Jo Jin-woong debuted on stage before landing his first big screen role in the 2004 drama film Once Upon a Time in High School. In 2010, he appeared in the mystery thriller movie Bestseller, which won him Best New Actor at the 18th Chunsa Film Art Awards. In 2011, he played King Sejong’s loyal bodyguard in the SBS sageuk Tree With Deep Roots, which earned him a Special Award nomination at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2012, he was named Best Supporting Actor at the 21st Buil Film Awards for his performance as a mobster in Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time. In 2014, he starred in the action thriller film A Hard Day, which gave him numerous accolades including Best Actor at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2015, he took home the Best Supporting Actor trophy at the 21st Chunsa Film Art Awards for the hit espionage film Assassination. In 2016, he acted alongside Lee Je-hoon and Kim Hye-soo in tvN’s Signal, which scored him the Daesang at the tvN10 Awards and the 1st Asia Artist Awards. In 2020, he received the Best Actor trophy at the 21st Busan Film Critics Awards for the mystery drama film Me and Me.

Jo Jin-woong married his non-celebrity girlfriend in November 2013. They welcomed their daughter in February 2020.