Creating a Dating Profile that Attracts Professionals

Get noticed by the movers and shakers with these four tips from dating photographer Saskia Nelson

Make an effort with your photo

A lot of professionals are time-poor and so are unlikely to spend ages scrolling through pages of photos, so one thing you can do to help yourself is to have a fantastic profile photo that stands out from the crowd. Having a good-quality, smiling headshot will work, and if possible, try and include some colour in the shot – either wear something bright or stand in front of or near a colourful background. People’s eyes will be drawn to your photo. Red is a great colour to wear, especially for women aiming to attract men to their profile. It is the colour of love and passion and has been proven to be a draw for men.

When it comes to the rest of your dating profile photos, it’s important to realise that the photos you choose actually give people lots of clues about you and your lifestyle, so this is one of the most important things to get right to attract whip-smart professionals. Using high-quality images, as opposed to ones which are poorly lit, blurry and/or pixelated, will immediately show people that you value yourself and are willing to invest in yourself. It also gives the message that you’re serious about looking for love online.

Next, think about what else is in the photo. You are selling your lifestyle, and you want it to seem as attractive and aspirational to people as possible. If you’re pictured with a pile of washing behind you on the bed, your lifestyle suddenly doesn’t look so appealing.

If possible, include things in the photo that will help you tell a story about who you are. If you’re into photography, have your camera in your hand. If you’re into music, wear some headphones round your neck. Also, make sure the location suits your personality. If you love walking around the South Bank or along the river at weekends, include some photos that show you doing just that. Show the viewer what your life looks like offline wherever possible.

Choose an appropriate username and headline

You should ideally choose a username which is “on brand” – that is, one that showcases your lifestyle or your interests. So rather than Amanda_73, you might choose AmandaLovesCakes. It’s descriptive, easy to remember and will give them something to talk about in their opening email if need be. Make your username:
● Clear
● Easy to remember 
● Appealing to the people you want to attract
● Positive 
● Funny, creative or silly, if possible

Avoid names which include numbers or text talk (like JustWhereUWantMe or LetsB2gether).

Headlines that express your creativity and individuality and even show a little courage are probably all going to work for you. If you need a little inspiration, I did some research and found some real headlines that appealed to me:
45 is the new 30 
In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back…
Guaranteed more fun than your ex 
Free 30-day trial 

Is feasting on chocolate whilst crossing a continent by train your idea of fun?
While you’re waiting for the real Don Draper

I think we’re going to need a bigger boat
Ruthless uncompromising tea drinker

We can just say we met at the library
“The funniest guy I ever met!” says The Guardian
Will work for cuddles

Two things I’ve never told anyone…

Write a succinct but intriguing profile

I mentioned above that many professionals are time-poor, so with this in mind, once you’ve won them over with your fantastic, stand-out dating profile photos, you now need to impress them with a well-written, intriguing profile. However, you need to keep it short so that they are willing to commit the time to read through it.

The most important things to remember are:

Be unique; be you. Don’t just fall into the cliches that everyone uses on dating profiles – they have become meaningless.

Show, don’t tell. Don’t say, “I’m funnier than Joan Rivers on a bad day” – try just being funny in what you say or how you say it. Telling a quick story about yourself is a great way of doing this, and again, it will give people lots of clues about your lifestyle.

Be a grammar nerd. This should go without saying no matter who you’re trying to attract, but always double-check your grammar. Make sure you’re not confusing “your” with “you’re” or “there” with “their”.

Include popular keywords. Recent research suggests that the most attractive hobbies and keywords to include in your dating profile are travel, yoga, surfing, politics, photography, watching/playing sport, cooking and learning music. Any hobbies which show that you are creative (photography, theatre etc.) and/or into personal growth (travel, yoga etc.) are real hits according to the research. Men should avoid including “going out with friends” as a hobby (although women can safely include this), while women need to avoid the words “making a difference”, as it puts men off.

Choose the right dating site

You’re reading this on Guardian Soulmates’ blog, so I’m guessing it’s safe for me to assume you’ve signed up to the right dating site to attract professionals!

 Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning Saturday Night’s Alright, the UK’s only dedicated dating photography business. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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