Writing your Marion’s List entry is easy, but you need to take a little care too. Here are some tips to help you get started, a few things to keep in mind as you write and a video chat about how to write an engaging bio.

If you are feeling self-conscious or overly modest it might help to forget that you are writing about yourself – pretend you are compiling an entry for a fabulous friend.

Getting started

  • Take a look at other entries. Think about which ones you find engaging and why.
  • Try writing your profile with a buddy! You could pair up with someone who knows you well and can help you identify your strengths – and vice versa. Alternatively, pair with someone new and use some prompts to learn about each other. In the process you will identify key things to include in your profile!
  • Use some prompts to help you get started. Questions to ask your buddy or yourself include:
  • What is your current role? What does it entail? 
  • What motivates you? What makes you care about the work you do?
  • What are your main skills / areas of expertise?
  • How might a co-worker describe you?
  • Is there anything specific or unusual about your experience or background that you’d like people to know?
  • What is the main thing you would like people to know about you professionally?  
  • What do you think sets you apart from a typical person in your role? 
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? 
  • Are there specific things you’d like to get into that falls outside your usual job description? (Mentoring, public speaking, writing etc.)
  • What are you interested in / where do you want to hone your skills further? 

Writing your profile

  • Use the first sentence as an overview – briefly explain who you are and what do you do. Remember that some people will only read the first sentence or two.
  • Think about the order of your  information. Put the most important material first and then back it up with detail. (Don’t start with educational background and build towards key experience – people might not keep reading.)
  • Use descriptive terms that will help people find you. Marion’s List is searched by keywords, so think about what terms might be used to search for someone with your expertise. Are you a BIM expert? Say so! Are you a historian, or a project architect or an urban designer (or all three)? Are you an ace specification writer or an expert in client liaison or an HR specialist or a design lead? Tell people! What types of projects do you work on? Let people know.
  • Think about the best way to describe your role – this is the first thing that people will see on Marion’s List. It’s OK to name a few, especially if you have a ‘portfolio’ career.
  • Mention your current career stage – graduate, emerging, mid career, established?
  • Write in clear direct prose and avoid long, complex sentences. This is the place for short, snappy, accessible writing.
  • Don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality. (But don’t force it either!)
  • Mention your commitments and interests, as well as your acheivements and work history. Think about where you want to go as well as where you have been.
  • Don’t overuse capital letters – if you are describing areas of work, or roles use lowercase – including for the word ‘architect’, unless it is part of a specific title. On the other hand, Indigenous should always have an ‘I’ when referring to Indigenous people in Australia.
  • Last of all, check your spelling and grammar! (Use Australian standard spelling – for example, ise not ize)

We check and moderate entries before making them live, but we don’t have the resources to undertake detailed editing of each entry. It’s important that Marion’s List is clear, professional and engaging – help us by taking care with your own entry.


For more suggestions, watch Justine Clark and Sarah Mair chat to Nikita Morell about how to write an engaging profile.

Thanks to Megan Boyle for the prompt questions.