Online Dating: Write The Perfect Profile

Published: 17th January 2012
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Many people use online dating websites as a way to meet potential partners. One of the key ingredients of success with internet dating is having a well-written personal profile and - to some extent - a great accompanying photo.

In this article, I'll outline what makes a great profile: one that attracts plenty of interest, and is a winning representation of who you are, and who you're looking for. I'll also mention some of the common errors that people make, such as writing a casual, meaningless and lazy profile. People with these profiles generally don't get much attention, and we'll find out why this is the case shortly.

The profile information about you on a website is actually similar to a job application letter. It must 'advertise' who you are to a prospective 'date', and it should be readable, interesting, accurate and engaging. In summary, it should tell prospective online partners why they should bother communicating with you, rather than someone else.

So the first golden rule is to ensure your profile is not boring. Ideally, it should be an well-written and stimulating piece of text, perhaps five paragraphs or so. A boring profile is one that has very little information, is poorly-written, or is very generic and therefore uninteresting.
I've seen profiles which contain only the words "tell you later" or "just ask" , or even "hi, how r u?" Believe me, these profiles won't get much attention.

Other profiles make the mistake of poor spelling and grammar, or just don't make much sense. People are unlikely to be interested in your profile if it appears muddled, confused, or is just a tiresome list of your attributes. Similarly, rambling on about yourself over many paragraphs may give the impression that you're a bit self-obsessed.

A good tip is to show a draft of your profile to a friend, and ask for some honest feedback. Tell your friend about what you're trying to say, and the kind of person you'd like to meet. This will help them gauge whether your profile is 'hitting the mark' or not.

It's also helpful to include a bit of humour, particularly if you value other people who have a sense of humour. Be careful not to make crass or distasteful jokes in your profile, as this could put people off.

Originality is often a hallmark of a great profile. Write about what is unique and interesting about yourself. People are drawn to interesting individuals who have something different to say, and express it with individual style and flair. For instance, let's say your a fanatic about a particular TV show. Rather than just saying 'I really like that show', why not point out specific things, actors and storylines that fascinate you. This will show that you've got a creative and intelligent mind, and are not just making bland statements about likes and dislikes.

Avoid writing a lazy profile. These sorts of profiles seem vague, disinterested and indicate that the writer isn't all that serious about online dating. A lazy profile will have bad spelling, often not much sense, and is either incredibly short, or rambles on far too long.

What does work is a concise, snappy profile that covers the following points. It will clearly indicate your uniqueness (without being smug or egotistical), some information about you and who you're seeking to meet or hear from. A great profile, like a great job application, will make people want to know you, because they are drawn to interesting people with 'something to say.'

If you have trouble with words - consider hiring an editor, or someone who has skills in that area - just as you might ask for help when writing a job application letter or fine-tuning your Resume.

Finally, accompany your profile text with a good photo of yourself. The photo should be recent (not taken when you were much younger), in focus, and not too dark or too light. Ensure the photo is close-up, so that people can see your face clearly, and particularly your eyes. A smile helps too! The only time I'd consider not using a photo is if you're a physically very attractive person, particularly female. Photos of attractive people will get many more 'expressions of interest' from people on the dating site, maybe hundreds of messages - far too many to deal with. In such cases, I suggest not showing your photo, and concentrating on writing brilliant profile text. That way, people will approach you more on 'who you are', rather than 'what you look like'.

So you now have a few ideas to get you started with writing a better profile. Once you've completed the process and updated your dating site information, you're likely to be more successful at the dating game, because others will see you as unique, interesting and someone they'd definitely like to meet.

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