Thursday, November 14, 2013

You Need A Bio!

by Vince Rogers
Your resume is like a personal Operating Statement. Your Education section states what you’ve invested in your enterprise over time. Your Experience section shows the output that you have produced over time. Hopefully, when you present this statement to a potential prospect, it provides a clear picture of your overall career Net Worth.
It has probably been years since many of you have been asked for a resume. This is primarily because you have achieved a level of expertise and generated a word of mouth reputation that opens most doors. Yet at some point, you will ultimately be asked to produce a resume. This may be the case when pursuing some opportunity that requires verifiable documentation of credentials.
Yet in most cases, you will probably just be asked for a simple resume to document your professional accomplishments. If that is the case, you may make more of an impression by producing a compelling personal Bio instead. If your resume is a simple operating statement, then the Bio is a bottom line statement of the overall intrinsic and extrinsic value of your Personal Brand. A well written Bio differentiates you from the competition and positions you as an authority in your field.
Everybody loves a good story. More importantly, good personal or professional relationships are built upon people connecting with each other. There is probably no better way to get people to like you than to get them to connect with your story. Your resume enables a person to know something about you, but your bio compels them to get to know you.
One of the acknowledged experts on writing a Bio is Storytelling expert Michael Margolis the “Dean” of Story University According to Margolis, there are 3 questions all people want to know about you:
1. Do I share something in common with you?
2. How do we relate to each other?
3. Are you relevant to my success?
He insists that nowadays it's your Bio that people want to read first, not your resume. In order to make you Bio stand out, he claims that it must also answer the following 5 Questions:
1. Who am I?
2. How can I help you?
3. How did I get where I am?
4. Why can you trust me?
5. What do we share in common?
Personally, I have 4 different Bios for: Business; Leadership; Writing and Academics. While you may not need four bios (and I probably don’t either) these are 4 good categories to consider when constructing your Bio. The goal is to turn your list of accomplishments into a compelling narrative. You may do this by answering the following 4 questions
1. Why did you choose the school you attended and your discipline or major?
2. Why did you become a published writer and why do you write about these subjects?
3. Why did you choose to take positions of leadership in your industry or community?
4. Why did you choose your profession and why do you want to continue in the future?
By answering these questions and following the steps outlined previously, you should be able to create a very compelling narrative. Undertaking the exercise of writing your Bio should also provide you with some clarity and perspective about your past, present and future professional goals. Being able to tell your story is an essential component to building your personal brand. Writing your Bio should also enable you to assess how effectively you are presenting your Personal Brand and help direct the course of your future Personal Branding Strategy.

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