If you’ve followed Cat and I on our dating adventures, you will know that both her and I have been on a roller coaster of dates. From Jake Gyllenhaal look-a-likes to men penning mouse themed novels, we have seen it all and brought you alone for the ride.

Whether the men were found on Tinder, Plenty of Fish or some other aptly-named dating site, the key to us nabbing all these horrific first dates was a solid dating profile.

Luckily for both you and me, I was able to pull up a now defunct Plenty of Fish profile of mine to help me illustrate what works and doesn’t work when it comes to building an online dating profile.

Tip #1: The Picture. When choosing the main photo for your profile picture, try to choose a photo that accurately depicts you. What I mean by this is don’t choose a photo of you that is ten years old or shows you with blonde hair when you now have brown hair. Your date doesn’t want to be confused when they first meet you.

This goes without saying but make sure to also use a picture that is actually you. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen photographs of actual male celebrities that guys were trying to pretend was them.

Don’t use mirror pictures, selfies or pictures where you have blurred out your ex. Do add a few pictures. A nice variety of poses and photos showcasing your interests will let the potential love match get an idea of who you are.

With your career, it is also alright to be vague. Never list the actual name of your employer, but also don’t go as far to claim you are chef when you are really just a sandwich artist at Subway.

For the record: This was the picture I used as the main image for my dating profile. It clearly shows my face and body and the drink shows I like to have fun!

Tip #2: The Logistics. It’s okay to embellish this part a little. Say for example, you’re 5’10 but choose to list yourself as 5’9. No big deal. Don’t, however, list yourself as “athletic and toned” and then diet drastically before the first date in order to accurately fit into this category. Similarly, don’t embellish too much about things like height. I can’t tell you how many times, as a tall female (standing tall at 5’9), I have gone on dates with guys who have claimed to be 6’0 and then wind up being shorter than me!

Tip #3: The Biography. With the biography you want to keep it concise. I found the biography that worked best for me was one that had some humour in it. Remember, it’s important to not take online dating too seriously. Men tend to be turned off from biographies that mention “marriage” and “kids.” I find it is best to keep it light and casual, which is what dating should be in the beginning.

Here is my actual biography. This is the exact one that caught my husband’s eye two and a half years ago.

As you can see, I started off the biography by discussing my career. By doing this, I am showing that I am independent woman with money of my own. In the next paragraph, I discuss the kind of man I am looking for. I don’t take it too seriously and try not appear picky by listing too many requirements. The third paragraph discusses my hobbies and shows my funny side. Lastly, I tie it up my keeping everything lighthearted and encouraging the reader to contact me directly.

Tip #4: Narrow Your Search.  A lot of dating sites have quizzes that you can take to help flesh out a better match for you. Be honest with the answers and don’t reply with what you think men will want to hear, otherwise you might regret saying “yes” to the question of “are you comfortable hooking up on a first date”. As silly as the quizzes seem, they do help filter your matches to people who you have common interests and values with.

Plenty of Fish, for example, also lets you determine who can message you. They will automatically ban people who do not fit into your criteria from messaging you, which will save you a lot of time and WTF moments. Here is an example of what I had listed for who could and couldn’t contact me:

Tip #5: Use What You’ve Learned in English Class.  The way you construct your profile is going to determine the kind of person you attract. Use full sentences, watch your language and spell check yourself before you wreck yourself! If writing isn’t your strong suit, have a friend read it over. Remember that the only thing your potential match has to judge you on is your profile. A profile that is hard to read will get passed up for one that is coherent and free of errors.

For those of you just starting out in the world of online dating, I hope these tips help you create a profile that enables you to find the person you are looking for. Seasoned online dating veterans, I hope you learned something new or my post reaffirmed that your profile is rock solid.

What do you think is the most important part of an online dating profile? What would you consider a dating dealbreaker?

Written by Tracey