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What exactly IS a professional bio? And how does it differ from a resume?

May 21, 2013

What exactly IS a professional bio? And how does it differ from a resume?
By Bettie Biehn, CPRW

One of the employment-related documents that I offer to clients is called a “professional bio”. Bios are, in my opinion, less formal, very conversational one-page documents that clients can use in a variety of settings to showcase their skills, businesses and talents:

 To give to potential employers in a first meeting where no job is available or on the table;
 To provide to a host or organizational representative prior to your giving a presentation;
 To use as a public relations tool to tout your business, talents, successes, etc.

Not everyone needs a bio in their portfolio, but a document that is informative but less lengthy and formidable than a resume is good to have for many.

Try to imagine someone presenting you as a speaker at a dinner meeting and reading your resume as your introduction……..the audience’s eyes glaze over, some people sneak out the back doors, and everyone, including you, is bored to death.

Now: think about a short, interesting, anecdotal document that engages the audience, captures their attention, perhaps makes them laugh, and provides a unique way of presenting you and your product, service, skills, talents or company.

A bio can also give people a different view of you, a glimpse into your personality, your sense of humor and maybe some secret career dreams. You get to choose, you get to oversee how it’s written, and you get to highlight the things that are important to YOU…about YOU.
Does this sound better?

Since bios are relatively short, they can be tweaked to make them relevant to any group or individual, making them a very focused document for your use. I’m not suggesting that we all swap out a bio for a resume, but that the two documents can complement each other. And they both have their particular uses.

OK – enough writing. I’m going to feature my own bio AND my own resume to illustrate a bio vs. a resume. See the next several pages…..then you can decide if you need a bio!

NOTE: it appears that the two documents to follow will be in plain text format – unfortunately this deletes the spacing, formatting and graphics from both.
***********************************************************************************************************
BETTIE BIEHN, CPRW

 703.836.8417 (h) 202.550.0999 (c)  esbiehn@aol.com
Resume
RESUME WRITER  CAREER COACH  HR PROFESSIONAL  PUBLISHED WRITER

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

As President and Founder of Career Change Central, LLC since 2004, manage a one-person small business focused on providing outstanding customized, well-written and attractive resumes and cover letters – and other employment-related documents – that focus on clients’ skills, experience, knowledge and background as well as paying keen attention to the prospective employer’s needs. Career coaching is an integral part of all services. Career Change Central LLC became a full-time operation in July, 2012.

Career features 20+ years of resume writing including role of lead resume writer for a national job board and columnist on resume advice for a national executive recruiter’s online newsletter. Extensive background as successful senior HR professional, nonprofit director, corporate trainer, hiring manager, in-house recruiter and writer. Published author, for three years contributing a monthly column on HR and training issues to nationally distributed, award-winning trade magazine. Volunteer resume writer for “Warriors to Work”, a program of the Wounded Warriors project.

CORE COMPETENCIES
 20+ years’ successful resume writing experience;
 Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) via Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW);
 15+ years as senior level HR professional and 30 years’ experience as hiring manager;
 Published writer – 3 years of articles in NACS Magazine;
 2 years of resume tips columns on national recruiter’s online newsletter;
 former lead resume writer for a national online job board; and, subsequently….

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
 Reinvigorated nonprofit company following national organizational crisis while continuing regular
disbursements to charities. Increased financial activity/cash reserves, reduced expenses by 50%.
 Managed State agency that encouraged, enhanced, and broadened the base of volunteer efforts
in Virginia during start-up, implementation and establishment as legislatively mandated agency.
 Founded successful resume business in 2004; business still in operation and growing.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Career Change Central LLC, Alexandria, VA 2004- Present
PRESIDENT / FOUNDER (www.careerchangecentralllc.com)
Design, write customized resumes/cover letters/other employment-related documents for clients nationwide. Provide career coaching. Large, varied group of clients from US and Europe.

National Legal Aid & Defender Association, Washington, DC 9/2010 – 7/2012
CONSULTING HR MANAGER

Jobfox, Inc., McLean, VA 4/2009 – 2/2010
RESUME WRITING SERVICES MANAGER / HEAD OF QA/CONSULTANT

Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC 9/4/2007 – 11/30/2008
DIRECTOR, HR & ADMINISTRATION

BETTIE BIEHN  PAGE TWO
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, continued

The Washington Humane Society, Washington, DC 2006 – 2007
DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES

Foster Thomas, Inc., Annapolis, MD 2005
HR CONSULTANT / OUTSOURCED HR PROFESSIONAL

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Washington, DC 2003 – 2004
DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES AND OPERATIONS

National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Alexandria, VA 2000-2003
DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES AND TRAINING COMMUNITY

American Meat Institute, Arlington, VA 1997 – 2000
DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATION

United Way of America (UWA), Alexandria, VA 1987 – 1996
 PRESIDENT 1992–1996; VICE PRESIDENT 1990–1992
Charities Funds Transfer, Inc.
Directed nonprofit corporation disbursing nearly $100M in charitable contributions.
 NATIONAL ACADEMY FOR VOLUNTARISM, UWA Training Division 1987 – 1990
Senior Training Manager
Managed over 50 annual training programs with over 100 faculty, 1,500 participants throughout US.

