Quick Questions: On Professional Bios

Question:  I am working on a professional bio. Can you tell me how to properly write this, specifically  how to write out the degrees (Masters, Master, master, etc.):

1) . She earned a masters of international marketing from Colorado College and a bachelor of arts in history from Chicago State.

Thank you!

Answer:

Thank you for sending us your question. When working on a professional bio, it is important to keep several things in mind. Your bio will differ on the types of employment you are seeking, and your tone should be suited to the audience. For example, an artist’s professional bio will differ in tone and content from the bio of someone in business or marketing. Degrees, awards, and publications are key elements for all professional bios, as are references. While you may use your resume as a starting point for creating your bio, your bio will contain more information: in short, it will contain the information that best represents your capabilities through your accomplishments.

Your specific question about how to properly write out degrees is an important one to ask. When you are writing out specific degrees and they are coupled with a person’s name, you will want to capitalize the type of degree—Bachelor of Arts in English or Master of Arts in History, for example. If you abbreviate the degrees after a person’s name, in MLA style they appear as BA, MA, or DA (for Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Arts, respectively). Other style guides include periods in these abbreviations, so be sure you know which style is preferred by your field.

I have also included a couple of helpful links below. The first deals with writing a professional bio, and the following two with the proper capitalization of academic degrees.

Additional Resources

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-write-a-professional-biography
http://data.grammarbook.com/blog/capitalization/capitalization-of-academic-degrees
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/degrees.html