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Create a successful online profile

Tristan is a love stylist who, through internal and external makeovers, guides her clients on all matters surrounding falling in like, falling in love and falling into bed. She is also the author of MENu Dating: Taste Your Way to the Mai...

Profile dos and don'ts

We've all seen them before -- that nightmare online profile... the one you would NEVER respond to, even if it was the last dating opportunity on Earth. Whether the username was something like madeforyoubaby69, all of his photos were shirtless or the profile made him sound like getting elective surgery would be more fun than going on a date with him, there are plenty of bad ones out there... and yours may be one of them. So take some time to review it and follow these 10 dos and don'ts to ensure your profile is a clickable one.

Woman at computer

Don't...

Choose a username that is complicated to remember. Or, for that matter, something you wouldn't be proud to share with your future children when you tell them how mom and dad met. A username should be clever and tailored to your personality and interests.

Do...

Include a good headline. Think of it as the opening to a newspaper article that will grab prospective date shoppers' attention. Make it say something unique about you.

Don't...

Use old photos or ones that are overly retouched. Choose natural photos that showcase your best smile (not a sultry, sexy pose which may come off as too bold) and don't show too much skin. Outdoor photos are often best. Post a few different photos that depict various elements of your life -- such as you with your pet, in a foreign country, playing a sport and so on.

Do...

Be positive throughout your profile. From your username to your headline to every word scribed in your profile, you should come across as someone who already has a rockin' life and is just searching for an equally wonderful person to share it with. If you look like you've got an abundant life, you'll attract men easily, because they will want to share in your fun.

Don't...

Lie or even stretch the truth. Be honest and sincere, always. Face it, you can't do everything -- you don't play volleyball, salsa dance, speak nine languages AND volunteer daily. It is better to be truthful about what you actually do. Otherwise you run the risk of a potential date thinking you are lying and then passing you by. Further, be straightforward about what you are looking for -- is it good, clean fun, or are you looking to settle down? You will save yourself a lot of time and heartache by being frank from the beginning.

Do...

Play to your strengths. For this, take the time to do a little soul searching. Think about what is most attractive about you, underneath your skin -- what would make someone want to spend a little time getting to know you and bring those elements to life in your profile. Again, never mention anything negative!

Don't...

Don't include pictures with friends, as viewers may get confused as to who you are. Also, don't post a pic of you with your best guy friend, brother or male co-workers. Pictures with men too often reek of desperation: "Look! Guys don't run away from me!" (In the same vein, avoid cropping people out, since photographs of you with someone's random limb just look weird.) 

Do...

Check out your competition. Go run a few searches for girls on the site to see what kinds of photos and profiles other women are posting. You might realize there's more information you want to include... or discover that some of what you so carefully wrote is so commonplace that it's practically clichéd.

Don't...

In that vein, don't use clichés like, "I like walks on the beach," or "I love hiking." Boring! Dig deeper and paint a unique picture showcases your human qualities. For example, instead of saying, "I'm adventurous," consider posting, "A good time, to me, is waking up pre-dawn on a Saturday with a bag packed and a cooler full of snacks and jumping in my car headed for who-knows-where." This gives prospective suitors a much better understanding of who you are.

Do...

Show your online dating site profile to your best guy friends before posting it. Get their feedback to see if they think it is the best possible representation of you. Ask them if they would contact you based on the profile you created -- and if not, go back to the drawing board until they would.

Don't...

Don't overprofile. Not only do many men have a kind of reading ADD -- meaning that they can only consume so much profile information -- it is smart to leave prospective candidates wanting more. A good profile offers just enough information to intrigue a reader into reaching out to uncover the rest of the story.

Do...

Always be sure to protect your privacy. Your address, place of employment and any other personal information should be kept a secret until you have met Mr Maybe in person and deemed him worthy of knowing such valuable data. Also, avoid posting with a screen name/handle you use elsewhere in your "real life" -- remembering that a search engine is only a click away.

Want more advice on being sexy and single? Read our single girl's guide to dating>>

More online dating on sheknows:

Online dating stories: The good, the bad and the freaky
Online dating tips
Online dating: 6 Rules to stay safe
Online dating dos and don'ts
How to find love online

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