Executive Biography WritingA career biography as a job search document is nothing new; employers and recruiters have often reviewed bios as a part of a leadership or executive portfolio.

In fact, don’t be surprised if you’re asked for an executive biography when submitting your resume.

However, you don’t want to resort to the tired, “James has served as the IT Director of XYZ Company for 6 years” type of bio.

Instead, power up your biography with these writing techniques – creating a vibrant, clearly written narrative of your leadership career that demands attention:

1 – Summarize your work history – but consider where to start.

Many leadership biographies are designed to spell out your career chronology by starting with your current role.

This is because when you’re aiming for either a level up, you’ll want to grab the reader with a potent description of your authority and relevant achievements, as in this excerpt from a CFO bio:

“As the CFO for XYZ Company, Jason has taken on all the accounting and financial functions, quickly spearheading capital raising efforts that boosted the firm’s line of revolving credit by $25M in support of 300% projected growth.”

However, there are times it can make sense to write a narrative that starts at the beginning of your career. This is especially true if you’ve risen up in the same company for a number of years, and you want to show how your early work affected your career trajectory:

“Routinely selected for promotions due to his ability to create operations improvements, Ted began his career at ABC Corporation in field sales, where he quickly achieved 140% of quota in the first year.”

2 – Wrap your job search intentions throughout your bio.

Like your resume, your biography should be written to show forward-projecting capabilities, with a message that tells employers what you can do for them in the future.

This opening sentence for a leadership biography (for a candidate targeting an executive role in an investor portfolio company) shows how your career goals can be stated alongside your past accomplishments:

“Frank Wilson, a former GM and VP of Sales for profitable ventures, holds a record of revenue growth and innovation that took companies from the idea stage through expansion, assisting investors to create go-to market strategies and lead successful exits.”

3 – Weave your philosophy and approach into the story.

A bio gives you the chance to inject your personality, work style, and even your legacy into a career search document – allowing employers insight into what motivates you.

An executive biography can also spell out the reasons why your leadership approach has been successful in generating profits, as shown in this excerpt:

“A believer in open and transparent communications among employees, Sarah has created an environment that facilitated a 100% increase in gross income year-over-year, with top-notch staff motivated to outperform competing companies.”

So, take a creative approach when writing your career biography – allowing yourself freedom from the confines of a traditional resume, and injecting some colorful language that shows the reasons for your ROI as a candidate.

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– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC