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The Do's and Don'ts of Your Profile

In personal branding and business marketing it is vital to have an effective online presence.

Your profile projects who you are and serves as the foundation of your personal brand. Your profile must initiate the best possible impression and be the conduit for the messages you and your organization need to deliver. Having a well written profile can mean the difference between getting and losing a new client or job.

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LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts

LinkedIn has emerged as the leading online community for job seekers and business professionals.


  1. Complete all aspects of your profile. You need to go well beyond All-Star Status. Maximizing means more than listing your previous jobs and interests. You must explain your experiences, skills and successes. Include your awards, certifications and involvement with charities.
  2. Have a title that reflects your personality with specifics describing your professional background. No fun and games on LinkedIn; keep it professional. Your headline appears directly under your name and is one of the first pieces of information someone will see. Make sure it tells them quickly what your organizational title is such as president or sales manager.
  3. Include personal information. LinkedIn is a site for professional people, however including personal interests, hobbies and family information is often the best way to make a direct connection, which will lead to productive business relationships.


  1. Lie or exaggerate in your profile and background. Everyone wants to stand out, especially in competitive industries and when seeking a new position. Since LinkedIn was first designed for the staffing industry, it is easy to get caught up in trying to bolster a profile with exaggerated information. Nothing will get your resume or job application thrown in the garbage faster than inaccurate or overly exaggerated claims. Always be authentic.

Twitter Do’s and Don’ts

Since your Twitter profile cannot exceed 140 characters and there is a limited amount of space to say who you are, use this space wisely.


  1. Include a link in your description that brings readers to another site (preferably your website). If Twitter is the first place people find you, chances are they are going to look for more. Provide your audience with the most information and use key words that identify what you do.
  2. Have a customized background and theme that makes you recognizable and memorable. While Twitter offers backgrounds to choose from, upload one of your own that reflects some details about you or your business. For example, use your company logo. Adjust your settings so that your theme matches your company colors.
  3. Make your icon an image that represents your business. Your photo, logo or image that is memorable works best. Ask people what they think.
  4. Spend time selecting your Twitter name. Since your Twitter name is how people may find you, make sure it is simple and memorable. Avoid using extra letters or numbers that are unnecessary. You can change your handle but keeping a consistent brand online is key. Try not to change.


  1. Complete your description. Fill this section out completely; use 4 or 5 keywords that describe what you do and the purpose of your account. In your description, make sure not to overuse hash tags.

Facebook Do’s and Don’ts

Facebook is the largest social media site. If you are using it for business make it clear. When you are creating or modifying your Facebook profile, keep these tips in mind.


  1. When Facebook is for business, use a professional photo. It is important to make sure your photo is a true representation of yourself and the image you would like to convey. Make sure your photo is natural, balanced and not too small or blurry. If you can, have a professional photo taken.
  2. About: Your about section allows you to provide a solid profile of who you are, what you do and what you’re doing on Facebook. Tell your story and use your keywords here as well.


  1. Let your description go over 225 characters. Although Facebook allows you to provide a longer description, only the first 225 characters will be shown. If your description goes over, readers can only read more if they click the “about” button, so make your description short and to the point.
  2. Your Profile and Content: Unless your business relies on controversy or issues, don’t get involved in controversial, political or religious discussions or have content or links of this nature on your page. From a business perspective, if your goal is to connect with more people, stay away from these areas which are more likely to repel people rather than attract them.

Google+ Do’s and Don’ts

Google+ is emerging from its infant stages and now claims over 330 million users. Google+ is an additional tool with the power of Google Search behind it that any business owner, executive, or networking group must take advantage of. In order to make your Google+ account more effective, follow these strategies.


  1. Fill out your tagline. Google+ includes a tagline underneath your name that allows you to provide more of a description about yourself and your business. Fill in this section completely using 4 or 5 keywords that describe what you do.
  2. Include company name and geographic areas where you provide service. If you’re using Google+ for business purposes, include your company’s name and location. Also discuss the locations in which you provide your service – this will help you to be found and makes it clear where you provide services.


  1. Sell. Avoid using Google+ as a way to sell yourself, your products or your services. Remember that Google + and all social media sites are for awareness, branding and relationship building. If people wanted to read commercials, they can click on them all day. Certainly tell people what you do, but don’t make this site a hard selling tool or commercial.

About.Me Do’s and Don’ts

For people who do not have much time or do not have a website of their own, About Me is a great site with basic tools. In just one page, you can provide information and connect them to your other social sites.


  1. Include links to your other social media pages. About Me allows you to provide links to all your other networks in the form of social media icons. When setting up your profile, include your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more to give people greater access to your online profiles.
  2. Customize your background and photo. Like Twitter, About Me lets you upload your own background. Create a background that matches your online identity and personal brand – again, this will make you more recognizable and memorable.


  1. Be a braggart. It is important to discuss your accomplishments and skills relative to your personal brand. You must give your readers the best possible insight about you. However, avoid being self-centered and boastful. Discuss in your profile how you
    want to help people and share vs. what you want from them.

No matter what social media network you are using, always keep these last few points in mind.

  • Always check for spelling, grammar and links
  • Avoid using slang and never use 4 letter words
  • Don’t write in all capitals – this makes reading difficult
  • Don’t forget to provide some personal details and background

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Bill Corbett is the president of Corbett Public Relations, Inc and tweets at @wjcorbett.