They are supposed to point to the individual articles. Make sure you mix up the anchor text with variances of keywords, too.
Backlinks to your profile certainly don't hurt, either. I build backlinks to my profile when I comment on blogs. I just put "Melanie" for the anchor text since it's my name though, so the only thing I would really rank for there, is my name. Hehe.
Westman Todd Shaw is definitely right about backlinks not mattering as much as they used to. Back in the day (pre-Panda,) you could write any junk on the Internet and get a zillion backlinks and, by doing so, rank for whatever you wanted. Now the quality of your writing matters a TON. Because of this, it's harder to rank by backlinks alone. This is ACTUALLY great for HubPages writers, even though after Panda things sucked a for a while. Now all we have to do is write great content and not worry so much about backlinks.