Thursday, July 12, 2012

It Starts With a Good Sentence

By Kimberly Johnson

To borrow a phrase…it starts with a good sentence. That’s what I’m searching for this week. With a keyboard under my fingers, I am pecking out the right words to flush out my professional biography. With the 2012 Conference around the corner, I want a polished biography in hand before I travel to Myrtle Beach in October.
I know there are professional writers out there (I ran into several websites), but I want to put in the sweat equity.
Right now, I am stuck and the can of lemon-flavored Pledge is empty. Yeah, I got a top-notch resume, but I want something to grab the attention of agents such as Regina Brooks, Bernadette Baker-Baughman and Stephen Barr.
The goal of a personal bio is to get noticed in a good way, but my dilemma is how to write one without …um, you know, bragging.
I got some questions. I need some answers. I jumped on the Internet to find them.
Question 1: Who is my target audience? That’s easy: Regina, Bernadette and Stephen.
Question 2: How long is a personal bio? For online posting, it can be longer that one paragraph. For print work, one to two paragraphs is fine. I should write in third person, first person is too informal.
Question 3: What are the particulars to include in the bio? I need to let Regina and other agents know about my hometown, work experiences, awards/achievements and highlight my social media platform (blogs, websites, Twitter handle, Facebook page, Pinterest etc.).
Question 4: How can I grab an agent’s attention? Bernadette reads zillions of bios in a month—how can my bio catch her eye? This is the part where I should grab her with unique tidbits: I love cartoons, just saw Madagascar 3. I collect teapots. And, I don’t eat grits. I can make an impression on her with my paralegal experiences and newspaper reporter background.
Question 5: Where can I get some tips? I found seven tips to build a better bio from the University of Massachusetts career services blog. The blog suggests including a mission statement or a vision statement in my bio. It seems like a good approach to introduce the reader to my raison d’etre of writing. (
Well, I have a lot more questions and not enough space to list them. So, I’m going to grab my resume, my unique tidbits and begin my draft.

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