New Year, New You: Profile Tips by Relationship Expert Whitney Casey

new year new you online dating profile tips

By Whitney Casey, Match.com Relationship Expert

With the New Year knocking on the door, refreshing, renewing and revitalizing your life is on the top of everyone’s mind — so what better place to start than by revamping your online dating profile? 51% of singles say their New Year’s dating resolution is to socialize more and focus on finding that special someone. But how do you put yourself out there at your very best? And even more so, how do you attract the RIGHT kind of match? Follow these easy steps to pimp your online dating profile!

Size Does Matter

Singles, on your mark, get set… word count! Yes, the length or amount of information you put in your profile can prove to be powerful. Think of it this way… if you use the minimum amount of characters, then you offer a profile that promises the minimum amount of prospect! This doesn’t mean you have to become a novelist or wordsmith with your “tell me a little about yourself” space. However, it is proven that singles who write something more meaty and meaningful (i.e., a little longer than the minimum word count) have the most amount of communication on the site. More isn’t just more, it is more meaningful. A few other things to keep in mind while writing: squash the clichés and be sure to spell-check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Specifically Speaking, Be Specific

Generalities like “I’m adventurous” and “I’m down to earth” are simply left up to interpretation by the reader. Adventure to you may be walking across the street where there is no crosswalk, but to someone else, it may be tightrope-walking! Either way, there will be someone out there who could relate to both situations. Potential dates what to know how they would best fit into your life. If you lead a life of generalizations, people will generally be confused about where it is EXACTLY they fit into your world. Specifying what you are “adventurous” about makes things a lot easier for the reader. For example, if you say, “I’m an adventurous eater. I like to try all types of food from all places around the world.” This gives the reader a more vivid and full picture of your meaning of adventure. It is a more honest approach to superlatives.

Honesty & Modestly are the Best Policies

Yes, you are extremely proud that you just ran a marathon in your best time ever, but is that the only thing you have had the best time ever doing? No way! There is a lot more to you! It is totally cool to be open and honest about your accomplishments. You did it…you can talk about it. However, there is a premium to a modicum of modesty.  You don’t have to dodge your accomplishments and great life moments. Just learn how to frame them in a less-Herculean way. If you can read it aloud in a crowd without any protestations, you can proudly put it on a profile. This doesn’t mean you have to downplay your top notched-ness, just leave a little for the date banter-told-better-by-you in person.

Getting by With a Little Help from Your Friends

You don’t date alone — so why create your dating profile alone? Make a date of it… with your friends! Instead of sitting down to the computer to describe the kind of person you are or the kind of date you want, put a date on the calendar as to when your close friends can come over and help make you… you! Don’t let them dictate who you are verbatim in their words, but let them assure you that your words are exactly who you are. Let them help you pick a pic or take one on the spot. Dating is a social thing so creating your dating profile should also be one! You may find your friends know a little more about why you are still single or really IF you are ready to mingle!

Ready For Your Close-Up?

What is a common denominator among the most popular profile pictures on the site? An intimate (read: relatively close-up) smile. Yes, your pearly whites can perk up any profile, and the more candid the shot- the better. Try to find a picture that best represents you. Not you on your best day, nor on your bedhead day, but on a normal day.

Here are some other guidelines to getting the perfect pic: professional pictures are out of the picture, say no to the cellphone selfie, no Photoshopping or cropping out the ex, and everything old ISN’T new again…including that amazing picture of you from 10 years ago. Finally, try to keep your main profile picture from the waist up, or shoulders up, so it is relatively a “close-up.” Action shots, or shots of you and other friends, pets or relatives are great for your secondary pictures. They provide a lot of great information about you that can prompt more conversations and chats. If you say you are active, show you are active in your pictures. If your profile picture doesn’t really look like the real you then someone is going to be very disappointed!

Sex Doesn’t Always Sell (what they want to buy!)

Leave cleavage, shirtless abs and muscles, sultry bathing suits, pouty poses and stunt double pictures for Reality TV or YouTube videos. Your pictures really are worth the proverbial 1000 words. If you are pictured as cheesy-cleavage muscle man in your shots but are hoping to come across as “I am really looking for a nice kind and real relationship” kind of guy, you will definitely be heard as the cheesy-cleavage muscle man shots in a thousand of your site communications. Instead, say who you are with your smile and some action shots. If you have an 8 pack of abs, that will be so much more alluring to see 8 dates into with a new person. An ounce of humility to muscle or cleavage ratio goes a long way in the online dating world.

Hit “Refresh” Button Often

The best way to keep your profile “top of the list” is to keep your profile a work-in-progress. When you are actively updating what you have been up to and changing the pictures in your picture library, you are keeping yourself higher up in the profile cue. If your profile remains dormant and unchanging, the fancy algorithms on the site may think you have taken a break from your dating activities and therefore you may be placed behind during a prospective date’s search for someone who has been actively updating their profile. Keeping current also allows other singles to have new things to chat with you about. If there is a new movie, book or activity you want to see or do, put it out there… chances are if it is new someone new wants to do it, too!

Are you getting online in 2014? Let us know in the comments below!

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