Jo Yoon-hee made her entertainment industry debut in 1999. Her first acting projects include the SBS sitcom Orange in 2002 and the film The Last Supper in 2003. She then appeared in the 2004 action-drama movie Taegukgi, which won Best Film at the 40th Baeksang Arts Awards and at the 2005 Asia Pacific Film Festival. In 2010, she was named Best New Actress at the MBC Drama Awards for her role as a prima ballerina in the daily series Golden Fish. In 2012, she became part of KBS2’s You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress citation at the KBS Drama Awards. In 2013, she starred in tvN’s time travel drama Nine: Nine Time Travels. That same year, she joined the main cast of the MBC series Scandal: A Shocking and Wrongful Incident. In 2016, she bagged an Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards for the family weekend drama Laurel Tree Tailors.

Jo Yoon-hee and her Laurel Tree Tailors co-star Lee Dong-gun registered their marriage in May 2017. Their wedding ceremony took place privately on September 29 of the same year. Almost three months later, the actress gave birth to a daughter. The couple got divorced in May 2020.