Jung Ryeo-won debuted in the South Korean girl group Chakra in February 2000 with the single Han. The following month, they released their first studio album titled Come A Come. Jung Ryeo-won left the group in 2004 and focused on acting. In 2005, she gained attention for her appearance on the MBC sitcom Hello Franceska. That same year, she had her acting breakthrough in the hit MBC drama My Lovely Kim Sam-soon, in which she won an Excellence Award at the 2005 MBC Drama Awards. The series also took home the Daesang for TV at the 2006 Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2007, she was cast in her first movie leading role in Two Faces of My Girlfriend, which earned her the Best New Actress trophy at the 28th Blue Dragon Film Awards. In 2012, she was nominated for Best Actress at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards for the movie Pained. Also in 2012, she won a Top Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards for her work in History of the Salaryman and King of Dramas. In 2017, she won another Top Excellence Award, this time at the KBS Drama Awards for Witch’s Court.

Jung Ryeo-won and her family emigrated to Brisbane, Australia when she was still a young girl. She also goes by the name Yoana Jung. In 2007, she showcased her drawing skills in the book Ryeo-won’s Sketchbook. In 2012, two of her artwork pieces were sold at a charity auction.