How to Write a Short Biography for Your Staff Page

Created by Margie Wylie-Petruzziello, Modified on Tue, 09 Jan 2024 at 10:08 AM by Margie Wylie-Petruzziello

Why Bother? Management Rely on Staff Pages

Division directors and area heads, managers, and other Lab management rely heavily on our staff pages to understand who you are, what you do, what you have done, and how you contribute. 


Don't miss the opportunity to be better known by leaving your biography blank. 


Guidelines

If you've never written a short bio, don't worry, here are a few guidelines to get you started.

  1. Write in the third person. This means you reference yourself by name and then use your preferred third-person pronoun. For example, "Margie Wylie is NERSC's Web Lead. She is responsible for..."

    It may feel awkward writing about yourself as if you were not doing the writing, but using the "third person" makes it easier to showcase your accomplishments without feeling like you are bragging.

  2. Use your full name on first reference. Use only your last name or preferred pronoun on subsequent references. This is just part of writing in third person. Many people are tempted to use their first names throughout a bio. There's nothing inherently "wrong" with the practice, but using just your lastname on is more formal and reinforces the idea that your biography is an accounting of your professional role and accomplishments.

  3. Write in reverse chronological order. Start with where you work now, what your role currently is, and what you do at the lab. Next, move on to any previous jobs or experiences you'd like to highlight. Finally, end with your education starting with your most recent degree, what it was in, where it was earned, and any special highlights or honors (such as graduating suma cume laud or winning a special prize). You optionally append information on your off-work hours, such as hobbies or volunteer work, but that should be a very last -- brief -- item.

  4. Optional Suggestion: Don't start with years of experience. It's tempting to get right up front just how experienced you are in your field, but anyone who reads your biography should gain an understanding of how experienced you are and in what fields. It is better to detail your experience than to make a blanket, unsupported assertion. It also helps your reader to better understand the nature and depth of your experiences, rather than simply stating a number of years.


Starter Template

Still not certain? Here's a template to start. Just add your information anywhere you see brackets:


[Firstname Lastname] is [title and/or role] in the [groupname] of [division] at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As part of [groupname] [pronoun | lastname] [work on what projects or specialize in what areas].


Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, [lastname | pronoun] was with [organization] where [they | last name accomplished or worked on ...]. [Lastname | pronoun] has also held positions with [organization, organization, and organization] where [pronoun | last name accomplished or did all these great things].


[Lastname | pronoun] earned [possesive pronoun's degree] from [University/Institution] in the field of [degree area].[Lastname | pronoun] also holds a [degree] in [major] from [university] and a [degree] in [major] from [university].


In [lastname's | possessive pronoun's] spare time, [last name | pronoun] likes to [off-work activities such as, hobbies and/or volunteer work].

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