If you need to put together a biography to use in place of a resume, you need to know the difference between the two. A resume outlines your background and achievements in easy to follow bullet-pointed lists that should spur the reader to contact you.

A bio is a one page document that tells a brief story about who you are and what you’ve done. It is not a novella! Unfortunately I’ve run across some really talented folks with VERY BAD bios. The bio is about all about the facts; not someone’s opinion of how awesome you are. That will make the reader gag, roll their eyes, and write you off as an ego maniac.

So here’s what you need to avoid in your bio:
–Subjective and superfluous adjectives such as “talented,” “naturally,” “or “successful” Not everyone may agree on what determines talent, or a natural gift.
–Don’t include a detailed of history of your former company or why you don’t work there anymore. For example, if a company went belly-up long after your departure, you you don’t need to brag about that. Now you’re looking catty.
–Don’t list every single award and why you won it. Instead sum it up in one sentence: “Recipient of 15+ national awards.” Use your resume to sort out which award is what.

The bottom line is this: A badly written bio can leave the wrong impression. Let the reader decide if you are talented and successful. Therefore, don’t ask your mom to review it. Give it to your worst critic, or better yet, hire a professional to write it for you. Your image is on the line.