An professional biography is a short summary of your credentials, achievements, interests, and connection to a conference, publication, or other place where you or your work may be presented. Whether you anticipate presenting at an academic conference, submitting a paper to a journal, or would just like to have a sample biography ready to be tweaked, writing a biography is a good exercise that will allow you to reflect upon how you may present your credentials differently to a diverse range of audiences.
You can use the scope of interests for a particular conference or journal to guide what to include when describing yourself. We recommend that you have some information about the conference or journal of which you are interested on hand so that you can share parts of it in your video reflection on Flipgrid.
Look at some resources online. There is a wealth of information and advice about how to compose an professional biography for the context of which your work is being presented.
- Aim for 3-6 sentences
- Depending on context, you may mention any key qualifications, previous and current positions, previous and current projects, committees, awards, and other credentials
- Be concise. Remember, the biography is not your CV or resume
- Write in the third person (“he is…” rather than “I am…”)
- Consider the context, audience, and purpose of your biography
- Write out abbreviated institutions and organizations when first mentioning (Michigan State University vs MSU)
- Write too much information. Choose the credentials that are most pertinent to the context of which you are presenting yourself
- Get too personal in what you share about yourself
- Use an informal tone such as including jokes or exclamation points
Example Biography For Department Website
Aric Gaunt is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at Michigan State University. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where he served as a research assistant for the School of Education and Department of Psychology. Gaunt’s current research focuses on learning and problem solving in complex and ill-structured domains using technologies that afford adaptive conceptual representations. His work aims to improve understanding of how students develop adaptive epistemological beliefs and how technology help to foster flexible knowledge construction.
Relationship to Other Pieces of Flair and Pages
Your biography page should be significantly different than an “About me page” (if you make one). Also, consider how your professional biography could be supported by your “LinkedIn” profile or how you could make it easier for someone to get to know about you through the “Resume” and “About Me” pages.
If this doesn’t sound like a good fit for your portfolio, please see other Pieces of Flair for ideas that might work better for you.