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Writing Your Blurb or Bio: The Essential Points

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 9/03/2016 O'Brien Browne

Your blurb or bio is a short, concise, effective introduction and description of yourself. It can be used and inserted in myriad ways: for your company profile, as an introduction at meetings or presentations, on social media sites such as LinkedIn, for your articles, blogs or books, and whenever and wherever you need a pithy, interesting and informative description of yourself. The essential characteristics of effective and memorable blurbs are:
The Opening: this should be creative and interesting and should never begin with dull platitudes such as, "Hi. My name is..." as people will stop listening to you or stop reading further, especially because they almost always have been informed of your name beforehand.
Relevant Details and Professional Achievements: your blurb should include your special and unique skills, talents, know-how, wisdom and experience. Perhaps you have a talent for languages, or are a wonderful pro-active listener; maybe you are a great singer or have superior organizational skills: let your audience know what you do best and what you have to offer. If you don't tell them, they'll never know. Also, mention a recent successful project or initiative in which you have been involved. The greatest thing about success is that it can be shared.
Your Title and What You Do: don't be shy about letting people know your exact title, and your field of expertise as well as current, sexy and successful projects in which you are involved. And remember: your company's success is also your success.
Don't be Modest: it is important to realize that telling others about your skills and talents does not mean that you are boastful or arrogant. You are merely supplying relevant and useful information about yourself so that others understand how you can best be of assistance to them and their needs and issues.
Don't Be Dull: Do not list your résumé/CV, as this is boring and will turn people off. If they want your CV, they'll ask for it. Few things are more repellent than the dreary details of your past - unless it contains unusual and remarkable highlights.
Be Authentic: your blurb must be utterly authentic. A blurb should never be misconstrued as a glib marketing sales pitch; it should never make outlandish and unsubstantiated claims about yourself and your accomplishments. It must be truthful; if it contains exaggerations or lies, you will quickly be found out to the grave detriment of your reputation, trustworthiness and credibility.
Offering: great blurbs offer help and support to the reader/listener. Although the blub is a description of you and your experience and know-how, it is in reality about them - your audience, not you - as it answers these questions in their conscious or unconscious minds: "Why should I read this blurb? Why should I work with this person? What can s/he do for me?" Your blurb should effectively answer these quite valid questions.
Your Name: unimaginative and tedious blurbs usually commence with the person's name - even when it is already included in the burb header. As surprising as it may seem, that fact that you have a name does not automatically make you special: everybody on Earth possesses one. People remember more what you can do for them than that your name is "Bob," "Pavel" or "Fatima." Thus, put your name in the middle or at the end of the blurb, where it will be easier to recall and will not distract from your skills and accomplishments.
Your Age: this is utterly irrelevant and should never be mentioned. Some assume that mentioning their age adds to their gravitas, mistakenly believing that age = wisdom. But there are as many old fools out there as they are young geniuses. Additionally, your gender is quite irrelevant.
A Memory Hook and Using Humor: the best blurbs contain a "memory hook" about the person which highlights them and their talents and makes them unforgettable. A memory hook is something personal which makes you human, approachable and likable. It may be that you love to hike in the mountains, or that your hobby is fencing with authentic medieval weapons - anything that is intriguing, non-controversial and delightful. Thus, if your passion is cock fighting to the death, it is perhaps best that you keep this to yourself. Whenever possible use warmth and humor in your blurb. If, however, you are genetically unfunny, do not attempt to be funny: few things are more appalling then an unfunny person attempting to be humorous.
Your Mission and Meaningful Phrases: As you write your blurb, insert sincere and authentic phrases about what drives you: "My passion is...;" "Firmly believing that...;" "My specialization is...;" "My purpose is...;" "My expertise is...;" "I am driven by...," "I am a specialist in...;" "My mission is..." etc. These words will resound within the hearts and minds of your audience while emphasizing your level of commitment and expertise.
Short and Concise: In today's hyper-connected world in which we are daily bombarded with electronic, auditory, written and visual signals and images, the average person grants someone presenting their blurb perhaps 10 to 20 seconds to grab their attention. Thus, keep your blurb short and tightly written: it should be no more than a paragraph long; roughly ten lines. In terms of impact, less is more.
Authentic and interesting, both giving and sharing, compact yet rich in important details, your blurb or bio is an excellent opportunity for you to highlight and create interest in your skills, deeds and experience while making you unforgettable to those swept up in our busy, noisy ultra-modern globalized world. Always remember that what you offer others is greater than what you demand in return: this is at the core of great blurbs and bios.

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