BEST Products Co., Inc., Richmond, VA 1983- 1987
CORPORATE PERSONNEL MANAGER & CORPORATE TRAINER

Virginia Department of Volunteerism, Richmond, VA 1974 – 1983
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

GOVERNOR’S MANPOWER PLANNING COUNCIL, Richmond, VA 1972 – 1974
Manpower Planner
Staffed local councils in planning/implementing employment & training programs in low-income rural areas.

DIV. STATE PLANNING & COMMUNITY AFFAIRS. Richmond, VA 1970 – 1972
Research Assistant

EDUCATION / PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/AFFILIATIONS/CERTIFICATIONS

B.S. chemistry; minor in Spanish – University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
Graduate coursework – business administration
Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) through Professional Association of Resume Writers
Volunteer Resume Writer, “Warriors to Work” Program, Wounded Warriors Project
Certified Risk Manager / Federated Insurance
*****************************************************************************************************
BETTIE BIEHN: PROFESSIONAL BIO

RESUME WRITER  CAREER COACH  HR PROFESSIONAL  PUBLISHED WRITER

Bettie Biehn is Founder and President of Career Change Central LLC, a one-person small business where she crafts resumes, cover letters, bios, LinkedIn profiles and other employment-related documents for her clients. She also provides clients with career coaching and recommendations for the post-resume process, and can often connect them to recruiters in their industry. Bettie’s clients come from numerous and myriad professions and industries, in the US and Europe, and provide her with very interesting work.

With her BS in chemistry from the University of Richmond in hand, Bettie found a job within Virginia state government and stayed with state government positions for 13 years, in 3 very different agencies, learning from mentors and colleagues, practicing new skills and gaining invaluable experience. Of particular importance during this time were her work with volunteer managers and community organizing around employment programs.

Bettie then ventured into the corporate world for 4 years, becoming a trainer and then corporate personnel manager at a large, national retail company’s headquarters. This position was her first formal introduction into being a HR generalist, a skill set that would benefit her later.

A phone call from friends in DC initiated major changes, including a job change and move to Alexandria. After three years crisscrossing the US taking training to local United Way staff, she longed to reduce her heavy travel demands. An opening for VP of an affiliated nonprofit corporation filled the bill – 9 blocks from her house! The joys of being at home paled, however, when her world was turned upside down by a highly publicized national scandal brought on by the leadership team.

Her board asked her to take over as President, and the next 6 years were very challenging as she downsized staff, reduced expenses, increased revenues and grew the business with new corporate clients. Her terrific staff of 2 kept the business going while Bettie conducted the needed reorganizational and political functions. She learned just how resilient she was, and quickly learned how to run a nonprofit ……and how not to. She left CFT knowing that she had played a key role in bringing the company back to health. Bettie moved back into HR, serving in a leadership role for several organizations, and ramped up her part-time resume business. Her dream was to take her business full-time, and she left her “day job” in mid-2012.

Bettie’s writing doesn’t stop with resumes, but extends to several children’s stories, poetry and numerous articles on resume writing and HR topics. Her feature article on succession planning, “Quiet Crisis”, was published, along with all of her HR articles, in NACS Magazine, an award winning trade journal. You can find her articles on her blog, Twitter feed, Face book page and, soon, on her LinkedIn profile. Her “resume tips” articles, published within a national executive recruiter’s online newsletter, can also be found on Bettie’s social media venues.

Bettie’s coordinates are listed below, and she would be glad to talk with you about your resume needs, about your business or hers ………or about her dog, Barney!

Bettie Biehn, CPRW
President/Owner – Career Change Central LLC
http://www.careerchangecentralllc.com – Website named to Forbes.com’s “The Top 75 Websites For Your Career”
bettie@careerchangecentralllc.com
esbiehn@aol.com
703.836.8417 (h)
202.550.0999 (c)
Facebook.com/careerchangecentral
Blog: Careerchangecentralllc.wordpress
http://Twitter.com/ResumeWriterCCC
http://www.linkedin.com/in/bettiebiehn

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