have your friend go through your bio and seek their opinion to help you improve your personal story.

The following sample will also help you establish what to include in a biography about yourself when you start working on your assignment.

Sample #3 Biography

“Dan Keller is a weekly correspondent for the City Times. In 2011, he won the prestigious award for the most promising writer. When he is not scribbling stories, he is having fun with his guitar and exercising. You can reach him on Twitter: @abcd”

This bio from wikihow.com is written in the third person. It also shows you where to place contact information.

With this handout, get that worksheet and start drafting your bio. Do not forget to visit your social sites and refine how you describe yourself too and stay on top of the world.


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