7 Tips for a Compelling Executive Bio

selecting-candiates-executive-bio-louise-garver.jpgExecutive Bios take branding to another level, linking an executive’s softer skills to their value proposition in a way that isn’t possible to emphasize in a resume. To clarify any confusion around Executive Bios, let’s look at a few points:

Purpose:

  • To reflect who you are and what you have accomplished in your career
  • To reinforce your brand
  • To tell your career story with more personality

It complements your resume:

  • It provides a different perspective
  • It goes beyond the facts stated in a resume
  • It brings to life passions, personal attributes, and strengths

How it’s used:

  • As career marketing collateral or part of an executive portfolio
  • As a networking tool or to provide to executive recruiters
  • As additional information to include or link to a LinkedIn or Google+ profile

Although there are other points, those above are key to help you become more familiar with an Executive Bio, its purpose and when to use one.

Tips for Writing a Compelling Executive Bio

  1. Begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey has said. Envision your target audience reading this document. What do you want them to know about you that would set you apart as the ideal executive to promote within an organization or potential candidate to hire for a senior-level position?
  2. Capture attention in the first 10 seconds. As many of you know, resumes are given a 10-second glance at first reading.  If you don’t grab the reader’s attention in that brief time, they may not read on. An Executive Bio needs to include that same strategy. Begin with a clear branding statement and incorporate elements of what makes you unique.
  3. Show your value proposition by telling your story. Each executive has his/her own strengths and talents. What do you want to be known for? Keep this in mind as you write your story, weaving in your expertise throughout.
  4. Format matters. People don’t have the time nor do they want to read long paragraphs. Tight succinct content makes an easy read and gets your information into the mind of the reader quickly. Create an eye-pleasing document that invites the reader into your story.
  5. Paint a picture with your words. An Executive Bio gives you the liberty of presenting your information more informally than a resume. You can let your personality shine throughout the document. This helps prospective employers envision you incorporating your success techniques and positive impact on the job.
  6. Validate your successes. Include supporting data to prove your accomplishments. Use numbers, dollars, and percentages when possible so the reader can justify current results against previous results. If you also have an online version of your Executive Bio you can include links to supporting materials.
  7. Don’t forget to include personal information. Since Executive Bios are more personable, add a bit of information that reinforces your best qualities. Mix in impressive life experiences if applicable.

An Executive Bio can play an important role in your executive job search toolkit or career promotion goals. Create a clear well-written narrative of your executive accomplishments and leadership attributes that will open doors for you.



Louise Garver

Louise Garver

Louise Garver, part of ExecuNet's team of Coaches and Career Strategists, is a career industry expert for executives, has a successful 30-year history as an Executive Coach, Resume Writer, Branding and Job Search Strategist, with recruitment and corporate management experience along with 13 career-related certifications, a master's degree and post-graduate certification in career counseling. Executives work with her to capture their brand message and clearly, consistently and effectively communicate it in their career documents and communications. Louise is co-author of Win Interviews! The New Must-Have Game Plan and her work is featured in over 20 career publications.

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