It's that time of year again -- summer job and internship application time. Though your interview and cover letters are essential in the job-hunting process, your bios on Twitter, LinkedIn and your personal website are important parts of how you're represented on the Internet. You probably have accounts on a bunch of different social media, and you can use them to your advantage!
A great bio displays your personality and professionalism year-round, and it's also a quick and easy way for you to garner interest from potential employers, bringing you one step closer to the job of your dreams. Here are the most important things you need to know when writing different types of professional bios.
It might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how big an impact using a professional tone can make in your LinkedIn bio. LinkedIn is the perfect medium for getting your feet wet in the professional world, so be sure your bio fits the bill and doesn't include sarcasm, witty comments, humor or quotes. Make your LinkedIn bio sharp and clean, not personal.
Describe who you are
The purpose of a professional bio is to "showcase your strengths and what differentiates you from others," says social media strategy consultant Neal Schaffer. He says that doing this can be challenging because as college students, we may not have a lot of prior experience. To differentiate yourself from other college students, Schaffer suggests you include what you've studied, what you excel at and any awards you've won or great academic successes you've achieved.
According to Schaffer, a keyword qualifies as "any word associated with your experience that would be valuable for the next job that you have." Recruiters and hiring managers "search LinkedIn or they search word resumes looking for certain keywords."
Keywords describe what experience you've had or what experience you're looking to gain (e.g. journalism, graphic design, film production, business). Slip these into your LinkedIn bio to attract the attention of potential employers who use searches to find candidates who possess the qualities or skills they're looking for.
LinkedIn bio example
Junior majoring in marketing at New York University with an interest in business, PR and social media. Seeking a summer internship to apply my experience assisting a company's branding needs through social media promotion, digital marketing and ad sales research.
Include the most relevant information
Marta Steele, partner at PeopleResults, a change and human resources consulting firm, says that the biggest difference between a LinkedIn bio and a Twitter bio is the length. She notes that because Twitter only gives us 160 characters, we need to "make it punchy and to the point."
It's also a smart idea to put your college name, your graduating year and any awards you've received into your bio. Schaffer says that occasionally recruiters will check out your Twitter profile, so it should be very clear "who you are, where you are in your career right now and what you're looking for."
Add some personality, but not too much
It's okay to add a little tidbit at the end of your Twitter bio about your favorite sports team, your heritage or what have you (e.g. "Puerto Rican, Red Sox fan, chocoholic"). However, Andrew Hindes, president of The In-House Writer, an L.A.-based copywriting service, advises you not to get too cute when writing your bio.
"Try to be focused on really what you're interested in in terms of your professional career," Hindes says. The less fluff you include in your bio, the better.
Link to your blog and/or LinkedIn page
Because your Twitter bio is so short, it's a good idea to link to your other social media websites (e.g. your blog, personal website or LinkedIn page) on your page. Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success, notes that "people will use different networks to find you," and the easier it is to do so, the better. This also allows job recruiters to get a quick taste of who you are in your Twitter bio and follow up on your personal website or LinkedIn page if they'd like to.
Twitter bio example
@nyuniversity '15. Marketing major. @HerCampus contributing writer. Aspiring marketing consultant. Social media fiend. Lakers fan.
Looking for more tips? Head on over to HerCampus.com!