How to Write a Professional Background (With Examples)

On job applications, including a professional background section may make a huge impact on hiring managers and help you stand out from the crowd. Investing the time to compose it can help you demonstrate that you are the best applicant for the position.

While it is important to include this part, it can be tough to know where to begin. In this post, we'll go over why having a professional background is so important, as well as how to get one.

professional background

What's a professional background?

A professional background is a synopsis of your prior work experience and performance. It's most commonly utilized throughout the application process for a job. This should be more than a list of previous roles held; it should emphasize your most significant and relevant accomplishments.

When applying for a job, this summary should demonstrate to the potential employer how your prior positions prepared you and made you a strong contender for the job.

Why is a professional background/bio important?

Including a professional background in your application might help it stand out from the crowd. Hiring managers sometimes have hundreds of applications to examine in a short period of time, so they may only skim through them.

Having a separate professional history section on your application will give them all they need to know about your qualifications in one glance.

professional background

It's also a wonderful approach to demonstrate to potential employers that you can arrange data and clearly describe your worth.

In addition to helping you prepare for job interviews, writing a professional background may help you enhance your performance.

This is because you took the time to review your background and craft a narrative about how your experiences qualify you for the position.

As a consequence, you'll probably have an easier time describing your professional path and qualifications to the interviewer without faltering or missing crucial information.

What information should be in a professional background?

The positions/job title and responsibilities that are most relevant to the position you are applying for should be highlighted in your professional history. You should stress the talents you employed in various jobs and how they contributed to your success as an employee.

You can provide particular information like:

  • Previous employers' names
  • The dates when you worked
  • Your previous job titles
  • Your responsibilities and their duties
  • Education or training in a relevant field, including certificates
  • Promotions, awards, and other forms of acknowledgment are examples of accomplishments.

How to write your professional background

Here's how to write a professional background. Your career history should be concise, no more than a few pages long. One way to organize this part is to include your work experience in chronological order, beginning with your current or most recent position.

Another option is the functional format, which emphasizes the responsibilities most relevant to the position you are applying for first and focuses on the sort of experience you have.

professional background

Your professional background should be written in the first person, since this will give the section a more natural and authentic tone.

Write down your experience

This is your draft phase, so jot down as many past positions, responsibilities, and accomplishments as you can think of that best emphasize your abilities and credentials.

If at all feasible, give measurable evidence of how your work impacted previous companies.

For the time being, don't think about the relevance of this information to the possible new job—the goal of this stage is to generate a long list that you may pare down to the most important details later.

Don't start from scratch

If you're having problems deciding where to begin, consider utilizing a professional bio template as a starting point. Templates, such as the ones shown below, allow you to concentrate on your own information and accomplishments rather than worrying about the framework.

Consider who you're writing for

You could also wish to create many versions of your paper to cater to different audiences. For example, the version you publish on LinkedIn may be less thorough than the version you put on your own website, and if your reader is a potential employer, including information that particularly emphasize why you're the best fit for the position for which you're seeking would be beneficial.

Show progression in your career

Consider arranging your professional bio in such a manner that it provides a chronology to demonstrate your growth as you write.

Explain your various roles and underline the tasks that prepared you for success in your later ones.

It's crucial to keep in mind that your professional timeline doesn't have to be in chronological order.

professional background

Emphasize important details

Now that you've jotted down your most important work experience, it's time to pare it down to the specifics that make you the greatest candidate for the position.

It's best to choose a few amazing items rather than ten unimportant ones for your professional past because it's about the quality of your experiences, not the quantity.

Compare your list to the job description and highlight the elements that are most relevant to the talents the potential employer is looking for.

These will very certainly become your main arguments, and they should emphasize your worth as an employee.

Use key skills, points, and other competencies

Skills and experience matter in a job search. There is no set structure for a professional background, so you may need to experiment to see what works best for you, whether it's ordered chronologically or by function.

What matters most is that you link your experiences in a natural and succinct manner, bearing in mind that you want to demonstrate your abilities and knowledge.

Ask someone else to read it over and offer you comments if you're not sure how it comes across or if you need help reducing it down any further.

Be personable

Timelines and achievements are excellent, but being approachable is much better.

Readers should feel as though they're getting a sense of who you are based on your work history. This allows readers to learn more about you outside of your work life. This is the perfect opportunity to talk about any unique specialized hobbies you have outside of work.

Here's a list of questions to assist you come up with the proper "fun facts" to emphasize:

  • Do you own any animals?
  • What is a fact about you that the majority of people are unaware of?
  • What languages are you fluent in?
  • What do you think you're most proud of?
  • What's a bucket-list-worthy experience you've had?
  • What are your favorite ways to unwind?
  • What are your top three must-have apps?
  • What would your favorite coworker think of you?
  • What's the finest piece of advice you've ever gotten, and how do you put it into practice?

Being personable also provides an excellent chance to address any unusual events in your work history. For example, perhaps you've made a significant job change or taken a sabbatical at some time.

These sorts of tales may help you connect with your audience, and you never know who you'll meet through one of your hobbies or more intimate experiences.

Look for feedback

When writing about oneself, constructive criticism is crucial. While many people prefer to seek feedback after they've finished a draft of their bio, getting input from your peers earlier in the process may be just as useful.

