There is such a lot of conflicting advice out there on how to write your online dating profile. And let's be honest, it is important to get it right. I've found it helpful to think about your profile rather like a cross between a CV and a great piece of PR. Does that sound tough? Well, if you want to stand out from everyone else online then it's well worth spending some time thinking about what you want to say and how you want to come across to potential dates. It's not about making things up but it is about thinking creatively. It's about showing rather than telling. Nobody wants to read yet another profile about loving country walks, watching films curled up on the sofa, having a good sense of humor .... yawn!
With a good few years dating experience behind me and now with the wonderful job of helping people create an Irresistible Dating Profile these are the dos and don'ts of profile writing that I've learned.
Do be happy to stand out -- celebrate your unique qualities.
Be interesting -- what's the most interesting thing about you?
Be succinct -- not quite Twitter-like but make your profile snappy.
Be specific -- instead of saying 'enjoy Friday nights out in the bar' say 'Friday evenings I can be found enjoying Cabernet Sauvignon with my oldest friends, catching up on each other's latest adventures.'
Paint a picture of your life -- fitness might be important to you (and 2 million others) so say more -- you get your annual skiing fix in Boulder Colorado, you're working towards the next Ironman.
Be different -- share your unique hobbies or leisure activities. Stand out. Free diving, growing bonsai trees or burlesque dancing ... share it!
Be playful with your username and headline -- create a hook. You want possible matches curious to know more.
Do share some of your values -- talk about those things that are important to you in life, you're more likely to attract those who are compatible.
Make sure you're in a great frame of mind before you write your profile -- play your happy music and wear your lucky t-shirt.
Give details -- If you say you love music, say which band and when you last saw them. If you love cooking say why and who inspires you. If you love gardening say how it makes you feel ... You get the picture?
Facts not fiction -- if you are a couch potato don't talk about your fitness schedule ... unless you're looking for someone to help you off the couch.
Don't tell lies, however minor because you will be found out! And a relationship that begins with a lie will not recover. If you're 43 don't say you're 38. Just don't.
Don't make demands on the type of person you're looking for ... this is not a shopping list. Don't start a sentence with, "you must be..." or, "I'll only date someone who is..." Get over yourself!
Don't be a victim. Don't badmouth your ex and don't talk about dating disasters. It's not nice.
Don't TELL what a cool person you are. Instead SHOW by sharing some great stories of adventures or a snapshot of your life.
Don't start each sentence with "I" ... that's boring. Mix it up a little. Instead of "I love cycling and went to Paris to watch the final stage of the Tour de France. It was brilliant" How about, "Standing on the Champs Elysée for the final stage of the Tour de France was a dream come true for the avid cyclist I am. Being surrounded by so many likeminded people was inspiring."
Don't go on about things you dislike. It's not attractive
Don't go overboard on exclamation marks, emoticons. You're not a teenager.
Don't be afraid to say what you want. Looking for a life partner? Say it.
Don't be lame -- 'my friends made me sign up', 'I don't know what to write', 'my character? Don't know really but my friends say I'm fun to be around' ... pleease...just don't do it!
Don't be shy and uncertain about yourself. Go easy on the self deprecation.
If you use these as pointers when you're writing your profile you will stand out ... that's a promise! I love that I now get time with amazing people guiding them to creating a stand out dating profile. If you'd like some one-to-one support take a look and see how I could help you.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter