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Top 10 tips to boost your online profile

Most people find it hard to write about themselves in a fair and objective way – balancing megalomania-like tendencies to over-egg your successes with displaying a fair report of your capabilities and qualifications. Read these tips for improving your professional profile online.

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The online profile you use on professional social networking sites should be a fair celebration of your achievements to date. It should include factual and personal information which informs the reader as to your personality and style of conducting business. The goal is not to put together an advertisement for you, it is merely to display yourself fairly to the outside world and give people a 3D view of you.

Here are our top ten tips to a good online profile:

1. Be fair and honest

Your profile should above all be a true representation of your successes. Never lie or exaggerate your achievements, nor your role in them – this will be found out and will damage your reputation irreparably.

2. Take pride in what you have achieved

Speak positively about your achievements without bragging or self-deprecation.

3. Be transparent about any negatives

The best way to maintain a good reputation is to remain transparent in all your business dealings. Don't sugar-coat the negatives; explain them and let the reader decide. Negatives will always be brought out, probably by your competitors, so get there first and put your side of the story across.

4. Keep it brief and well-structured

Use just enough description to get by. Your reader does not want to read a novel, simply the facts.

5. Be specific

People relate to examples if they are specific i.e. legal executive at IBM is much more powerful than legal executive at leading computer manufacturer.

6. Present a 3D image of yourself

Don't simply focus on the dry facts. Your reader wants to know what makes you different from everyone else with the same skills as you. If you're a mountaineer – say so. If you have a passion for motor sport, teaching children with a disability or taking part in community programmes, don't hide it.

There will be people who see these as key differentiators and place business with you because of them.

7. Don't preach

You may hold strong views on many subjects. You're not going to convert the world through a profile so don't use it as an opinion forum, it will not enhance your reputation.

8. Don't use your profile as an advertisement for your company

Your profile is a representation of you. If you wish to link that to the company then that's fine – but don't try to use your profile to put the latest sales pitch for the company's products on. It's not you and it will reflect badly on you.

9. Demonstrate integrity

Overall your profile should be dignified, fair and able to stand up to scrutiny. These attributes will reflect upon you and will give potential clients enough trust to consider you for their next piece of business.

10. Choose a good photo

Make sure the picture you choose represents the reputation you want to get across. Don't choose a holiday snap from your last summer break if you want to be portrayed as a serious business person.

About the author

Steve Wainwright is the chief executive of, a website which helps business professionals manage their online reputation.