First impressions count - tips for online dating profiles

By Matt Fuller

Looking to sign up to online dating? It's your online profile that show cases your appealing qualities.

Firstly, your profile will be more effective and likely to get a response if you use a photo (see our article Finding the right photo for your profile). The value of adding a photo to your post cannot be underestimated.

Once you've got the all-import image out of the way, it's time to tune into the text - what you're going to say about yourself to all the singles out there? and how you can make a stunning first impression. Dating sites are a common means of matchmaking and many singles are used to this online process and will simply dismiss profiles that don't offer any initial interest or impact.

When writing your profile, be succinct and specific. People are very - don't tell. Rather than saying "I like music, movies and restaurants," offer precise examples. It's more exposing to say you're turned on by "Barry Manilow, George Clooney films, and spicy Mexican food."

Humor is a turn-on. A shared sense of humor is often what glues couples together - so spice up your profile with a little wit. Your opening headline needs impact. Here is a great opener as an example: "If being sexy is a crime then kill me now!!"

Be honest about yourself. You can make out like you're some high flying executive but if you're job is considerably more humble - as most people's are - you'll get found out. No-one likes dishonesty, and even though you may hit it off with your new date, once he or she finds out the truth, they'll be put off. They won't be turned off because you have a comparatively menial job, but by the fact you lied.

Being honest also involves being able to say how great you are and what you've got going for yourself. This is not the time for humility! At the same time, you need to walk that fine balance between selling yourself and being a braggart.

Don't write in upper case. SHOUTING AT YOUR AUDIENCE doesn't work and make sure you spell-check your text. You want to look switched on... smart and casual. So write as you speak - be sure to read your profile out loud to yourself. This is not a high school essay but a snapshot of who you are.

Some people speak into a recorder to get the words out as naturally as they can, and then transcribe and edit what they've come up with. Imagine meeting someone for the first time and telling them a little about yourself - this can be a great tactic to finding the right words, especially if you've got a case of profile writer's block.

Profiles are also a message about what you're after in a relationship. If you're not necessarily after anything serious - say so, this way you'll attract a person looking for the same things you are. And vice versa - if you're looking for a long-term relationship, by mentioning this you'll attract people who are as serious as you are.