Whether online dating is the bane of your existence or fills you with buoyant hope, it's smart to craft the most stellar profile possible.
Since that's easier said than done, we went to Laurie Davis, founder of the online dating concierge service eFlirt and author of Love at First Click, for her tips on how to put your best digital foot forward. "We've written thousands of profiles with our concierge service," says Davis. Those souped-up personality snapshots have resulted in nearly 100 marriages and engagements, and even a few dozen babies! Here, Davis offers advice that applies to pretty much every dating service, whether you're all about mate-1.com, more partial to Hinge, or a fan of something else entirely.
Choosing the right pictures is the first step, especially if you're using an app like Tinder that barely has room for a summary. "There's a difference between how men and women usually view dating profiles
," says Davis, who frequently looks over potential matches with single people. "Women often want to see how someone describes themselves and really connect with what they're saying, while men tend to prioritize photos first," says Davis. Good to keep in mind based on who you're interested in! Now, four pieces of picture advice.
1. Aim for between five and seven.
That gives you enough room to diversify without entering photo overload territory. First, consider opening with a few clear face shots where you're not far away, wearing sunglasses, or doing anything else that makes it hard for someone to see what you look like. Davis also recommends including a full-body photo. "People sometimes think if you don't post one, you're trying to hide something," she says. "You might feel shy about that, but ultimately they're going to see you anyway if you meet in person!"
2. Bolster your profile with lifestyle shots.
Add images that capture what you're about, whether it's running 5Ks or taking cooking classes. Not only do these kinds of photos communicate who you are, especially when you're short on space for words, they serve as potential conversation starters.
3. Keep the focus on you.
It's natural that you'll have a few stunning photos with friends, but Davis suggests keeping them to a minimum on your profile. "You have such a short window of time to catch someone's attention, you want to make sure it's actually on you while you have it!" That way, you also won't have to deal with someone messaging you to get in touch with another woman in your photo (yes, this has actually happened to a friend of mine).
4. Consider using only one selfie, if any at all.
"We find that uploading more than one isn't the best approach, because that can also speak to your lifestyle," says Davis. If you're the selfie queen, have at it—this isn't about fitting a cookie-cutter mold, it's about presenting the best version of you. One smart tactic is making sure the selfies are unique enough to still communicate something about yourself, like you on the summit of your favorite hike.
5. Be as pithy as possible.
When you've only got a few sentences' worth of space, every little bit counts. "On an app like Tinder or Hinge, your dating profile
needs to be content-rich even though it's short," says Davis. She recommends stringing together a bunch of descriptors, like "Ballet dancer. Baker. Lover of dogs," and so forth. "You want to pack as much information in as you can," she says. That's not to say you have to use up all the space you've got—if you think a few descriptors sum you up perfectly, that's cool, too.