- Offering a resume may make your networking partner feel pressured, as if though you’re imposing on them to find you a job. Focus on developing relationships and sharing information; you’re not applying for a job. (Read my article, “Networking: Organizations vs. Openings.”)
- You can’t target your resume for a job opening that doesn’t yet exist. Providing a bio leaves the door open for you to submit a carefully customized resume later, when something opens up.
- If you’re a stealth job seeker, you don’t want your resume floating around as evidence that you’re looking for a new job. A bio is a bit more discreet.
- Unlike a resume, a bio can appropriately include a photo, which can help your contact remember you.
What’s in a Bio?
There are no hard-and-fast rules about what information to include in a bio. What information about you will help solidify your brand in the minds of the people you meet? What kind of description would encourage them to keep you in mind as a resource?
A bio can be a bit less formal than a resume. For example, you can quote yourself, or even write the whole thing in first person.
Limit your bio to one page or less. Be concise.
You can include much of the same information that’s in your resume, but make sure the bio is engaging and conveys a sense of who you are as a person. Ask yourself questions like the following, and use your answers to focus and enliven the bio.
- What is my unique selling proposition or brand? What facts about me give evidence of that?
- What’s interesting or impressive about my career path?
- Is there a story of something I’ve done at work that illustrates my talents and skills?
- What am I passionate about, professionally?
- What do I love about my field? about my current employer? about my team?
A good bio reinforces an impression of you as someone who is good to know – a person to keep in touch with.