Build a Successful Profile That Gets Noticed

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Millions of people give internet dating a whirl on a regular basis. What makes you stand out in the crowd? To get the dynamics of your profile right, you don't have to be a creative copywriter with O&M; ( although that may help) or a successful salesperson with a convincing sales spiel. All you have to do is find your USP or USPs and tailor your profile to reflect just that. However, be warned-it might not be as easy as you think, so here is a heads up.

Picture Perfect

Alex Wise, CEO of Loveawake dating site, says, "The most important thing is having a quality picture. It sort of goes without saying. You're not even going to bother reading someone's profile if you don't find them attractive." Wise, suggests treating your photo like the title of your college application essay. Look around to see what kind of picture catches your eye and what kind of messages the mood in the photographs convey, and then make an intelligent choice.

Get the right kind of attention

A good username and tagline is similar to the bait used to roll in a good catch. Don't be "cute," unless you are looking for morons. Don't sound slutty, unless you want a friends-with-benefits situation. Don't sound desperate, unless you want to play doormat to a manipulative mate. Especially, do not be typical - unless you want to wait for emails until kingdom come. Make sure that your nickname and tagline express something about you, such as an abiding passion or a characteristic you value. Remember, also, that the aim is not to sum up yourself or your requirements in a phrase. It is to attract people's interest. So make sure the first things people online notice about you are a combination of wit, intelligence, and sex appeal.

Be attractive, not a braggart

The vilest online personals are like obnoxious American Idol hopefuls. There might be some talent there, but it is buried so far beneath the showing off, that all you see and hear is the windbag, and not the wind that propels their sails. So instead of bragging, let people know what makes you tick. That will show off your accomplishments and promise better than any grandiose CV or hyperbole.

Selective information

Face it, potential partners online want to know the important stuff first - can you do long-distance, are you vigorously religious, or do you have kids. Your philosophy of life, unless it includes something startling like polygamy, can wait until you are at the email or talking on the phone stage. Put the essentials out there as a selection process for the suitable, and to make the unsuitable run far away.

Match what you want with your own profile

Even if you are looking for a soul mate, life partner, bunny, or jester, it might be wise to keep that to yourself for some time. Any variation on the following is silly or excessive, and ultimately fruitless, so avoid "looking for a husband/ mother of my children/ keep me enthralled/ make me laugh." You need to tailor your own description to match the kind of person you are looking for. Know if you are interested in a shallow Hal, college prof, bergeek, silly ass etc, and present yourself as a complementary figure. Never make the mistake of trying to be everything to every person. You will attract people as vague and personality-free as your profile.

Show, rather than tell

Do not tell readers that you are, like, totally into Buffy, or that you are a blast, or that you love cats, or are really fun. Go beyond the obvious, laundry list-type writing. Show who you are through your writing by using clever references or talking about a specific activity that involves your cats, or how often you head a conga line.

For the love of god, spell right

Presuming you aren't actually looking for someone from GloryHole or 9"Man, you want someone semi-literate. So don't insult other users or devalue yourself with crappy spelling, incomprehensible acronyms, verbal incontinence or wrong grammar. Take the time to write concisely, and well. There is a huge pay-off if you do.

Be honest

It might be that you are really twisted and your aim in life is to lead poor innocents on - to make them think they have made a real love connection, when in fact they are chatting with you in your week-old pajamas amidst a roomful of pizza boxes and cigarette smoke. It is doubtful. Most people out there really are looking for love, or a spark, just like you. You are not going find it with a pack of lies or exaggeration. So save yourself and potential dates some time by being honest. Advertise what you do have, not what you wish you had.

Let's talk about sex.

When, if ever, is it okay to mention sex - your openness or otherwise to it, special preferences, and other foibles? One thing is for sure. If you're looking for a legitimate relationship with staying power, avoid mention of sexual acts and positions, your prowess, and other similarly explicit things. However, there is no harm in letting people know that you are a normal, sexual being. Online Dating for Dummies suggests that mentioning one or two of the following expresses a healthy sexual interest without being lewd or lascivious. Posting an online profile is like being on a blind date - so share as much or as little as you would on one.

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