How do you make an online dating profile stand out? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Helen Zhang:
- Take photos that you can use as conversation pieces. Show your hobbies and interests, don't just talk about them. Did you go on an awesome trip? Do something totally ridiculous? Pix or it didn't happen. When I made the image below my profile picture, my inbox literally exploded.
- Use a camera that doesn't suck. A bad camera may not give an accurate representation of how you look. A DSLR will allow you to take pictures with a shallow depth of field (crisp subject, blurry background) so your beautiful mug can be the center of attention.
- Ditch the old photos when they aren't applicable anymore. If you've let yourself go, and you aren't upfront about it, no one wins during that first date. Everyone has their favorite it's a trap story regarding internet dating; don't let yourself be the subject of one.
- Have some recent full body shots; not from a distorted angle. This will give people an accurate representation of who they're looking at.
- Have least one picture of you with some peers: To verify that you've got friends and aren't a total recluse.
- Pets, yes! Children, no: Pets in photos are always good conversation starters. Seeing kids in photos freaks me out; I don't care if they're not yours, that millisecond of doubt is enough to make me instantly close your profile.
- No exes or anyone who could be mistaken as one. Like children, no good can come from having even your most platonic of friends hanging off your arm.
- Eliminate redundancy: There's a finite number of pictures a person is going to go through before deciding whether they're attracted to you or not. Each picture should be substantially different from the one before it. Don't waste my time with five pictures of your face from the same angle.
- Know your audience: Trolling for casual sex? Yeah, the MySpace angles, duckface, and shirtless pics are fine. Looking for a meaningful relationship? Keep your naughty pics in your secret desktop folder, not on your profile.
- Poll the internet. Use something like http://www.okcupid.com/mybestface to help you pick a flattering picture of yourself.
OkCupid's blog has some compelling analyses regarding profile pictures: