How to Write an Autobiography for a Job: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by Chrisantus Oden

How to Write an Autobiography for a Job

An autobiography is a literary genre which is a narrative of a personal nature, and its most significant feature is the inclusion of the writer himself as the main character. An autobiography implies a literary rather than a historical or documentary edict because the narrative is mostly personal and sometimes builds the plot with the threads of fiction.

Therefore, autobiographies can take different formats such as diaries, memoirs, poems, songs, scripts, letters, among others. The biographical character of the work does not happen in its formatting, but in its linguistic elements. Usually, the narration is done in the first person singular and addresses intimate and personal issues.

The narrator usually refers to himself in the present tense and, looking back, his past is nothing more than a fabric of memories that are not completely fleeting, such that even if a writer wants to grasp reality as it was, it is no longer possible, after all the experiences lived are elusive. This is how the fictional aspect comes to life.

The autobiography requested when applying for a job does not have a legally binding structure, but there are still important features regarding its writing. Unlike a resume, which reflects purely professional and business qualities, an autobiography is a meaningful document, it contains data concerning both the business and personal aspects of the respondent’s life.

If you are new to writing an autobiography especially if the purpose is to attract employers or secure good deals in reputable organizations, then this article is a complete guide for you to do this effectively. Here are some components that must be embedded in your autobiography.

Employers usually have a sample form for the applicants to be filled, however, if the future employer doesn’t have a sample, you need to adhere to the general rules on writing an autobiography correctly.

  • An autobiography should be handwritten, short and concise. The maximum amount of writing should not be more than 1-2 sheets of text. Overtime, it has been proven that you excessive and unnecessary details are more likely to generate the opposite effect of what was anticipated.
  • Strictly without errors (spelling, punctuation, speech, etc.)
  • The official style of presentation, i.e., without emotions, vernacular, and slang expressions, etc.
  • Adhere to a strict chronological order of the events presented, from past to those that are current at the time writing the autobiography.
  • State reliable facts only.

A complete autobiography can be broken down into 4 major elements, self-introduction, school and workplace experience, professional skills, and achievements, and finally motivation and philosophy. If you know these steps by heart, you can convince the human resources why they should choose you to enter the interview stage.

1. Background and personal traits

Usually at the beginning of an autobiography, what companies want to know is whether the background of the job applicant is basically safe, whether he is a stable talent who can devote himself to training without leaving the job within two days. Is he interesting and easy to get along with?

Start with something or a sentence that best highlights your personal characteristics, so that people want to keep reading from the beginning. Briefly describe the key points when introducing the family background and use one or two sentences to highlight the bonus features. Excessively detailed genealogy reports of growth narratives are best avoided.

If there is really nothing related to your growth background, you can also use touching personal stories to attract attention. For example, if you want to apply for a photojournalist, you can chip in that you have been a good user of mobile photography to document your life. Make sure to stick to the principle of facts only and avoid irrelevances.

After all, “integrity is the most important basic character of employees in any company. Moreover, the truthfulness of the story can be understood by experienced interviewers at first glance. In addition, don’t forget to highlight the personality traits that are most needed for the target job. A good example is if you are a person with strong EQ and stress resistance, perseverance, you can generously emphasize it when applying for a business position, as a major character advantage for extra points.

2. Educational background and professional ability

At the beginning of the autobiography, the family background and personal characteristics have been brought out, and the next step is to link academic experience with professionalism. If the job seeker is no longer a newcomer, the academic qualifications only need to mention the most recent academic history. Sometimes the alumni relationship can also be helpful.

Briefly introduce your academic background and tell the company what your professional capabilities are. The best approach is to point out the key functions and be sure to accentuate your ability to precisely fit in that job.

Carefully read the job description and ability requirements of the target job title, and then greatly emphasize your most relevant expertise in your resume autobiography.

3. Related experiences and achievements

Write down all the stories you are most proud of. Experience is the best proof of strength. It is best to use concise and strong sentences when writing, augmented by important data or actual results.

As a fresh graduate with no relevant work experience, you should never waste a great opportunity to show your strength.  You can write on related “study experience” such as club activities, student organizations, special reports, thesis, graduation production, school competitions, internships, part-time jobs, and so on.

4. Application motivation, personal philosophy, and goal vision

Every company has its own corporate ethics and norm and sometimes their persistence in finding “people in the same way” will exceed your imagination. Many people with very good conditions will feel very puzzled and frustrated after being declined by the applicants. However, most of the time, it’s not because of their lack of ability it’s just “different aura. Specifically, a company with a focused, cautious, and well-organized personality may not be able to recruit unruly and uncontrolled persons as an employee, whereas a passionate start-up company that escapes the framework will not want to seek out due -process- closed minded and conservative employees.

In addition to personality and aura, “motivation and philosophy” are also very important. Why do you want to work in this company? What attracted your attention? Is the philosophy of this company in sync with yours is something you can agree with and are willing to work for? These issues are extremely important to you or to the company. Because joining a company whose policy you can’t agree with will make you an unhappy employee and recruiting employees with incompatible ideas will drag down the entire business as well as make it unable to move forward at full speed under the best conditions.

Therefore, in this part of the autobiography, the most important thing is to clearly tell the company “Our philosophy and goals are the same, I have the ability and I am very happy to create value for the company”. Clearly show enthusiasm and co-production characteristics to the company, highlighting motivation and conceptual goals.

Finally, don’t forget to tell the company “The value and future you can bring to the company” again with just one or two sentences.