Here are some tips for making the most of your online dating profile this coming Spring:
1. Update your photos.
Keep your photos current and accurate. Did you recently chop off your hair? Post a pic that shows off the new ‘do. Avoid using too many filters. Instead, post flattering photos of yourself that capture the real you, not the “Instagram You.” Take off the sunglasses and let potential dates see your eyes — and your smile. Include at least one action shot of you doing something you love. Post a full-body photo. And avoid photographs featuring other people. Stick with photos in which you’re the focus, not part of a group or duo. According to online dating science, summery photos tend to do better than wintry ones. So don’t stick with only cold weather photos either.
2. Be specific.
If the profile asks you to lists things you “can’t live without,” don’t list oxygen, food, friends and family. Those should be a given. Instead, give others an insight into your passions, hobbies, quirks and habits. What do you do for fun? What do you wish you could do more of? What fascinates you? What do you collect? If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Give potential matches an opportunity to get to know you a bit, not just skim through a series of answers that look remarkably similar to everyone else’s.
3. Be honest, succinct, and positive.
Don’t confuse honesty with openness. You can be honest about what you’re looking for without writing a memoir or 1,000-word essay in your profile. A well-written profile should encourage interest, not share every little detail of your life. Too many words can be overwhelming. (That said, don’t give one-word answers, either. Summarize what’s important. Save the details for the first or second date.) Stay positive, too. Sure, you may have been burned by love in the past, but dwelling on recent heartache isn’t going to endear you to cute strangers reading your profile. Leave the bitterness out and focus on hope. Online dating can be stressful. Have a little fun and let your sense of humour shine through.
Hiring managers often toss résumés filled with spelling and grammatical errors. Online daters do the same with profiles, preferring well-written answers over error-filled ones. (Some online daters consider a well-written profile a nonnegotiable, eliminating perfectly good matches over sloppy punctuation.) Proofread your profile, editing for readability. Check your spelling and grammar, get rid of any long-walks-on-the-beach clichés, read your answers out loud — it’s the easiest way to discover if you’ve left out a word or written an awkward sentence — and make sure any pop culture references are accurate.
5. Recruit fresh eyes.
Get a trusted friend to look over your profile. Does your profile accurately represent you? Does the tone of your writing capture your unique sense of humour? What are you missing? What should you delete? Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to identify an area that needs work. A good friend knows what makes you such a great catch. He/she might offer some invaluable feedback.
What do you look for in a dating profile?