About Face: Some Thoughts On Redesigning My About Page
Ever heard that wonderful Buddhist proverb, When the student is ready, the teacher will appear? I thought of it last week when I chanced across an article by Michael Margolis called The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King.
It begins with this premise: Gone are the days of “Just the facts, M’am.” Instead, a potential client wants to know if you’re relevant to his or her work. Further: Trust comes from personal disclosure– something a traditional resume isn’t suited for. Instead, you need a bio that tells the bigger story– especially if you’re in business for yourself.
The author suggests that you share more of what you really care about. “Tell a story that people can identify with as their own, and the need to persuade, convince, or sell them
on anything disappears.”
But assuming you’ve got the necessary skills, the premise makes sense to me. And it really came to together when I read the following line in 6 Steps To Creating A Knockout Online Portfolio by Mell Ravenel:
That was what I needed to hear. I have a job history, a paper trail, but my early jobs weren’t art-related. What art director is going to care that I was once a bank teller or a methods analyst? My story’s no thrills-and-chills spellbinding adventure, but it’s a lot more interesting than my job history.
Oh, it tells you a little, and it had links to my work and some client testimonials. But does
it make you say: Hmm! I need an illustrator, and this is my kinda guy! I got a good feeling here– I’m gonna call him and take a chance!!
So I needed to tell my story and give people a chance to identify with it– where to start?
1. Share a point of view: How do you see the world? What matters most?
2. Tell your backstory: How did you get where you are? What riddles are you still trying to solve?
3. Include “external validators”: Client testimonials, awards, etc– just a few to show your story is real.
Before I forget: the About image (of me brooding) at the top of this post is a doctored still from a video clip. I was playing the character of Inky Draws, The World’s Oldest Cartoonist. You can see a short clip of the production here.
So how’d my New About Page turn out? See for yourself: you can either click About
in the menu bar under my blog header, or just click here: Gosh whiz! I’m just dying
to see Mark Armstrong’s exciting new About Page. (And I’d appreciate your feedback, thanks.)
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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:
Silly Me: The Beguiling Power Of Self-Mockery (on a design agency’s About Page)
Header Look Better When Color Picks Click (importance of color in blog design)
Oops! I Just Took A Header– SPLAT! (why I decided to change my blog header)