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Online dating profile tips: Make your profile work for you

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by eharmony Editorial Team - June 13, 2024

A good dating profile is the cornerstone of your online dating efforts. It’s that first impression that gets people interested. But it can be difficult sometimes to figure out what photos express who you are and what essential aspects of your life to include in your dating profile bio.

Are you searching for helpful tips, so that your dating profile stands out and makes people take notice? We explore some ways you polish it up and make it more engaging while still being suitably representative of the real you.

Aspects of dating profiles you need to know

Dating profiles tend to have a range of sections that can help guide you on what are good details of your life to share, such as your hobbies, occupation, religion and workout habits, for instance. These are good for establishing an initial connection, as either of you may be looking for someone who shares their religion or has similar goals in a relationship, such as having children.

Your dating profile is also a chance for some creativity and to share deeper aspects of your personality. Answering the questions section in your eharmony profile, like ‘My greatest travel story is…’ is a good way to achieve this as it also provides a good starting point for your counterpart to write a first message to you.

Other things that can help paint a more three-dimensional picture of you beyond your photos are the Entertainment section, where you can share your favorite music and movies. Or you can elaborate more on your travel habits and the kinds of foods you enjoy. These all serve to give people an idea of what it would be like to date you and be part of your life, on the side of the interaction.

Now let’s look at some of the things you should have on your profile and the kind of content to avoid. 

Dos and don’ts of your dating profile

Let’s take a look at some basic dos and don’ts on your profile that can often hinder your online efforts or make it harder for people to connect with you:

  • Don’t make your dating profile too light on information. Sometimes mystery isn’t alluring.
  • Do use photos that show off your best side but still an honest side of you. Using old photos or overindulging in filters will only lead to your date feeling lied to.
  • Don’t be sarcastic or negative on your profile. It’s always best to stick with sincerity and openness to get people interested.
  • Do make sure to double-check your profile for any spelling or grammar errors. These can indicate you’re not that invested in the process.
  • Don’t skip answers in the dating profile questions section just because you can’t come up with a clever answer. People want to get to know the real you so don’t feel pressured to always be engaging in every aspect of your profile.
  • Do take the opportunity to be adventurous. You want your profile to share the hidden aspects that make you special so now isn’t the time to be shy. Share as much as you can about yourself and the inner you without getting too wordy.

Online dating profile tips to help you shine

Not meeting the right kind of people online? Maybe you’re not getting many bites or messages back. This can often be because of a poorly constructed profile. So here’s our list of online dating profile tips that are guaranteed to help you stand out and spice up your online experience. 

Make sure your dating profile is fully completed

A couple of photos and a short, abrupt bio tells the other person that you’re not fully invested in the process. No one likes to waste their time online.

An eharmony survey saw incomplete profiles ranked top of members’ pet hates about profiles1.   

So include more pictures of yourself, fill out your bio with meaningful information and complete all those other elements like your hobbies, interests and passions to give them a fuller picture. 

Don’t make your dating profile too generic

We’ve all seen those dating profile examples where the profile consists of a picture with their pet, a bio that says they enjoy walking and their hobbies are cycling.

While this may be accurate, let people in a bit more. Don’t be afraid to share those quirks and eccentricities that make you who you are. Being vulnerable and open on your dating profile is important. While it may not be as broadly appealing as owning a dog and liking walks, it will help you stand out from the crowd and attract the right kind of people. 

People are attracted to positive vibes

As human beings, we are naturally attracted to positivity. This was confirmed by a study in The Journal of Positive Psychology2.

This doesn’t mean you have to be brimming with happiness in your profile. Rather, try to shape your profile so that it’s honest but not glum. Include pictures of you smiling and talk about the things you enjoy, not dislike. Give people the impression that reaching out to you could be a positive experience.  

Picking the right dating profile pictures

This is one of the most important online dating profile tips and an area many people get wrong. We let vanity get in the way and pick our favorite photos that are outdated or poorly lit. Some people use filters, which is easily recognizable to most and ranked number two for profile annoyances on our user survey3. Online daters hate feeling deceived. Don’t use more than two selfies in your dating profile pictures.

Instead, make sure you have the right lighting and get a friend to take some new photos to attract the right people to your dating profile. Remember to include photos of you doing activities so they can get a three-dimensional idea of you.

Don’t create an unrealistic picture of yourself and your life

The key to successful online dating isn’t volume but quality. When you over-inflate or give a warped impression of your lifestyle or achievements, you’re going to disappoint whoever you end up meeting with and might miss out on meeting the right kind of people online. People who might like the real you, just as you are.

A good bio for dating apps is authentic, vulnerable and expressive. Let people see the real you and trust some will appreciate your actual value.

