3 Big Tips for Writing a 140 Character Resume

Ryan Morris
by Ryan Morris
Get The Job, Guides - 10 months ago
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Social media like Twitter has made bios like these all the more important — and the popularity of Twitter has led to one very interesting question making the rounds in job applications lately.

Namely:

“Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.”

Hyper-short biographies or stories are nothing new.

Flash fiction has been gaining ground for years, while the advent of social media and blogging has made bite-sized bits of content into a necessity for many sites.

What’s more, author bios or personal bios for books or websites have been around for centuries, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

But despite the short length, the actual process of creating one of these short bios can often be a stressful one.

Fortunately, we’re here for you. We at Zippia have put together the following guide to help get you writing the perfect 140-character resume.

Contents

1. What’s the Point to Describing Yourself in a Tweet?

Shakespeare always said “brevity is the soul of wit,” right?

Wrong. He said it once. But everyone remembers it because it was smart and pithy, and because he was Shakespeare.

They hardly even remember the fact that Shakespeare probably didn’t write his own stuff or was a pseudonym for multiple different authors or something.

It turns out that there are lots of good reasons that you should be able to describe yourself in relatively few words:

  • For one thing, it helps you speed up your elevator pitch. It gets easier to describe yourself quickly the more often you do it.
  • It also helps you develop that pitch into something worthwhile. The smaller amount of space you have to work with, the more details about yourself you end up having to cut — until finally, you’re left with the most important details a hiring manager ought to know about you.
  • Linked-In, Twitter, WordPress, and other social media websites are quickly becoming a way that people make connections and find jobs. All of these websites require personal bios, and these are tough to write effectively if you don’t have any practice at talking about yourself in a small amount of space.

2. How to Make the Perfect 140-Character Resume

So it’s obvious that there are benefits — but how do you go about actually putting your 140-character bio together?

In short — which is the name of the game today — you should start big, then go small.

It can be tough trying to fit your entire life and work experience into such as short amount of space right off the bat, but it gets easier to decide what’s most important to mention once you list all your experiences out first.

Here are a few more things you should consider when putting together your 140-character biography:

  • Start big, then cut. Write down whatever seems relevant to you, and then remove every piece that sounds like it might be irrelevant to your story. Think about what parts of your life make you different and exciting as an employment prospect.
  • This process should help you cut your bio down to 2-5 main points, max.
  • If you find there’s nothing else you can cut but that you’re still over the 140 character limit, that’s when you start summarizing. You don’t need to give every detail in a context like this — just stick to the basics.

3. Describe Yourself in 140 Characters: Examples

Let’s say there are five main things a person feels are important to get across in their profile:

  • They’re a computer programmer based in San Francisco.
  • They’re looking for a job.
  • They have about a year of work experience, mostly in the startup sector.
  • They’re comfortable with a few programming languages — Java, SQL, CSS, Python.
  • They’re obsessed with comic books.

Based on that information, here are a few possible configurations:

  • Programmer based in San Francisco, comfortable with CSS, Java, Python. Experienced startup worker looking for new opportunities.” (128 Characters)
  • “I’m a programmer based in San Fran. Comic book nerd. Contact me if you’re looking for an experienced coder to help bring your dream to life.” (140 Characters)
  • “Coder and comic book aficionado with 1+ years experience in CSS, Python, Java. Looking for programming help? Contact for more info.” (131 Characters)

Wrapping Up:

That’s all for this one! But keep one thing in mind:

You only have room to bring up 2-5 points about yourself, so the pressure is on for you to make sure that they’re as interesting as possible.

That is to say that people should know about your personal interests — they help you stand out — but if the first thing they see about you in a job-related setting is “loves Steven Universe,” then even the most diehard cartoon fan might think twice about you.

Just something to keep in mind, is all.

Best of luck! Here are some other links to help you on your way:

How to Respond to a Rejection Letter with Examples
How to Ask for a Job Reference
3 Tips to Making a Lateral Career Move