It’s not easy to come up with a great bio and profile to use in your blog, on your social media accounts or anywhere that people may come to find about you. Even gifted writers may find this process intimidating or uncomfortable. But it is absolutely necessary to make your profile and bio sing. It’s a digital handshake that people will remember as their first impression of “meeting” you online. Follow these tips to get it right.

Keep it Short

Virtually everyone in the online world is suffering from information fatigue. This perpetual information overload makes people wary of big blocks of text that aren’t broken up by subheads or with images. Just as hiring managers give most resumes only a brief scan, people viewing your Facebook page or portfolio will only give your bio the minimum amount of time. Avoid fluff and filler, and put the most pertinent information at the top. Executive Jim Decker, for example, keeps his extensive bio to just five short paragraphs.

Write in the Third Person

It feels awkward at first to write something about yourself in a format that makes it appear that a bunch of other people got together and decided you were so wonderful, that they just couldn’t resist writing about you. Get over it. Bios are written in the third person perspective. First person (I started my own business less than three months after graduating from college) runs the risk of coming off as amateurish and unrefined.

State Your Purpose and Don’t Forget That You Have a Personality

Hit them in the very beginning with your intention and purpose. State your name, your business and your plan in the first few sentences. Avoid strolling into your bio (A lot of people think there are no honest mechanics anymore, but … ). Also, be yourself. Inject your own personality, point of view and appropriate humor. A great profile should reflect you as a person. Avoid jargon and industry speak. Introduce yourself – you, the human being – to the world.

Keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

Writing your bio and profile is a crucial, yet difficult task that virtually no one looks forward to doing. Be yourself, let your unique voice shine through. Unless you’re really confident in an alternate strategy, stick to the third person. Use humor where appropriate, stick the important stuff at the top and remember – keep it short!