A persuasive bio has to ”connect the dots” between your employment history and the reason you’ve chosen to do what you do, Diane Wingerter, the Career Strategist™, explains in her book, Hunting2Hired. Most professional bios don’t do anything of the sort, she points out, instead offering a long bullet-pointed list of employers followed by a “loves-tennis-and-walking-her-dog” shallow glimpse of the person behind the bio. Answer the question, Diane advises, “If you were no longer in this career, what would you miss about it?”
At Say it For You, there’s a similar question we ask business or practice owners whom we are helping start a blog: “If you had only ten words to explain why you have chosen to do what you do, what would those ten words be?” When you blog, you verbalize the positive aspects of your business in a way that people can understand. But, just as when you’re creating a bio, you’re explaining “who you are” and what kind of mark you’re trying to make in your industry or profession.
Prospective employers are “buyers”, Diane wants job candidates to understand, and connecting the dots for employers means using the narrative of your bio to connect your experience with the value you have to bring to the new company. A Persuasive Bio is based on the understanding that people are driven by desire first, and only later by knowledge. Similarly, blog content writers must never forget that buyers care about benefits, not features. Each “claim” a content writer puts into a corporate blog needs to be followed with a “which means that…” narrative.
The Career Strategist™ offers another tip to job seekers that is something blog content writers need to keep in mind: Don’t use tentative language, she advises, such as “could”, “might”, or “perhaps”. (If you’re not sure, why would you expect a prospective employer – or prospective customer – to be?) For us as content writers, one big goal of the writing we do for our business owner and professional practitioner clients is positioning them as experts in the eyes of their clients and of online searchers. As Renee Quinn advises in IPwatchdog.com, “Be confident in your knowledge”.
Whether composing a bio or blogging for business, it’s important to connect the dots. For each point you make, imagine the employer – or the blog visitor – asking “So what? What’s in it for me?”