The Unwritten Rules of Putting Your Job Title In Your Instagram Bio
Have you noticed Instagram has gotten weirdly professional lately? Everyone’s deleting their drunk party pics and adding semi-profesh model shots. Even non-influencers have started adding their email addresses to their bios, along with their job title of choice.
The problem with putting your job title in your Instagram bio is that unlike LinkedIn, it can’t be confirmed with your company and co-workers. This has led to a curious free-for-all where everyone is a model, actress, content creator, entrepreneur, and maybe even a millionaire.
If you think it’s sus, you’re not alone.
But, what if you really are the type of person who uses Insta to get some work? Say, a photographer or an influencer. Should you put your career in your bio? Or are you going to look like a wannabe?
Well, here are the unofficial rules. Thank us later.
1. You need to have a portfolio to back it up
It seems that on Instagram, everyone’s an artist, or a writer, or a model. The key to one of these creative self-given titles is actually having the work to back it up. And no, your Instagram does not count as your portfolio. You shouldn’t put “model” in your bio if you just do photo shoots for Instagram in your backyard, and you shouldn’t put “writer” in your bio if your work has never been published. If this rule is too unclear, keep reading.
2. If you’ve never gotten paid for it, don’t put it in your bio
Our editor Molly Mulshine has a super easy way to know if you should put a title in your bio. “My rule of thumb is if no one’s ever paid you to do it, you don’t get to put it in your bio,” she said.
This is officially the golden rule of Instagram bio job titles, TBH.
3. If someone can tell what you are from your feed, you don’t need to spell it out
The thing about putting “model” or “bodybuilder” in your Instagram bio is that if you’re really good at it and dedicate the majority of your feed to it, it shouldn’t need to be said. Like, anyone who’s going to read your bio is going to see your first three photos at least, and they’ll be able to tell you’re a model or an artist or whatever.
“I think if you’re a blogger you really don’t have to put it [in your bio] because basically Instagram is your blog and you’ll have a link for it,” said Amani, 22. “But if you’re a stylist or editor of a magazine or so forth, I think it’s okay to do it.”
4. “Blogger” & “content creator” don’t mean anything to smart people
“Instagram is kind of garbage, so as a general rule of thumb, I think unless you have a job that Google can confirm, feel free to put it in your bio,” says Maria Pasquini, fellow writer at Galore. “But don’t think that anybody is gonna take it all that seriously. Anybody can write anything in their bio on Instagram.”
She has a point. If someone really wants to know what you do, they’ll probs check your LinkedIn or Google you. Maybe we’re taking the Instagram bio all too seriously, but at the same time, we’re trying to make sure people take you seriously!
“The words ‘blogger’ and ‘creator’ literally do not mean anything and should probs be avoided at all costs,” she adds.
5. Faking it till you make it does not apply here
The only thing worse than being unexperienced? Being a liar.
“People need to understand that employers (and potential baes/friends) can tell when the titles you put in your bio are bull shit,” points out Molly Mulshine. “If your Instagram bio says you’re a writer and I Google you and no samples pop up, it’s like, 900 strikes against you.”
I know every teacher you’ve ever had has told you to fake it until you make it and oversell yourself, but there’s a limit. Confidence is great, lying about your title or being ignorant about your field is another issue entirely. Don’t make that mistake!
“I’ve seen profiles with people who say they do PR when in reality they kind of just listen to music from upcoming artists and put it on their website, like they don’t have a clientele or anything,” says Amani. “I just think people need to learn what their field is and the correct title for it.”
6. Do not put entrepreneur or CEO if your business is one person
I’ve always joked that any guy who puts “entrepreneur” in his dating bio is a grade-A douche, and Instagram works similarly.
“The only thing I really notice is when people put ‘entrepreneur,'” said Sabrina, 23. “We all know what that means.”
In case you’re unaware, it usually means that the person has their own business that employs one person. In other words, they’re a freelancer.
So sure, they’re the CEO and founder, but by default, they’re also the janitor and receptionist. It’s cool to start a business and all, but not if the only reason you did it was to brag on Instagram!
At the end of the day, it’s your call what to put in your Instagram bio. After all, tons of people put “unicorn” and “mermaid” in their bios, and that’s clearly a lie.
The problem is, if you’re putting a job in your bio, it probably means you’re trying to get work. But who wants to hire someone that is either a liar, a joke, or just bragging all the time?
If your biggest aspiration is to get sponsored by a detox tea company, feel free to go wild on the job titles. But, if you’re trying to be the next Anna Wintour, maybe keep “writer” out of your bio until you get a steady gig!