Let’s face it, reading the average Team page is as dull as watching paint dry. Team bios, particularly in the world of professional services, tend to be a catalogue of qualifications, positions held and mysterious acronyms. Not only are they dull to read, but in many cases the reader simply doesn’t care about what’s in them.
So how to pep up a bio and make it sell?
First things first….
Consider your target reader
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… everything must be written with your target reader firmly in mind. So before you start writing a standard bio, ask yourself whether your reader really cares how many years’ experience the team member has? If not, what do readers care about? A perfect win rate? A reputation for being responsive and pleasant to work with? A client list that includes several celebrities?
Tell the story
Once you’ve identified the points your reader is actually interested in, it’s time to weave them into a story. A story is a whole lot more impactful than a list of facts.
Here are some possible themes…
• Overcoming adversity
The best stories are always about overcoming adversity, and most of us have a challenge in our backstory.
Did Julie’s parents disapprove of her career choice? Did Anita spend years working in finance before finding her calling in family law? Did Bob pay his own way through school and go on to become the most sought-after consultant in Asia Pacific? How have these people’s experiences made them the professionals they are today?
• The defining project
What project or achievement is the team member most proud of? Tell the full story, laughs, tears, warts and all. Focus on the team member’s role in the project’s success. How did their contribution demonstrate their professional attributes? Help your reader to see how they too could benefit from this person’s skills.
• The human professional
If you (or your management team) are reluctant to stray too far from a standard bio, you can simply tell a little more of the human story behind the biodata. Talk about the person behind the qualifications. Inject some emotion. Play with humour where appropriate. Have a look at the example below:
At school, Janine Strauss was voted “most likely to travel the world.” It’s a theme that has shaped both her personal and professional life. Janine has lived in seven different countries in three different continents. Along the way, she’s picked up three languages and a keen cultural awareness.
Janine joined us in 2016 after stints at Capgemini and Accenture. She has climbed the ranks at breakneck speed and today she’s a key player in any project involving complex cross-cultural communications. She’s known not only for her cultural know-how but for her strategic thinking, problem-solving skills and dry sense of humour.
In the five minutes when she wasn’t working, Janine knocked together a book titled “Did you get that?”. It’s a light-hearted but important look at communicating in global business. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and an MBA, both from the University of Washington. She says the psychology degree comes in handy around here. We’re not sure what she means by that.
Everyone has a story. Let your team’s shine bright.