The Magic of An Executive Biography in Your Job Search

You’ve likely polished your resume and cover letter in preparation for recruiters calling you if you are an executive or rising leader searching for your next opportunity.

Have you ever thought about using a biography?

A story about your career, which is a concise, but powerful, summary of your achievements, can be used to help other members of your target audience (such CEOs, networking contacts or Boards of Directors), understand your value proposition.

You’ll be surprised at how many interviewers respond positively to an executive bio than to your resume. This is because the bio has a shorter and more compelling narrative flow.

These are three reasons to include an executive biography, in addition to your resume, in your portfolio for job hunting as a leader:

1. A biography is much more concise than a resume, and it works in your favor.

Who has the time to go through a complete resume? Many HR professionals, CEOs, and recruiters don’t have the time.

Next time you are in an interview, observe the interviewer trace the second or third page of your executive resume. They haven’t yet fully digested it!

Biographies typically only one page long (though senior executives might have a multipage bio). This makes them easier to read and allows for more detail. A career bio, like a resume can include keywords and accomplishment details that show your skills in action.

2. A professional bio can be an effective tool for networking.

A career biography is a concise, easy-to-read introduction that can be used to open doors for applicants who don’t want a lengthy resume.

A bio can be a great fit for networking events. It expands upon the traditional elevator pitch by highlighting your brand message more clearly.

Your professional bio can be used instead of your resume if you’re meeting or conversing online with someone other that the hiring decision-maker. It is less likely to overwhelm contacts and gives just enough information for someone who isn’t the one calling the shots… but might be impressed enough to pass it on to an employer.

A biography of an executive is a great document to leave behind after an interview. It can provide a unique perspective on leadership and leave a lasting impression.

3. Executive biographies often captivate different audiences.

Many people who meet you during job searches will have opinions about your resume. They may even suggest changes to the format or writing style. Many executive resumes are filled with analysis detail which can be overwhelming for interviewers.

A professional bio is the opposite. It uses a more gentle tone while still telling a compelling story. A Board member may find your biography interesting. However, he or she might only be able to skim through your resume.

Before you decide whether you should present a biography of an executive at every stage of your job search, identify the people you are most likely to interact with and gauge their tolerance for technical details. Your biography should be sufficient to introduce the decision-maker.

Summary: Include an executive biography in your job search plan. It is not necessary to replace your resume. But it can be used as an addition.

A strong, well-written professional bio can highlight your personality and achievements. This is a crucial part of your brand value to potential employers.