Thanks to the popularity of the recent television game show, the phrase "you are the weakest link" has gained renewed notoriety.  Once slated for the depths of obsolescence, it is now much more frequently encountered in both professional and personal conversations.
Today, however, my point is not to discuss the value of trite colloquialisms, but rather to illustrate the value of social networking profiles as a business tool.  More specifically, how a well-developed LinkedIn profile can enhance your professional standing.
Many people have created LinkedIn profiles over the years, yet they often leave the profiles barren of valuable information.  This can be a fatal mistake.  Compare your profile to your resume.  If you submitted a document devoid of information, lacking a clear and concise representation of your skills, talents and goals, what would the end result be?
No need to worry.  There is a simple solution.  Schedule an hour or two a week to look at your own profile.  Compare it to others on the site.  Take the time to fill out the profile information you feel is most appropriate to your background.  Connect with your 'connections'.  
I am amazed at the number of profiles I see on LinkedIn with no recommendations or endorsements.  This can be one of the most valuable parts of your profile, yet so many members disregard it.  Send a brief message to your associates and clients asking them to take a moment to look at your profile and endorse the skills they know you have.  Ask them to write a short recommendation.  This alone can elevate the value of your LinkedIn page above the endless sea of others.  And it will help support your claims of greatness.  Think of it as the references you provide when interviewing for a new position.  Input from other professionals is often viewed as more reliable and less biased than your own claims.
Include links to projects, websites and events with which you have been involved.  Post ideas, comments, and links to your blog.  Interact. Join groups. Make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Once you optimize your profile, keep it current.  You'll be glad you did.  And you will no longer be the weakest Link on LinkedIn.

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