For seasoned online daters and newbies alike, when it comes to creating a profile, there’s always room for improvement. Follow our 4 simple guidelines to achieve the best possible results on any of the best dating sites.
1. Pick the Right Photo
A photo is the first thing that most users will see, so don’t leave it out. Experts believe that singles are 9 times more likely to get noticed with a photo than without one. Some sites even require one.
Here are the do’s and don’ts for choosing a profile photo:
Do smile. The era of the pout, duck face, and smoldering sexy face is over. Smiling increases the odds of getting noticed by 45%. An angry face turns off 12% of potential suitors.
Don’t pose with friends. Definitely don’t appear with friends in the main photo. Users get frustrated if they have to decipher which person they should be looking at. And hey, what if they prefer your bestie?
Do keep it natural. Choosing a natural picture is twice as likely to garner interest as the seventeenth selfie taken in front of the mirror this morning. Hand on waist and face tilted upwards may be too much. Natural is sexy.
Don’t hide. A full 23% of people reported not getting in touch with someone because their photo wasn’t clear. Without a clear photo, at best singles look lazy or insecure, while at worst they seem like there’s something to hide. Stay close to the camera, lose the hat and sunglasses, and don’t face sideways.
Do place the best photo second. Wait, what? That’s right, research shows that when the best snapshot is put as the main image, singles will lose interest once they click further. That confidence-boosting, money shot should be placed as #2.
Pro Tip: The more photos the better. While it may seem easier to keep pictures at a minimum, a larger variety will actually encourage potential matches to look more closely. Different lighting, outfits, and facial expressions show different sides of you and raise the chances of meeting someone great. If you really want to make an impression, you can go the extra mile and show off your creative side by tastefully tweaking your photos with a really good photo-editing app.
2. Craft a Clever Intro
Most profiles leave space to include a header or short greeting. Avoid clichés or generic lines such as, “Can’t believe I’m on a dating site” or “Ask me anything.” Use this opportunity to showcase some personality.
For those who know how to make people smile, try something funny. Not you? Share a quote from someone you respect and admire. It can also simply be something that really resonates with you. Other options include an interesting fact or icebreaker to get the conversation started. This could be either personal or totally random. Here are a few of our favorite profile headings and taglines from around the online dating world.
I’m not perfect, but my dog thinks I’m awesome. This isn’t just funny. It also shows that this guy is a dog person, which could attract a similar animal lover. If Edison had been afraid of the consequences, we’d be sitting in the dark right now. This is someone we’d want to meet. The line shows that they are looking to take risks and put themselves out there. It began when the Russian police invaded our hotel. Who doesn’t want to hear the end of this story? Magic 8 Ball says…? Definitely. Cute, confident and a bit quirky - we love it. Let’s throw a dart at a map.
This profile writer loves adventure and wants someone to share travel and excitement with.
It is important to decide the ultimate tone and goal of the profile header before writing it. Remember, these words will serve as a first impression.
Pro Tip: Don’t mention anything negative in the headline.
3. Stand Out by Sharing Interesting Details
While a winning smile and catchy headline may catch the attention of a potential date, the right person will likely dig deeper. This is your chance to tell other users what sets you apart.
It’s all about increasing the likelihood of finding common ground. Take the following example:
I love travel and cooking, have a bit of a wild side and adore my family to pieces… I just got back from Australia with my sister. Check out the pics of us on our outback adventure! I picked up some Tasmanian peppers while I was there. They add a mean kick to my famous Spaghetti Bolognese…
Most people love to travel, but there’s a world of difference between visiting the Australian Outback and sitting by a pool in Miami. A “wild side” might mean something different to each reader as well. Being specific can help users find common ground, while generic clichés will make them lose interest.
Mentioning going on vacation “with my sister” shows closeness to family. Including an interesting ingredient and recipe uncovers a love for cooking. This example also encourages singles to take another look at the photo section, spending more time on the profile page. Clever, huh?
Making it easier for people to relate doesn’t necessarily mean making it personal. Even including that you’ve just finished binge watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix can be enough to get a conversation started. While it is hard to reply to “I love pizza,” something more specific like, “I am obsessed with the mushroom and artichoke pizza from Sal's Pizza on First St,“ leaves more room for response. It may even end up being the perfect location for a first date.
Pro Tip: Be specific and straightforward to attract a true match. And if you tend to make a typo or 2, get a writing app that can copy edit the written portion of your profile. It would be a shame to miss out on the love of your life because of something as silly as bad grammar.
4. When Looking for Love, Keep it Real
We all know the saying, “honesty is the best policy.” Then why do 80% of online dating users admit to stretching a few truths in their profile and even their photos? Sure, we’ve all benefited from a well placed Instagram filter, but the line must be drawn somewhere. 20% of women confessed to using a photo from a time they were thinner. There are even apps available to make people look taller or correct body ‘flaws’ in photos before uploading them.
Match users see transparency as one of the most important elements in a budding relationship. They would even cancel a date if they found information online which contradicted what they’d seen on the site.
Another common lie involves type of employment. Online dating profiles can feel anonymous and it’s exciting to play pretend from time to time. Singles can probably explain away calling themselves a manager to sound a bit more accomplished than they are. However, it gets more complicated for an accountant who faints at the sight of blood to have claimed to be a doctor.
If you’ve stretched the truth on your profile and started an interesting conversation with someone, it’s not too late for redemption. Tell the truth before making a date. If being upfront about a lie feels too uncomfortable, try humor to break the tension. Here are some examples:
“I have one of those new-fangled rulers where 6’’ is actually 5’’9.” “I’m the kind of Banker who actually teaches English on the side. Except not on the side. And I don’t do any banking.”
The most important thing is to tell the truth before meeting face to face.
Taking into consideration that 80% of online daters admit to stretching the truth, it can be difficult to trust a profile. We love Zoosk’s video verification tool that works directly from the app. Users are encouraged to upload a 7-second video of themselves that is then compared with uploaded photos in order to verify a user’s identity. Not only does this stop fraud on the site, but it also makes it more difficult for users to try passing off their college photo from 15 years or 50lbs ago as their current look.
Pro tip: Unless the app can go on the date for you, we suggest putting it all out there from the beginning.
Start Meeting Amazing People
After following these guidelines to craft the best possible online dating profile, the only thing left to do is choose a dating site and get out there. Browse, chat, meet new people and enjoy the process. The right person is out there - go find them.