Writing a compelling online dating profile is a make-or-break step. This is your advertisement of what you have to offer amongst all the competing profiles on online dating sites.
Three three key areas to consider when crafting your profile:
- Know what you are looking for. Although the profile is all about describing what you have to offer, knowing what you WANT is also key. It allows you to choose the best of your qualities to highlight and answer the questions / criteria that sites use that then determine who will respond to you. You need to look appealing to the kind of person you want to attract, so it all starts with understanding what that person would be like.
- Decide what you want to convey. What are the top qualities that reflect you as a person? Get beyond generic statements to those unique qualities about you that reflect your personality. Ask your friends (of both sexes) to describe the top three qualities about you that would be attractive to a partner.
- Decide what distinguishes you from the thousands of other profiles in your demographic.
Sites often have a catchphrase or headline to be the first thing that the reader sees on your profile. It’s often easier to come back to that once you have written the body of your profile so you can capture the essence of what you are about.
Make your first sentence compelling to ensure the reader is motivated to read on. Read it out aloud to see if it stands alone as a hook to encourage someone to respond to you. Then cover the key points that tell the most about you and finish with a sentence that encourages action on the part of the reader.
‘Do’s’ for writing an online profile
- Be confident without being boastful. There is no point being so humble about your qualities that you blend into the pack and appear bland.
- Be specific. Tell a story about yourself, describe situations that show the reader something about you. Don’t say you like music or travel (doesn’t everybody?), talk about your favourite album and why you love it, or the destination you’ve loved the most or is top of your bucket list and why.
- Be multidimensional. Much of your life might revolve around your work and there is no harm in describing what you do, but this person is looking for an understanding of what you enjoy outside of that.
- What are your goals in life? What is really important to you? What are you looking for? You need to get these points across succinctly in a profile.
- Be authentic. Don’t surf the site for the best sounding profiles and emulate those or try to guess what you think a partner would want to hear. When you first meet it will be obvious if your profile really reflects who you are. If you are an alpha type looking for another alpha type, ensure your profile is written in a style consistent with that.
- Check your spelling and grammar. Have someone else check your spelling and grammar.
‘Don’ts’ for writing an online profile
- Negativity. Don’t write about what you don’t want, focus on what you do. Don’t allude to a string of prior online dating disasters. Don’t bring the baggage of prior relationships into your profile.
- Exclusion. Don’t write in such a way that could unnecessarily exclude people from responding to you. Sites have ways of ensuring that you can show and apply any dealbreaker criteria easily and filter out those that are not of interest, you don’t need to focus your profile wording on this.
- Lying / exaggeration. Attracting someone on this basis is no foundation for a strong ongoing relationship.
- Don’t be disparaging about online dating. So many profiles say things like ‘I won’t mention we met online’, ‘don’t know how I found myself here’, or something that indicates embarrassment with the process. Again this suggests you feel that there is something vaguely wrong about using this method to meet someone which may be insulting to your reader.
- Don’t include a long laundry list of accomplishments. This is not a CV, a linked-in profile or a job interview process.
- Don’t be a clone. Avoid phrases which are so generic they really say nothing about you eg ‘nice, smart, easy-going, fun-loving, sweet, down-to-earth, laid-back, just as happy partying as staying in on the couch, love travel/movies/my friends’
- Don’t be heavy on political / religious views – unless this is truly a dealbreaker.
Recognise that this is not set in stone. Based on the responses to your first published profile, you will be able to consider whether you have cast the net too widely or too narrowly or if there is something in there that is attracting the wrong type of person and you can revise it accordingly.