Channel your Inner Superheroine

Write a Personal Profile that Packs a Punch

When you’re struggling to tap out a snappy bio, brush up your resume, or wordsmith a compelling profile for the GUILD, check your humility at the door. This may feel contrary to what you’ve always experienced: societal pressure to be modest. But here’s the reality. To succeed at networking, job-hunting, or career advancement, you have to be able to present yourself in a way that compels others to engage, and humility just won’t get you there.

Many women have asked me how to craft an effective profile, without sounding arrogant.

Here’s my advice: think of yourself as a superhero. What are your superpowers? Answering this question is a familiar leadership technique, and it works. Superheroes and heroines are archetypes: they represent an exaggerated ideal. Identifying your superhero attributes is a great opportunity to accentuate your most prominent qualifications. Consider this full list.

Be specific. For all of her bad-ass-ness Wonder Woman was a little generic and clichéd. Instead, focus on your superior problem-solving skills, your passionate integrity, or your unerring speed. To reflect your strongest qualities, ask yourself these questions. What do other people recognize you for? What is the value of the resource you bring to a company? These questions can be good guidelines for a job interview. Companies hire resources. They have a job they need done, and they want a powerful, animated person who already boasts the necessary skills. They’ll overlook personal imperfections. This isn’t a popularity contest: they want to know if you can deliver.

The Superheroine in the Elevator

And yet, it’s not enough just to list your superpowers, you also need an elevator pitch that packs a punch. This means sparking your audience’s curiosity to know more. Tell a story about yourself that makes the other person hungry to learn more about you — not only what you’ve done, but what you can and will do in the future. Describe your experience and skills, who you are and what challenges you’re seeking in order to grow as a professional. Do this in easy sentences that an outsider to your industry can understand.

Drop the jargon and tell your story.

When it comes to short bios for select audiences that you don’t know, it gets a little more complicated. Oddly enough, you may have already done this — for a dating site. Or maybe you’re working on your professional profile — such as for the GUILD. In either case, making an effective first impression is the key to successful future connections. At the same time, remember that you’re not just presenting yourself as you are, you’re seeking further development — or you wouldn’t be here!

Make your Ask

Give your potential match a hint of who you are and where you’re from. What are your passions and how do you express them? Share something unexpected, and offer a skill that invites curiosity for more information. What are you working on, and how does this serve your goals?

When you’re asking others to pay attention to your profile, grab them with a conversation starter. Try something short and sassy like this:

My first job, at age 16, involved spinning fighter pilots around in a human centrifuge on an Air Force base…

Or something longer that conveys a breadth of interest, such as:

My personal interests: Trailrunning, sailing and racing, mountaineering, learning kitesurfing, dark chocolate in any form, Napa wines, and hot tub lounging after an active day and getting one more scoop of Ben & Jerry’s pistachio ice cream.

Or, just be direct:

I am passionate about all things innovation, having a good laugh and talking openly from the heart.

I hope these dynamic examples inspire you. Because it’s time to get your Wonder Woman self out and meet other superheroines.

Sign up with the GUILD and practice your introduction.