Pageant contestant preparing a winning contestant bio.

When it comes to giving great answers to pageant interview questions, you’ve got to start with a great contestant bio. If you don’t have a great bio, the judges can’t ask you great questions so that you can give great answers. It’s often tempting to quickly fill out your bio and send it in. After all, nobody enjoys doing pageant paperwork. Ugh! But make sure you use these 5 keys to create your winning contestant bio.

1. Be Thorough. Don’t just zip through your answers. You want to include as much content as possible in your first draft. Write down everything you’ve done in the last two to three years. Then when you’re sure you’ve listed everything, go back and strategically select the items that help highlight you as a great choice for the title. You’ve got a lot of depth as a contestant and you want that depth to come across on your paperwork. After all, your contestant bio is your first chance to make a great impression with the judges!

2. Be Interesting.  It’s absolutely the kiss of death to bore the judges with the same old thing. Judges often see the same things listed over and over on contestant bios. You know things like: ‘hanging out with family and friends’, ‘working out’, and ‘shopping’.  If you list any of these – or similar phrases – your contestant bio is not going to help you stand out as a contestant. If the answers on your bio are the same as what the other contestants have listed on their bios, you’re going to get the same pageant interview questions as they get – and those questions just won’t lead to a winning interview score!

3. Always Include Community Service Work.  Even if you’re not competing in a platform pageant, it’s always a great idea to include community service work on your contestant resume. Volunteer work demonstrates your commitment to others and provides you with an opportunity to talk about your leadership skills. If you’re competing in a platform pageant and have a separate platform statement, make sure that you include work involving your platform on your contestant bio. It will confuse your judges if you list Breast Cancer Awareness as your platform, but your volunteer activities only include the humane society and local food pantry. If a platform is not required for your pageant, you should still include your volunteerism to get bonus points from the judges. Remember, community service work on your bio is always a good idea!

4. Have Someone Else Proofread Your Bio. A contestant resume that’s full of errors will give the judges the impression that you’re a sloppy, unimpressive contestant. After you’ve spent time creating fabulous content, give it to your smartest friend to proofread. Don’t have someone who helped you write the bio proof it. You need a fresh set of eyes to pick up any typos or grammar errors that you have missed. If you’re in a pinch, use an online grammar app such as Grammarly. The judges are not going to notice your wonderful content if they’re distracted by misspelled words and poor grammar. Don’t skip this step and you’ll increase your chances of having a winning contestant bio.

5. Update regularly. Once you’re happy with your contestant bio, remember to take it out every 4 – 6 months and update it.  There’s nothing worse than deciding to enter a pageant right before the deadline and having to submit an outdated bio. Keep a list of appearances and community service work in your calendar so you’re able to quickly update your bio. Regularly updating your bio means that you’ll always feel prepared – and a prepared contestant is a relaxed and poised contestant both in the personal and on-stage interview.

Remember: you won’t get great questions during your interview if you don’t have a winning contestant bio. So, take the time to use these 5 keys and you’ll be one step closer to capturing the crown!