If you’re like me, trying to write about yourself is hard, and knowing that it’s for potential employers is even worse. You don’t want to sound cocky or like a snob. This one page on your website will summarize who you are, what you do, and how you’re different in a clear, concise, and confident way.
I haven’t seen anyone enjoy this process – even seasoned copywriters. You might be comfortable writing about yourself, but it’s hard to know where to start or what to leave out. “I was born a poor child back in 19-whatever…” Probably not there, but you get the point.
Think of your About Me page as a way to introduce you. It doesn’t need to be exhaustive, and you don’t have to say anything that makes you uncomfortable. Find a balance between being personal and professional, and try to have some fun.
So to help you get started, here are a few tips to writing an About Me page to help you get hired.
Put some thought into it
As a designer, it’s tempting to dive right into looking at other people’s work for inspiration, but you should start by finding a quiet place to reflect and write about your goals.
- Where do you see yourself in two or three years? (Don’t say doing your boss’ wife, lol)
- How is your work or process unique?
- What kinds of projects interest you? (Maybe start by listing tasks you want to stop doing first)
- What kinds of people/clients do you want to work with?
- What do you want people to do after visiting your website? (Do you want them to hire you or subscribe to your blog)
- If someone were telling a potential client about you, what would you want him or her to say?
Start with the basics
About Me pages don’t have to be cute or clever. All you really need is a simple bio with concrete facts. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, where you live, and what you do. If you have a photo of yourself, it will make you more personable. Or if you’re more comfortable on video, you can share here as well – but you should have about me text with it.
You can also share experience, like what you’re most proud of? Perhaps something that happened on the job – don’t worry about outlining every job you’ve ever had. Summarize your biggest accomplishments, and feel free to link to publications, events, or recent clients.
If you’re a freelancer, consider including a short list of skills or services that you offer.
This isn’t your resume
You’re not rehashing your CV; so don’t be afraid to get personal when talking about yourself. After all, if someone visits this page, they’ve expressed an interest in you as a person.
- List a few things you love doing, reading, listening to, etc.
- Do you have any special talents or strongly held beliefs?
- How did you get into this field?
- What do you love about it?
Don’t forget to add links. Remember that you’re writing for the web. Get readers to go to your online shop, sign up for your newsletter, or look at some of your side projects.
The average reader isn’t that smart (no offense), so you’ll need to tell them what to do next. What do you want people to do after meeting you or reading your bio? Point them into the right direction and make it easy for them to contact you – and if you’re booked up, include a note about your availability or response time.
Tie it all together
You should have lots of elements now. Move them around and see what you can leave out. There’s no sense in cramming too much info into readers. Focus on answering questions you’d expect your dream clients to have.
If you get stuck, you can always look at sites from other people and companies in your field. But instead of simply copying them, look at the language they:
- Did they write in the first or third person? How do they describe themselves?
- Do they use formal titles, casual wording, or a combination of the two?
- How do the words make you feel?
See what you can learn from their choices and the way they talk to readers. Just make sure that it sounds like you. Use simple words you’d say to a friend or neighbour. Remember to be honest. Don’t say you love collaborating if you’d rather work alone.
Keep the about me page short and sweet
Check over your main points and see that the most important information is at the top. Don’t overcomplicate your writing with hefty phrasing when you can say it simply.
Always read your About Me copy out loud. Editing is about listening, so listen to your writing. If you read it aloud in a quiet room, you’ll notice where the words or sentences are jumbled, repetitive, or imprecise. Ask yourself:
- Is it clear?
- Does it sound like you?
- Is every word true?
- Can you cut any adjectives or modifiers?
Keep revising your about me page
One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to write perfectly the first time. You’re writing for the web, not a print publication. If you change your mind, you can add or remove things and polish it as much as you’d like.
Don’t worry if your About Me page is short, missing information, or overly detailed. Go ahead and post it. Finally, ask a few friends or colleagues to read over it and give you feedback. Treat it as a draft. Share it early and update it regularly. You’ll soon see if people write to you with better questions or spend more time on your site.
After a few weeks, come back to it. If your goals have changed or you have a clearer picture of your ideal client, make a few adjustments. Keep revising as you learn more about yourself, the work you care about, and the people you want to work with.
For more tips on how to improve your website, read about how to make your portfolio stand out from the crowd.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.