Finding the Perfect Bio
It's about who you are, not where you work
Is it just me or is every social bio about where you work now, where you worked last, rather than about "you" – in some cases "you" are omitted entirely.
Whenever I stumble across someone new on social that seems to be of interest, I go right to their profile. I do this on all networks, though I mainly use Twitter. The first thing I do is look at the name and location, followed up by the few characteristics that one defines for themselves. The bio is meant to be your synopsis, a string of characters defining you. Sure, this can seem like an oversimplification due to being complicated, multifaceted creatures. But if given a short string of characters, how would one define themselves?
Would you say you are...
an artist, a writer, a partner, a parent?
a designer that has worked for Adobe, Apple, Facebook, and previously [whomever else]?
Since when did a bio, social or otherwise, become about your job and not about you?
This really is an opening idea about a larger more theoretical idea – who are you?
This thought came up while watching Anger Management. Jack Nicholson asks Adam Sandler "who are you?'' He proceeds with telling him his job title and professional experience. Eventually, he does get to the right answer but Jack still makes him think he is way off base – this is kind of the whole basis of the movie. Satirical or not, the idea is sound – who are you; not what do you do, where do you work, what is your resume?
People don't take the time to find themselves anymore. People think they are what they do, rather than they are who they are. Most people do this because they think that title or job is all that they are or that they think you won't like them for who they are. On social media, the bio has become another keyword string. If you add [role] at [company], previously at [company], [company] you have a higher chance of being found for that next key role. More money + flashy title = happiness.
Now before anyone reading this feels attacked, don't. I merely point this out because we all seem blind to it. We have come to accept it as the norm. It is a socially acceptable thing to do. Shit, I have done it! Though, I’ve never name-dropped a company.
As someone who has been working for myself as a freelancer and consultant for the last 4 months, I have had time to self-reflect. I have thought of my bio a lot due to wanting to balance being my true self and being enticing to potential employers and clients.
I have distilled it into two versions:
Product • Operations • Storyteller • Minimalist
All other socials
Storyteller • Minimalist
I think these 2-4 words define a lot about me. Sure there is a lot missing, but this is a true and honest summation for most people’s eyes. I am a product and operations manager professionally but I am also a storyteller and minimalist. I have always been a storyteller – since writing poetry, short stories, and drawing as a child. As I have mentioned numerous times – minimalism is not only about less stuff, it's a way of living.
How do you define yourself with the constraints of a string of text? Below are some prompts to get you thinking if you feel so compelled.
is your place.
is about you.
is your chance to tell people who you are.
is your opportunity to be honest.
is not your company's real estate.
is not an SEO string.
If you do want to really talk about your professional history, how about linking to a living resume? I happen to have made a template for Notion that is just that.