10 Steps to Writing the Perfect Profile

Amy Cunningham

Writing a profile for a personals site can seem like a daunting task. After surveying singles that currently participate in online dating, we've compiled the following tips for writing a profile ad to help you create a unique and successful profile.

  1. Profile yourself.
    Start by profiling yourself. As your jotting down notes for your profile, dig deep and ask yourself these important questions: Profile Question Survey

  2. Be Honest.
    Resist the temptation to 'embellish' your profile. It's easy to become a different person online, but the whole point of online dating is to find a match offline. Your ad should accurately reflect who you are and what you are looking for in a partner. Remember, your goal is to meet the potential mates that read your profile, so don't say that you're a 6' blond if you're really a 5'6 brunette.

  3. Spend some time on your Headline.
    Your headline is the first thing that a potential partner will see. Use it to capture the readers attention. If it doesn't capture their attention, they won't read the rest of your ad. The key to a great headline is giving the reader a general idea of who you are while being memorable enough to keep them reading. Humor is a great tool for headlines, but don't go overboard. You've got limited space, so make sure what you put is key to who you are as a person.

  4. Include a picture.
    You should always include a photo with your ads because the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true! The majority of online dating sites allow you to include multiple photos in your profile ad, so take advantage of this. Need an incentive? Research shows that including photos in your profile ad increases response rates by ten times or more. Be sure to use a a recent photo though. In speaking with dating site members, the number one pet peeve was old photos being used in profiles.

  5. Get to know the 'real' you.
    Include details about yourself, such as your favorite movies, music, books, and TV shows. Be detailed when writing about yourself. Instead of saying "I like movies.", let them know specifics like "Woody Allen movies". You may end up sharing a love for spicy Mexican food, local street fairs, ABC's LOST, or Garth Brooks. While outside looks can be important, for a successful long-term relationship, it's important that they get to know the 'real' you and focus on what's really important to you as a person. If politics or religion are important, let them know! However, try not to turn your profile into a soapbox statement. Be polite and courteous because it will shine through.

  6. Focus on what's important to you.
    Be specific in what you're looking for in a partner. You can use the profile question survey to help outline your expectations. When writing your profile, specifically state the age range, interests, hobbies, education, drinking/smoking preferences, religious affiliations, whether they have/want children, etc. Outlining these preferences in your profile helps you avoid uncomfortable situations when meeting people offline.

  7. Be creative and have fun.
    Be creative and have fun with your profile because readers will know that they can have fun with you. Use humor in your profile where appropriate. People tent to feel warmer and closer towards those that use humor. Creativity will make you stand out from the crowd. For example, describe your most intriguing feature, your favorite vacation, your most memorable experience, or your best personality trait. If you get away from the standard "favorites", you'll end up showing a more fun and interesting side while setting you apart from the others.

  8. Keep it brief.
    Resist the temptation to document your entire life story. You need to write enough about yourself to capture the readers attention and let them "brush your surface". Save the juicy details for when you get together in person!

  9. Never use your real contact information..
    Never, ever, use your real contact information in your personal ad. Pick a nickname to use and setup a free email account. You can use hotmail, yahoo mail, or G-mail, all for free. Never, ever, give our your phone number or home address. You may even want to get a P.O. Box so that you can avoid giving out your home address. This may seem extreme, but remember that it's easy for people to become someone else online. Your safety is most important, so take it seriously.

  10. Re-read and re-write..
    Ads take a bit of practice, soul searching, and work. Re-read and re-write it until you are completely happy with the final product. Don't be afraid to get someone else's opinion either! Enlist the help of a close friend and get their honest opinion of what you've written. Before posting your ad, double check your spelling and grammar. It not only makes you look better, but it will increase your response rates. Ads written in all caps or all lowercase without proper punctuation are harder for readers to read.

Use these 10 tips for writing the perfect profile ad and your sure to have a successful online dating experience.