Our peers may often assist us in identifying our strengths as well as areas where we can develop. Get together with a peer to explore ideas if you're having difficulties creating a clear chronology or deciding which highlights to include.

professional background

Consider successful collaborative tasks and ask a peer to offer honest feedback on what you did well — and incorporate that input in your profile.

If you need some assistance getting started, here's a list of conversation questions to utilize with your peers to identify professional skills you may have overlooked in your own self-evaluation:

  • What do you think I'm like in a group setting?
  • What have I done to assist you in becoming more successful?
  • What do you consider to be my most remarkable project?
  • What was your initial reaction to me?
  • What qualities do you believe I possess?

Where should a professional background go?

If you're include a professional history on your resume, it's preferable to put it towards the beginning. It should be listed after your contact information but above your previous work experience. This way, when a hiring manager looks at your resume/CV, one of the first things they notice is your professional background, which gives them the most crucial information about your job experience straight immediately.

A professional history can also be included in other areas where potential employers could see it, such as the "About" section of your profiles on job-related social networking sites or your own website.

On an application for a job

When filling out a job application, you'll frequently come across a section asking for details about your professional experience. According to Indeed.com, you may be requested to submit a list of jobs you've held, including start and finish dates, wages, and general work responsibilities.

How to include it on a resume

Your resume may be divided into various sections, beginning with an overview, followed by a professional background section, awards, licenses, and certificates, and finally your academic background.

The summary part comprises only a few words or phrases that connect to your most essential professional abilities and experience, but it is devoid of specifics. The information is included in your professional background section.

professional background

Professional experience section

When a potential employer is looking for information about your professional past, they want to get directly to the point. They'll want to know about your academic background, credentials, participation in professional organizations, and honors you've received, but only after they've seen your job history.

This includes any jobs you've held or internships you've completed. Even if you work in finance and have a finance degree, it does not contain your academic background.

In your professional background area, include the following information:

  • Employers and job titles
  • Dates of start and end
  • Accomplishments in the job description

If the potential employer already understands what this position requires, you don't need to provide a description of common occupations you've had, such as bookkeeper. Your accomplishments are more essential and distinguish you from other prospects.

Instead of describing the tasks of a bookkeeper, mention accomplishments such as lowering accounts receivables by nine days on average or generating the company's first cash-flow statement when applying for a bookkeeping employment.

Other professional background information

In the professional background part of your resume, you might wish to highlight non-job-related professional experience. This might be a certificate directly connected to the position you're looking for, a license you have, or proof of liability insurance.

You can mention your professional background experience if you've visited trade exhibitions or conferences, or if you've spoken at events.

professional background

You may include information in your professional background if you've written articles, created professional films, or appeared on TV shows or podcasts.

Job skills that are unrelated

You may need to mention your general job background depending on how much professional experience you have in your industry.

Does your work experience as a summer lifeguard or a restaurant server, for example, count as professional background if you're seeking for a job in human resources?

It may, depending on what an employer is looking for in terms of work experience and how you characterize this unrelated experience. Were you, for example, in charge of any employees who worked under you?

If that's the case, you've worked in a low-level managerial position before. Did your employment require you to create schedules, submit expenditure reports, or complete any other paperwork? If that's the case, you've had some administrative experience at a low level.

Tips for writing a professional background

It's important to remember that building your professional background isn't only for job hunts; you should continue to do so even if you're not searching for work.

Here are some pointers to consider when you construct your professional background:

Make a draft

Make a draft and save it. Try to preserve a draft version of it so that you may add it to your collection of possible information to mention when a big project or accomplishment emerges at work.

Take the time to edit your professional past to reflect that experience and maybe eliminate anything that no longer fits or appears relevant if it is an accomplishment you know you want to highlight.

Use it when networking

When networking, bring up your professional experience. You may utilize your professional experience as a tool for networking talks in addition to presenting it on your social media profile or personal website.

You will maintain your background story and be able to readily express your abilities and qualifications when trying to impress potential employers or coworkers if you revise or review it on a regular basis.

Use it for LinkedIn or press

It's perfect for biographies. In a more particular circumstance, if you are ever required to create a biography about yourself for work or another professional context, your professional experience can serve as a great beginning point.

Make sure your professional background has a brief version to use for articles, company about pages, and for interview purposes, too.

Professional background examples

Here are examples of professional backgrounds. Use these as a guide to help you write your own.

Example one:

Andrea Darling is a sales leader, engineer, and person of industry. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2011. And started her career at Netflix. From there, she gathered some impressive achievements and academic accolades. From her Master's Degree at Yale. To her speaking engagements across the country.

She is interested in consumer marketing, believes heavily in the power of demand marketing. And desires to boost all of the key company KPI's that she's involved in.

Example two:

Scott Disc is a professional leader with more than 12 years of industry experience and career experience in human resources. He's been the majority engineer and engineering lead for a number of large startups. From Indeed to eBay. Scott began his career in Silicon Valley in 2011.

Scott has gotten featured in a number of large publications including Inc, Forbes, The Balance, and much more. He's traveled to more than 12 countries performing speaking engagements for the youth. Helping them to find their place in the corporate world.

professional background

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Get our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free. No email required.

Grab the PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Share

Help us by spreading the word