Build a My Site profile to help people find you

Creating a rich My Site profile helps people find you. When you add profile details that highlight your expertise and interests, you improve the likelihood of being discovered by people who want to connect with someone of your background and know-how. The more key information that you provide, the more likely that your name will turn up in SharePoint 2010 searches when colleagues query for someone with your skills and attributes. When colleagues contact you, you can add them to your contacts.

My Sites and profiles rely on SharePoint 2010, and must be set up and supported by your organization. See your SharePoint administrator if you have questions about accessing a My Site profile.

This article describes how you can enhance your SharePoint 2010 My Site profile to improve your visibility in search results and expand your contact base.

In this article

How My Site profiles help people find you

Update your My Site profile to help people find you

Best practices for filling out My Site profiles

How My Site profiles help people find you

SharePoint 2010 users who need to find a colleague with specific skills, interests, or attributes can enter a name or keywords in the Search text box on a company’s portal site. The SharePoint Search service then crawls user profiles to find the specified criteria or properties.

For example, suppose that Chris needs information from someone in his company’s Northeast Sales division who was also in his graduating class. He does not recall the person’s name, so he might create a SharePoint search query that looks like this:

northeast sales Lancaster university ‘09

The SharePoint search service ranks your My Site profile properties according to relevance. The higher the ranking, the more valuable the profile values for those properties.

Therefore, if Deb’s My Site profile includes ‘northeast sales’ and ‘lancaster university ‘09’ in the Ask Me About and Schools text boxes, respectively, her name is likely to appear at the top of Chris’ search results. If her profile properties are empty, contain defaults, or show other entries that do not match these search criteria, she may not turn up in this search at all. For instance, if the Ask Me About text box has a value of ‘inventory management’ and the Schools text box is blank, she will not surface in Chris’ search results even though she is the contact that Chris seeks.

Administrators determine which profile properties appear in your profile when they build the My Site pages for your organization. Typically, they pre-populate certain profile properties – such as your user name - with static information from a central database. You cannot edit these properties.

The following table lists the Search-sensitive profile properties that may appear in your My Site profile. The table also indicates which properties are likely to be available for edit and which are typically pre-populated. Properties are listed in the Search order of the SharePoint Server 2010 ranking system, starting with the top-rated properties, when All is the selected Search type.

Relative search ranking

Profile property

Typically editable

Typically pre-populated


Job title




Organization or department name




Preferred name (full name)



Ask Me About (responsibilities)



User or account name




Distribution lists (organization’s DLs)










Past projects






About me


Update your My Site profile to help people find you

To optimize your position in people search results, update your SharePoint 2010 My Site profile as follows:

  1. Open your My Site home page.

  2. Click the My Profile tab.

  3. Click Edit My Profile.

  4. Update profile properties as follows, in order of search ranking, and if the property appears and is editable:

    1. Update the Preferred Name text box if it is editable and if the default entry is not how you are known in your organization.

    2. List your expertise areas in the Ask Me About text box. This helps you become the go-to person for colleagues who need information or help in these areas.

    3. List your skills in the Skills text box.

    4. List your interests in the Interests text box.

    5. List projects that you completed or worked on in the Past Projects text box.

    6. List schools that you attended in the Schools text box.

    7. Describe yourself in the About Me text box by using as many search-friendly words as possible.

  5. When you’re finished, click Save and Close.

You can update your My Site Profile at any time, whenever you have new relevant information.

Tip:  Consider clicking mention at the top of your edit profile page, followed by your Ask Me About items, to encourage co-workers to use the @mention<YourName> tag in their posts when they need information about your expertise areas.

Tip:  When a colleague contacts you for information, remember to add them to your contacts.

Best practices for filling out My Site profiles

The following table shows tips for updating editable profile properties so your co-workers can find you more easily:



Fill in empty property text boxes wherever you can enter information that could be valuable to a colleague who seeks your expertise.

If an Ask Me About property is empty, enter your key areas of expertise. You may even want to include your knowledge of subjects outside your profession. This practice helps discover you to other people who remember you through a shared or unusual hobby, such as ‘astronomy’.

Update default values if it is possible, to provide more useful or detailed information.

If a Preferred Name property appears with your legal name as the default, you might want to change it to show a first name by which you are more typically known. You could change William to Bill, for example.

Consider search ranking when filling out Profile properties, especially when you decide where you should put information related to your skills and interests.

If an Interests property includes an area of accomplishment, such as ‘photography’, move or copy that information into the Ask Me About text box. The Ask Me About box has a higher search ranking than Interests.

Enter complete and specific values instead of vague responses.

If a Past Projects property shows ‘Field improvements’, you could update it with specifics, such as the following:

Contoso Inc northeast field processes

Northeast field process automation

Northeast research mapping

Contoso local outreach

Use search-friendly terms to describe yourself.

If an About Me property appears, use likely search topics to enter information, such as ‘Geochemist specializing in hydrothermal processes and compositional analysis’ instead of ‘Years of experience working for materials research companies.’ The first case addresses specific search terms that point to someone with your background.

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