Whether you’ve been online dating for one year or five years, have tried Tinder or eHarmony, are 25 years old or 65 years old, here’s some advice that will help you make the most of your dating profile:
Make sure your photos represent the real you.
This is not the place for a glamour shot. A flattering photo of a smiling, confident you is the best way to go. Remember, you’d rather have someone meet you in person think “He/she is much better looking than the photos” than “Those photos were taken 10 years ago!”
Oh, and if you happen to look different than your photo on the day you’re meeting a first date, reach out to let them know. For example, if you share photos of yourself with your hair long, send a quick message saying: “See you at 7! Just as a heads up, I’m wearing a red jacket and my hair is in a bun today.”
Limit the number of photos.
Five photos are recommended. Of those five photos, please make sure that one is a clear shot of your face (preferably smiling) and one is a full-body shot.
Hinge is the only site that requires a specific number of photos (six), but for the others, you’re allowed to choose — and wisely limit — the number. Don’t fall into Match.com’s trap of posting pictures in all 26 slots available.
Be by yourself in a least one photo.
Why? First, you don’t want to give someone the opportunity to compare you with the other people (likely your friends) in your own profile. Second, there is no need for “social proof” that you really do have friends. Lastly, if you’re pictured with someone of the opposite sex, it can seem confusing. Are you hugging your ex? Or is that your current significant other?
Have one photo of you taking part in an activity.
Many people have no idea what to say in the initial message to you, so give them some message bait (something to comment on). Include a photo of you riding a bike, baking bread, yarn bombing, woodworking or talking your beagle for a walk.
Take your time writing your profile.
Many people think that writing an online dating profile is a one-and-done job, and they rarely change it based on its success, or lack thereof. But your profile is something you should carefully craft, even if it’s just 25 words long. (For Tinder and Bumble, consider keeping it to 25 to 40 words.)
Look at these two profiles:
“Fun, attractive and kind looking for my match” vs. “Entrepreneur, cereal lover, bourbon drinker, dog owner and coolest aunt in history. Spend my days in spreadsheets and nights dabbling in stand-up comedy. Looking for something real and lasting.” Which would you choose?
Be sure to avoid empty adjectives, such as “smart,” “attractive” and “fun,” which are subjective and can’t be proven until someone gets to know you.
End your profile on a positive note.
“Need not apply” need not be in your vocabulary. Instead of listing qualities you don’t want, reframe as those you do. For example, “No liars!” should be “Looking for someone trustworthy.”
Don’t write a novel.
Anything over three paragraphs on a traditional online dating site such as Match.com is much too long. And on the apps (i.e. Tinder, Bumble, etc.), short, sweet and quirky is the key.
Edit and proofread your profile.
Careless mistakes don’t make you look busy, they make you look stupid.
Be realistic, not idealistic.
Your profile should be representative of the real you today, not the you of yesteryear or the you you hope to become.
Hang in there.
Remember that online dating isn’t defined by one bad — or good — date. You can’t hold one person’s bad behavior (or more likely their incompatibility) against possible future dates. You will likely go on a few bad dates. But you also will go on some great ones.