Don’t be arrogant or picky in your dating profile bio

People who are cynical about online dating sometimes let it show too strongly on their profile. They include specific information about the people they won’t consider, dismiss certain prospects in their bio and generally put forward an arrogant energy in their dating profile.  

Few people will want to interact with someone so abrasive. Online dating is a social space. You wouldn’t present yourself in public that way. It’s also a mutually selective service so you don’t have to specify your preference in your bio, you can simply choose not to match with those people.

Be a little humorous but don’t overdo it

Humor can often be a disarming and welcoming aspect to in your dating profile bio. We tend to view humorous people as being kinder, easier to approach and more pleasant in conversation. These can be good assets on a platform that works on complete strangers trying to connect with each other.

That being said, don’t make your entire profile a joke or it may seem like you’re not taking it seriously. It can also be off-putting as people may see it as you creating a deceptive, exaggerated image of your personality. 

Project the type of person you’re looking for in your dating profile

There are ways to telegraph the type of people you’d like to meet without clumsily verbalizing it. This is where a filled-out bio and effective use of dating profile pictures come in handy. So don’t just include activity shots, but also ones with friends (maximum 1 though) and just you living your life. Give people an idea of exactly who they’d be meeting.

Make sure there aren’t spelling or grammar errors in your dating profile

You may not think grammar and spelling are important on a profile but an eye-tracking study from Tilburg University showed that language errors drew most of the attention in the text section of people’s dating profiles4. So people are definitely focusing on them and one can’t imagine their conclusions are particularly positive. 

Include prompts to entice people to connect

When we read someone’s profile, we can get a good idea of the type of person they are, what they enjoy and the passions that drive them, but sometimes it can be hard to find a footing to start a proper conversation without the usual cliche openers.  

Try to include something slightly provocative in your bio or leave an open question in one of the sections that people visiting can open with. This also ties in well with the humor tip.

Online dating profile tips & examples for the different sections

When it comes to an eharmony profile, we’ve designed them to create a snappy, succinct yet fully expressive picture of you. Here are some dating profile examples for the various sections we offer and how to translate the real you onto your profile.

Fact file

This is standard, straightforward biographic information on you. The best practice here is to be as honest as possible. You can decide to omit some things that you’re not comfortable sharing just yet – such as your desire for children – but know that not addressing it could be a turn off for some people.

Introduce yourself

Dating profile headlines are a very crucial element to your profile, as it’s the second thing people will look at after your profile picture. So, make it brief but distinct.

An dating profile headline example could be:

‘I like to spend my weekends in the outdoors and my weekdays looking for hidden treasures in my city so message me if you’ve got any good leads on macaroons or just want to chat.’

Hobbies and interests and other sections

People often sometimes overlook the Food and Drink, Traveling, Character and Traits, Sports, Interests and Hobbies sections or don’t fill them out adequately. However, eharmony uses this dating profile information to give you quick insights into what commonalities you share with your matches and what links you.

Entertainment

This section lets you share your favorite things in media, like your favorite song, band, TV shows and movie. These facts can help get the conversation started and give you an idea of your possible chemistry.

About me

The ‘about me’ sections on a dating profile are your chance to flesh out what it is that makes you special. We’ve structured ours in an engaging question-answer format so it’s not too text heavy. Members can also directly interact with these answers by complimenting them, expanding on our platform’s ability to create connections in more ways than just text. 

Make sure your dating profile is attracting the right singles

There are instances where your dating profile might be actively attracting the wrong kind of singles. We tend to want to make our profile as engaging as possible to attract attention but you should also see it as a natural filter for unsuitable singles so you don’t have to waste yours and their time.

For instance, don’t leave out the fact that you have children as that can be a dealbreaker for some, so why bother exploring your connection? Withholding your vices such as a smoking habit or being a frequent drinker can also but the other person will feel deceived if they discover these aspects of your lifestyle later in the relationship.

So being honest is not just online dating etiquette, it’s also just the most sensible practice for fostering enduring connections.  

Unique answers to generic profile questions

Explore the art of connection with our carefully curated dating profile questions, guaranteed to spark meaningful conversations and boost your dating game.

Let your dating profile tell your story

Online dating should always be a fun experience. It’s not a test to see if you’re good enough for someone else but rather just another exciting platform in which to meet people. So make sure you tell your story fully and sincerely. Take the time to fill out those blank sections in your dating profile, work with different photos until you find what works, and test out more engaging headlines. Essentially, you need to put in the effort you hope to get out of online dating.

eharmony makes this process as hassle-free as possible by having richly detailed profiles that are still light on text. Our Compatibility Quiz also helps fill out sections of your profile automatically. So why not set one up today and see who’s out there and right for you?

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