Social networks are especially important to professionals. It’s a way to keep up with current business trends and connections with colleagues. A social network can help you get another job. It also serves as a sense of community and support.

Professional social networking takes effort. Follow these tips to make the most of the social networking experience:

1. Allow Your Personality to Shine Through

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It is important to let people know who you are, over and above your professional accomplishments. People do business with you, not your work achievements. Write the bio from your best friend’s point of view. What defines you? Do you have integrity? Are you helpful? Are you an avid reader? It is perfectly fine to add a line or two about hobbies and then write about what unique traits you bring to problem-solve. Describe yourself with phrases like, “outside-the-box problem-solver.”

2. Use Keywords Targeted Toward Your Audience

One of the goals of professional social networking is making new connections. When your professional bio is geared toward search engines, you are much easier to find. Use words that are specific to your experience in particular industries, such as, journalism, media, or engineering. These keywords will attract those seeking to hire your professional profile.

3. Avoid Buzzwords

Be professional in every area of your social network bio. Don’t use words, such as, guru, ninja, or maven. These words are often overused and easily misunderstood. Rather than lifting the professional up, the person appears to be bordering on incompetent. Instead, write about your top expertise and vast experience in your career. Avoiding buzzwords is a way to keep the content of your bio fresh and up-to-date.

4. Use Fresh Language

A thesaurus is your best friend in putting together a professional bio for a social network. Even the best writers have difficulty coming up with “the” perfect word in a particular situation. Another tactic is to use “evergreen” language. Use words like “always” rather than “sometimes.” Hashtags are a thing of the past. Simply avoid their use altogether. Explain how your unique qualities solve problems or accomplish goals.

5. Be Creative

Again, this is where a thesaurus comes in very handy. Write in the third person, highlighting any professional accomplishments. If you are just starting out, write about what you do and how well you do it. Include the impact you make in the business world. Include your educational background and where you attended university. Remember that a professional bio is only a quick summary of who you are. Consider incorporating a quote that encompasses your work ethic.

6. Provide Regular Updates

Maximize the benefit of your social networks through regularly updating your professional bio. Whether it’s a new promotion, a move to a new company, or stepping out as an entrepreneur, update your accounts. Regular updates keep you fresh in the minds of other professionals in your network. In this way, you keep your content from being dull or boring.

7. Add a Picture of Yourself

While it may be tempting, don’t add a photo of something you adore, like a kitten or puppy. Upload a nice, crisp photo of yourself. Not only does this add a personal touch, it is another way to let others get to know you. Your face is a huge part of your personal brand. People are more apt to want to work with someone they can see.

8. Always Proofread

Even a minor grammar mistake can become an embarrassing and very public mistake. Even though we are all under time constraints, proofreading only requires a few minutes, and could avoid the loss of business or a personal references. Remember, your bio is the first reference point for you. Don’t skip this important step. Failure to proofread makes you look incapable of doing the job.

9. Make Yourself Recognizable Across Networks

Stay consistent across social networks. This technique makes you easily accessible. Across platforms, use the same logo and message. Keep your profile public, indexed, and accessible across social networks. Link profiles across social mediums, such as blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Featured photo credit: SimonQ錫濛譙 via photopin cc

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