Establishing your tone of voice
Although writing about yourself can be hard, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. As a writer for online bank Monzo, Harry Ashbridge reminded us: “Your CV, About Page, cover letter or social media profile don’t have to get you work. They just have to grab someone’s attention enough that they want to talk to you.”
Making your writing engaging means ensuring it reflects you as a person, rather than what you think it should say. So don’t opt for a formal tone because you assume it comes across as more professional. People are far more likely to engage with a casual tone brimming with your personality. “Be yourself,” is Harry’s resounding advice. “You’re trying to stand out, so talk about what you do and why you love it. If a company or client discounts you because you have a sense of humour, chances are they’re not right for you anyway.”
Finding the right tone means different things for different people. While some will opt for a witty description written in first person (“I”), others will go for something more serious, and that might mean writing in third person (“he/ she/ they”) – something that is also more common in established creatives, who may choose to borrow eloquent descriptions from selected press they’ve received. But whichever way you go, remember to check that it reads confidently, editing out uncertain or even pessimistic wording that discredits your ability, such as “possibly”, “might” or “trying to.”
Finding power in words
When we spoke to illustrator Naomi Anderson-Subryan about her journey with writing about herself, she told us the process of putting what she did into a concise paragraph was powerful. “It helps clarify and consolidate your ideas,” she shared. Having graduated from Camberwell’s Illustration BA in 2019, Naomi found that having a good piece of writing to refer back to became a source of confidence and in some ways, felt like it validated her practice.