Saturday, May 21, 2011

Step Aside Resumes. Hello Bios!



A few days ago, I found an article on the99percent.com about bios in social media, and their impact on employers/schools/professionals. They talked about how resumes are pretty much secondary to a bio on LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media avenues. This seriously has had me thinking all week about how true it is; our one paragraph bios have such a huge impact on people.

Think about it: Your Twitter bio is usually the first impression you have on others when they initially meet you online. It’s like your visual appearance when meeting someone in person; it says so much about you that others make dozens of preconceived notions as to what kind of person you are before you even say “hello”. On Twitter (I’m just using Twitter as a main example), you have 160 characters for your bio. That bio is an opportunity to tell your story. To tell what kind of person you were, are and will be.

Michael Margolis, the writer of this eye-opening article on 99 Percent, gives five key questions you should answer to make sure your bio is making the right impression of who you are:

1. Who am I?
2. How can I help you?
3. How did I get here (i.e. know what I know)?
4. Why can you trust me?
5. What do we share in common?

I love this list, mostly because for months I’ve been answering all of these questions in a consistent bio across all of my social media platforms (some were missing it, but were added this week). Though my order isn’t exactly the same as listed above, it still answers those questions. Here’s the most recent version of my bio that I’ve been using for about 3-4 months, and is similar to one I used for nearly an entire year:

“Hey! How's it goin'? I'm Josh. I am a designer, techie, foodie, blogger, hiker, tweeter, hash-tagger, facebooker, former New Yorker and full-time Phoenician.”

I have a warm greeting you can trust, then answer who I am, my profession is listed first (how I can help), followed by details of things we might have in common, and ending with where I came from and where I’m at now (more literal, than professional). And one last thing that I think is extremely important; this bio is exactly the same on EVERY social media account. From my Google Profile to my Twitter profile, every bio says the same thing. Why? People will know that this is the one & only Joshua Reach. This is who I am. This is jdotreach. Long live the bio!

(Source: ‘The Resume is Dead, The Bio is King’ - by Michael Margolis via the99percent.com)

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