How to Write an Autobiography for a Portfolio

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A portfolio is an excellent way to present your work to a client, an employer, or a potential employer. It allows you to show what you are capable of, rather than merely talking about it. When putting a portfolio together, it is important to include a biography of yourself. This allows the person viewing the portfolio to get a good idea of what your personal and professional goals are, as well getting a flavor for who you are and where you've come from.

Brainstorm interesting parts of you life and career. Sit down and list everything of particular interest that relates to your portfolio biography. Don't censor yourself. List anything that comes to mind. Remember that you will edit this down later. It is better to have too much information than not enough.

Outline before you write. Take the information from your brainstorming session. Start with an introduction, an overview of your life and career. Then plan out your professional and personal story in a linear manner. Organize the information into groups of similar data.

Keep the focus professional. You want to have a personal flavor to your autobiography. But remember that the emphasis should be on your work. Even when referring to personal details, remember to connect them to you work. For example, if you were in the military but are now a graphic designer, talk about how your exposure to other cultures in the military has effected your design aesthetic.

Keep your prose economical. Write sentences that are short and to the point. Most importantly, remember to keep the portfolio autobiography on the short side--no more than two pages. You're trying to create an overview of your life and work, not a detailed account of every event.

Tie it all together. When writing your concluding paragraph, try to tie the total of your life and work experience together. Craft a conclusion that puts all the different pieces of your professional and personal life together. While your autobiography should be professional, it should not be dry and overly formal.

Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.