As an academic researcher, you’ve been putting together long manuscripts for years. Throughout your college courses and long into your graduate school classes, you’ve learned how to write specialized papers on difficult subjects, and while they’re not usually what most people would call “fun,” they’re also not the stressful task they once were.
But no matter how “old hat” it is to write a long dissertation or a manuscript of your experiment’s outcome, one thing that is consistent around most researchers is the difficulty that ensues when writing up one’s own academic biography. When asked to do so, this often strikes fear into the most hardened of scholars. It doesn’t have to, though. If you include these elements in your next academic biography, you can have an interesting bio that only needs tweaking when it’s time to update it after you’ve made more professional achievements.
When You Need an Academic Biography
If you’ve made it this far in your career without needing an academic biography, that’s great! But if you plan to stay in the field where publishing papers is expected, you’re going to need this attached to your submissions regularly. It’s time to make one and get comfortable with it.
Academic biographies are the place where your academic career is shared with the reader, showcasing your expertise in your field and why the person reading your paper should believe you. Your credentials are highlighted here, demonstrating the essentials that prove that you’re a reputable academic scholar.
Biographies are usually requested any time you submit a paper to a journal for publishing or are asked to (or you request to) present at a conference. They’re also posted on your department’s website or your own personal website and social media platforms. While the aspects of your career stay the same, you would tailor the biography’s elements based upon the platform where you’re posting it. For instance, your social media profile is going to look slightly different than what you’d send to a journal when you request them to publish your manuscript.
What Should Go in Your Bio?
What goes in your biography will vary based on where you’re publishing it, but these elements are the basic foundation of an academic bio and should always be included:
● Your demographics - as much or little as you want the audience to know - such as your date of birth, current city of residence, educational background, applicable professional experience, and area of specialization
● Any major achievements that you have that would be related to your field of study or the attached document if you’re sending it for publication
You can go further into detail on any of these elements if your biography needs to meet a certain word count. However, only include factual information that is related to your professional experience. You can always link to and copy quotes from articles written about you, add a picture of yourself, or include some interesting facts that will engage your reader.
How to Make Yours Interesting
When it comes to writing a good biography, there’s only so much you can do without embellishing facts if you don’t have a lot of exciting moments in your academic career. But you can still make your bio interesting. The trick is to consider your audience and then write for them.
Think about your ideal person reading the biography. Who is your target? Imagine that you’re writing to them, not to any potential people who might be uninterested in your life and career.
When you start writing with this perspective in mind, you’ll feel more willing to share interesting tidbits and details because you know the reader will appreciate them. Focus on what makes you stand out from others in your field, any accomplishments you’ve had that made you proud, and don’t look at these factors as though you’re bragging. Your reader wants to know these things!
Include your education, but don’t go into elaborate detail about it. If you were involved in any relevant research experiments during those years, you can talk about the outcome and your part in it.
One final thing to include is anything that personalizes you and connects the reader to you as a human being. Bring up your spouse and children, your furry family members, your favorite hobbies, and things like that in order to make you seem more approachable.
Writing Your Academic Bio: Impactio Makes it Easy
You might not wake up in the middle of the night stressing your upcoming speech or that paper you forgot to write, but knowing you need to create an academic biography can cause that same anxiety. With Impactio’s professional network, this becomes a breeze.
Optimize your biography and include it in your resume, connect with other scholars to see how they create theirs, and prepare yourself for a professional approach when you use Impactio as your platform to share your expertise.