Writing about yourself as a freelancer

People find writing about themselves difficult. The question of how to distill your work down to a short, simple description is always difficult, regardless of how long you’ve been in your profession. This truly comes to light when you’re faced with writing your Bio page on your portfolio website.

The goal of creating an About Me page is to help you market yourself. You want to make sure visitors and readers to your site understand your work—but you don’t want to go into too much detail and create a long essay about yourself in case they lose interest. You want to mention recognition you’ve received and exciting projects you’ve completed—but you don’t want to seem like you’re bragging.

Even if you’ve hit the perfect balance of writing just enough about your professional experience, the question of how to make your bio stand out remains. How can you keep things personal and professional without coming off as unprofessional? How many paragraphs do you need?
I’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to teaching you how to create a biography that works: one that’s personal and professional at the same time, and that can be finished up in seven easy steps.

1. Introduce yourself

Tell readers who you are in the first line of your portfolio introduction. Before introducing yourself, first think about how you would do so. Mention where you are based.

2. Aim for a friendly, casual tone

There’s no need to be overly formal on your online portfolio website page. Keep the page name simple. This is your own space for representing yourself on the web. Let yourself feel at home, and write your About page the same way you would normally speak.

3. Decide which professional experience to include

You can briefly present your work and keep the details for specific job applications, or make a separate page for your CV. Decide what you like. Include your education background and any projects you’ve worked on.

If you’d like your “About Me” page to include a CV, keep it short and simple. Your biography should be descriptive, but not too long. Add job headings, dates, and a quick description of your work and skills. Consider adding commissions or commercial work from recent clients or projects that highlight the skills and experience needed for a job you’re coveting.

4. Consider listing awards and accolades

If you’ve been recognized for your work, your “About Me” page is a great place to briefly mention this. Depending on the kind of work you do, client testimonials might be appropriate to include here as well. You can consider obtaining a peer review from people within the industry or projects you’ve worked on.

But don’t get carried away listing all of your accolades. You can leave behind  high school awards. Recognition for work by a reputable organization, team, or person in the past is certainly noteworthy.

5. Add a few personal details

It may seem unprofessional to include details of your personal life, but a biography page that only lists work-related information about you isn’t offering a complete introduction. It’s easy to skim through someone’s professional experience and not feel as if you’ve learned anything personal about them. Briefly mentioning something interesting about who you are or what you like, or other talent and skills to make your “About Me” page more memorable.

Remember: you want to come across as professional and reliable, but you’re also trying to stand out in a sea of many other professionals. Including these brief little details can make a world of a difference.

6. Include a photo of yourself

Choose a photo that represents your personality. Depending on the tone of your online portfolio website and what kind of work you do, you might choose an image that’s more professional (like a headshot) or something more personal (like a shot of you working in your studio). Adding a photo will make your online portfolio stand out by allowing visitors to put a face to your name.

Also, balance between personal and professional needs to be maintained. However, having a more intimate picture of you working in your studio is not a problem as long as it is not a picture of you taken in a bar on a Saturday night.

7. Proofread and edit

Your About page should not appear sloppy or unprofessional because of typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. Read everything carefully before saving your “About Me” page. Always make sure you look at both text-formatted sections in your portfolio. This ensures the content looks great.

Now, you’re ready to craft your about me page for your portfolios. Of course, it may take a bit of time at first and several drafts, but you can tweak them along the way and as you have more experience to add.

To sum it up, writing your about me page is all about striking a balance between personal and professional. You don’t want to share every detail about your personal life on your about page—not relevant—but you also likely won’t keep anyone’s attention if you simply list out every job you’ve ever taken on—boring.

Once you have the idea of balance down, you should feel ready to craft your about me page for your portfolio. Of course, it may take a bit of time and several drafts, but, don’t forget, you can always tweak the page along the way as you have more experience to add.

Let’s get writing, shall we?

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