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How To Write an Online Profile

An online profile allows readers to get to know you personally or professionally.

Remember to display a professional image when posting a business profile online. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Remember to display a professional image when posting a business profile online.

How to Write an Online Profile

Knowing how to write an online profile helps Internet users boost their online visibility. An online profile functions as a virtual introduction to a person's hobbies and business practices. Social and business networking sites give users the opportunity to connect with others who share their interests. For example, dating websites help users find romance by displaying personality-based profiles, whereas websites for business professionals feature a person's career abilities rather than specific information about their personality. All of these sites allow users to develop profiles that spread the word about who he or she is. As a result, learning how to write an original online profile is an invaluable skill for social and business networkers, alike.

Write an Online Profile for Social Networking

Social networking profiles should be designed to highlight the user's personality. Basic information usually includes name, age, gender and location, plus a profile picture. Most sites also allow space for users to include:

  • Favorite quotes, movies, music and books
  • Links to personal or favorite websites
  • Additional photos and videos
  • Applications, such as games
  • Biographical information

The best profiles include plenty of information for visitors. Content can be personalized and highlighted by using templates, widgets and RSS feeds to enhance the profile. In addition, users should update a social networking profile often to give return visitors something interesting to view. Music, links to favorite sites and blog features or applications allow visitors to learn more about the user. Whether a person aims to gain more friends or simply have fun in cyberspace, the more often a profile is updated, the more a user gets out of it.

Staying Safe on Social Networking Sites

Both adults and teenagers should exercise caution when writing an online profile. There is a fine line between providing enough information for people to get to know a person and too much information that can be misused by an identity thief, potential stalker or other criminal. Social security numbers, dates of birth and exact addresses should not be posted online since they can easily be used by a miscreant to find a person or steal an identity. In addition, although an online profile may seem personal and private to some people, others do see what is posted. Consequently, users should not post anything they wouldn't want current or future employers, parents, children or school officials to see. OnGuardOnline.gov encourages parents to talks to kids about what information is appropriate to include in an online profile and what should be kept private.

Online Dating Profiles

Dating websites allow users to create detailed profiles in the hopes of finding the right romantic partner. Crafting an online dating profile properly can make the difference between an inbox full of suitable responses and one crammed with duds. Tips for writing a good profile include:

  • Concentrating on the user and not what the user is looking for in a mate
  • Detailing personal qualities that make the user stand out
  • Telling a story that says something about the user and what the user values

Dating profiles should avoid creating lists of what the user dislikes or finds unacceptable in a mate. This usually just turns people off. In addition, the profile should not spend too much time talking about family and work interests that give the impression that there is no room in the user's life for another person.

Business and Professional Online Profiles

Although social networking sites appeal to people looking to make friends and have fun, many users are finding ways to use these sites to build an online business presence. Some networking sites are even geared specifically for business networking. Advertising Age points out that business people can't afford to ignore these websites while their competitors are busy making connections online.

When users build an online profile for business, they need to concentrate on creating a professional image and providing useful information for visitors. Users should list credentials and experience that establish them as experts, provide company contact information and include keywords relevant to the business. Photos posted on business profiles should be professional and project a positive company image. In addition, photos and videos can be used to showcase projects and accomplishments.

Just like social networking profiles, online business profiles should be updated regularly to keep visitors interested.

Writing an About Me Page Profile

Bloggers can increase their credibility and brand themselves by including an About Me page. Elements for this type of online profile include a picture, contact information, background and expertise, and some extraneous information about the blogger. Readers will remember the blog and return to it again if the page also includes how the blog can help the reader, specifically.

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