Skill Spotlight: Career Planning


Welcome to this week’s HDR Development Bulletin.

In this week’s HDR Development Bulletin, we are exploring the skill ‘Career Planning’ with an emphasis on crafting your digital footprint as part of your professional brand strategy.

As scholars in the digital age, you would be well aware of how much information is available through just a few taps or clicks. But when was the last time you thought about your own digital information trail? Have you Googled your name recently? What comes up? Do these search results convey the image you want potential employers or collaborators to see? If someone heard about your research and wanted to get in touch – is it easy to find a way to reach you? Have you ever conducted a personal brand audit?

Your digital presence is a powerful tool in your personal branding toolkit. You can leverage the different facets of your digital presence to bring authority to you, your current research and your future beyond your HDR degree A well-crafted online presence can help you stand out – helping to attract job offers, collaborations, speaking engagements, and other opportunities. So we encourage you to make sure your digital footprint reflects your desired professional identity and is readily accessible to those who might want to connect with you.

Below are some ideas for how you can start to help shape your personal digital brand.

Have a professional digital presence

 Intentionally building a professional digital footprint helps you control the narrative around what people will find when they look for you. It can also open opportunities that you might not have access to otherwise. Some options for building a professional digital presence include:

  • Research Now profile – if you did not set one up during your HDR induction, consider prioritising the next Creating a Research Profile session to learn how or work through this information at your own pace.
  • LinkedIn – a great tool to network and learn about the career paths of people in your industry. Read more here.
  • Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier (ORCID) – essentially a DOI for your research record that links all your scholarly accomplishments and contributions to you for the duration of your career. Learn more here.


Request a email address

 During your HDR candidature, it is likely you will engage with internal and external stakeholders via email. Having a professional email address helps bring authority to your correspondence as well as forming part of your personal brand as a researcher. Employees of Flinders University, including casual staff, automatically get a firstname.lastname email. But did you know HDR students are also eligible to apply for an email in this format? Send a Service One request requesting that your primary email alias be updated to take the format Learn more about managing your email on this page and if you scroll down to the bottom it has a link to the relevant support request channel

Set up a professional email signature.

Your email signature also helps establish legitimacy and forms part of your brand. It is also an opportunity to subtly connect people you correspond with to those carefully crafted elements of your digital footprint. Below is one layout idea you can copy and paste, but also look at examples from your supervisor, college leadership and/or research institutes or partners you are connected to for ideas. For further tips and examples (including how to set up your signature in Outlook and Gmail) – visit this site.

Posted in
GA3: Personal and Professional Awareness