Tag Archives: Learning Journeys

Write A Great Online Bio – The Wiki Course

February 7, 2012

3 Comments

Wiki’s allow for asynchronous collaboration and communication between groups of people. The excerpt below was adapted from various open content sources for YMCA staff and volunteers participating in the Wiki Course.  Participants are required to write an online bio before completing their wiki learning journey. John Zeus is the author of the Wiki Course for YMCA’s Enterprise Wikis.  

Focus

A bio is a story version of the information you would  include in a résumé. The format is less formal, and it gives you an opportunity to highlight some interesting facts about yourself while injecting a little of your personality.

The main goals of a bio are to give the reader an accurate sense of who you are and what you do in your organization and role, to establish expertise and to qualify your experience and background. All of these elements combine to develop trust in you and your offerings.

Even if your current résumé is in the wiki, there are many other situations when you will need a bio, including:

  • Posted on your personal or department website and blog
  • Included in your marketing materials
  • Provided with proposals to colleagues and clients
  • Submitted for speaking, presenting or coaching applications
  • Included in any books, e-books, reports or professional documents you develop

What to Include

One of the great things about a bio is the flexibility.

You can include as much or as little information as you want. Typically, most online bios include:

  • Current job, department or professional experience
  • Publications or presentations you have completed
  • Professional memberships you currently hold
  • Awards, honors and certifications you have received
  • You can personalize your bio even more by including elements such as a photo of yourself, your educational background, quotes or testimonials from colleagues and links to examples of your work.

Bio Checklist

What to include in your Bio

  • Your main role
  • Your present position and time working on the program
  • The number of years you have been working with youth populations
  • The diversified background and initiatives you have worked with prior to FPSYIP, SAM 2.0, Alternative Suspension, DYIP
  • Your contact information
  • Points of interest (optional)

Tips

There are many formats you can use to write a great bio, but there are some universal elements you can use to make it more effective. Typically, your bio should be written in the third person, using “he/she” instead of “I.” Presenting your bio as if someone else wrote it for you provides a distinction from you and the writer (even if it is understood that it is the same person). The third person also enhances the professionalism and makes people more willing to trust what is being said.

Make your opening attention-grabbing to draw the reader in and make them want to learn more about you. And using a conversational voice will make it easier for your readers to follow along.

Don’t be afraid to include some personal or unique information about yourself at the end of your bio, and use a tone that reflects you and who you are throughout.

You’ll want to keep your bio short, only including the information that needs to be included. Split it into short paragraphs to make it easier to digest and include supporting information in the form of links, whenever possible.

Once you have a bio you’re comfortable with you’ll want to modify and update it periodically to reflect changes and to keep it current.

Continue reading...
%d bloggers like this: