As a researcher, people want to know you. Often, the people who find your research will also want to find you, the researcher. To do this, they might search your name on Google, or another search engine. So, you want the search results to reflect who you are. And no one knows you better than yourself – you are responsible for writing your own story.
Wherever you can, you should submit your biography. There are many places were your biography (or ‘bio’) can exist: on social media platforms, any personal websites, conferences, and when signing off on an article. In all print and online places where you can include your biography, you should. To help with publishing your bios, you should create the following:
A short bio: this should be 1-2 lines
A longer bio: this should be 1-2 paragraphs
When drafting your bios, make sure you know how you want to present yourself. Often, your biography is one of the first things people see/read about you, so make sure it describes you well and accurately. Make sure that they are consistent too, this helps you and your brand become recognizable.
Another thing to consider is that some people might find you by topical searching. Including keywords (and hashtags on social media platforms) in your biographies is important.
Put a face to your name
People want to associate a face with your name. So you need a high-quality head shot if you want to build a recognizable brand. To get a good head shot, you may need to recruit a friend, family member or fellow researcher to help. Make sure they have a digital camera or a smart phone.
When you have your head shots taken, be aware of the lighting and your background. You want good natural lighting, so perhaps consider having photos outside or in front of a large window. A plain background helps keep the focus on you, but why not try choosing somewhere that is relevant to your researcher career. Perhaps your university campus, or an interesting building.
Choose your favorite head shot, and then use this one across all your platforms and profiles. This will increase your chances of being identifiable by your audience.