Maybe your online profile doesn’t need a total makeover, but some of the suggestions below can help bump your profile from “Land of the Lost” into the “She’s All That” category.
The Heart of the Matter
Developing an attention-getting profile takes time and effort, as does choosing the best username, headline, and profile photos. Do a little research and see what the “competition” (I say this lightly) has on their profile. Do you like what they have to say? Do their photos seem to represent them in a positive light? If you were the opposite sex, would you date them?
Creating a profile is on the same level as writing a resume. On average, most jobs don’t last more than five years. You’re looking to make a connection that will last a lifetime. You want to take care in preparing and writing a winning profile that presents your best self.
What is it you want the world to know about you? Because when it’s on the Internet, the world sees it. I suggest you spend some time organizing your thoughts. Use a notepad to jot down some notes about what makes you special. What desirable attributes, values, interests and hobbies do you have? The idea is to show someone what a fun, interesting, and full life you have—even without a mate at your side.
Most online dating sites have questions to help you fill out your profile. Some will have starters such as, “What I’m doing with my life …” or “I’m really good at …” Use these as launching pads for fleshing out a Profile Template (an all-about-me document). I suggest you create a Word document for cut-and-paste ease and I strongly urge you to use spell check. You’d do it for your resume. Also, most dating sites have similar questions to help you build your profile, that’s why having a profile template at the ready is so useful.
I know some of the sites have you list attributes, qualities, and values that your preferred mate would have, but I recommend bucking the laundry list trend. You want to stand out as extraordinary, right? The best thing that you can write in these sections is what you have to offer. Basically, repeat your list about you. If you think that integrity, playfulness, and health-oriented are what you want most in a mate, you should be able to offer those in return.
Keep it simple and keep it real. Honesty is still the best policy. Though, remember that this is not the place to ruminate about your terrible ex’s or delve into your skeleton closet. Also, there is no need to write a dissertation on your Star Wars collectibles—as much as you love them. You want to elicit interest from your profile yet keep it balanced with just enough intrigue. Think of it this way, you want them to know just enough to ask you questions. It gives them the ability to engage you in a conversation.
Speak positively about yourself and life in general. You want to exude self-confidence. We are attracted to people who embody it. Let your profile show the world that you are passionate about life and you’re not trying to fill a void with a mate—that in fact it’s just the opposite. You are looking for that special someone with whom you can share your life with and vice versa.
Once you’ve completed your Profile Template, email it to a friend for review.
What’s in a Name?
A lot can be said about you from the username you choose. A username can elicit a smile, a smirk or sometimes even a look of total revulsion. Choose carefully! A good rule of thumb is to combine a positive, light-hearted adjective with a noun that has something to do with your interests. Let’s say you like sailing; “SmoothSailing” would work. Maybe you’re a Mensa genius who loves to bake and “SmartCookie” suits you. For the more adventurous, who like using verbs, “FallingforYou” is a nice play on words for someone who likes skydiving. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you’d be proud to tell your mom. Anything with sex, sexy or four-letter words are in bad taste. Remember, you want to put your “best” you forward.
News Flash: I’m a Catch
What about attention-grabbing headlines? The same can be said about headlines, as can be said about usernames—choose carefully. Some of the best headlines are engaging, call to actions, quotes, or questions. Take, for instance, “SmoothSailing” might have a headline that reads, “Come sail away with me!” Or maybe you’re a wine connoisseur, “Wine is sunlight held together by water” would engage another wine enthusiast. Remember your headline is a reflection of you and it is supposed to encourage a potential mate to read on, not be repulsed.
Last, but certainly not least, is a great profile photo to match that excellent profile template you wrote.
Physical attraction is one of the first things that spark interest on online dating. If you don’t have a photo posted, you may be eliminating potential matches because they can’t see what you look like. I never respond to profiles without photos, it makes me feel that they’re hiding something or from someone—drama that I don’t want or need.
My recommendation is to go to a professional photographer to have a really nice headshot taken for your profile pic. See if the photographer will do on-location shots. A pic of you outside adds a nice touch. If you do decide to post a non-professional photo, it should simply express the real you. Have a friend take a close-up, devoid of background clutter, of you in the early morning or at dusk. The lighting is much better at those times and you won’t be squinting.
Include a few candids of you doing an activity you enjoy, such as a sport, playing with your pets, or enjoying a day at the beach. Dark pictures, pictures with you and an ex or another person’s limb in the photo, a web-cam picture or a reflection shot in the mirror are absolute no-nos. For goodness sake, smile and look happy and alive. Too often, I come across a home-shot photo where the person looks depressed. Again, if you were going on an interview for an important job, you would want to look your best.
Make sure your photos are current. No one likes being conned into a date with a photo of you from years ago and pounds lighter. Be honest with your photos. Also, update your photos regularly. If you get a new haircut, or change the color of your hair or lose/gain ten pounds or went on a fabulous trip, add a new photo. A picture really is worth a thousand words and a new partner in life.
Give it Your All
Remember, your profile is your first impression and you only get one chance. So, make it the best, self-confident you. With a stellar profile, you’ll increase your chances of attracting the right mate and making a connection of a lifetime.