How to write a profile that really grabs attention

Woman trying to write a profile

So, you’re on our site and have found some great matches. But how can you ensure that they’re as enraptured with you as you are with them? It’s all starts with knowing how to write a profile! To make the most of online dating, your profile needs to be polished to perfection.

In order to find out the best profile writing tips, we talked to real EliteSingles members about the kind of love they’re looking for1 (after all, who better to comment on our members’ wants and wishes than our users themselves?). Read on to discover the best tips for writing the perfect profile – and learn what you MUST avoid!

The quest to write a profile that captures hearts

1. Have the right attitude

We asked 1,000 singles from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa and Canada about what their biggest profile turn-off was. The answers were a little surprising, particularly when you just look at the Kiwi replies!

AVOID: Negativity

Turn offs differ around the world, at least according to our users. While the most despised trait in the UK was poor spelling and while the Canadians are not fans of innuendo, in New Zealand we just want people to be nice. According to our New Zealand respondents, the biggest turn off one can have in a profile was negativity. Indeed, 26 per cent of our Kiwi members voted negativity the biggest profile no-no, edging out insufficient profile description (24 per cent), innuendo (17 per cent), narcissism (12 per cent), clichés (10 per cent) and poor spelling (9 per cent).

EMBRACE: Being positive

EliteSingles Partner Psychologist, Relationship Coach Sam Owen agrees that the best way to write a profile is to avoid negativity. She says that this is because ‘‘you will transfer your negativity to [others] and then they’ll associate you with that negativity, subconsciously and perhaps consciously. This will result in them avoiding you, even if they don’t consciously recognise why they are.’’2 Conversely, if you embrace positivity, you will find that people are drawn to your enthusiasm. An upbeat attitude is essential if you want to win people over, both in your dating profile and in your first messages.

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2. Say cheese

Another big turn off for our members is coming across a half-finished profile. A quarter of Kiwis (24 per cent) were put off by this, a sentiment that was echoed by some 20per cent of the 1,000 survey respondents. While, for some, this refers to written content, the majority of our users were concerned about profile photos – and the lack thereof.

AVOID: Coming across as camera shy

In fact, 48 per cent of Kiwi respondents wouldn’t even open a profile that was devoid of photos. This means that, if you choose anonymity, you are alienating nearly half of your potential suitors – definite naughty list behavior! Owen suggests that the reason so many people prefer seeing photos is because ‘’If you haven’t got a photo attached it makes it really hard for other online daters to connect with you as another human being.’’ This is partly due to the fact that ‘’we build up an idea of a person’s personality by looking at their photo.’’3

EMBRACE: Your moment in the spotlight

It does seem that visuals are vital to online dating, with 49 per cent of Kiwis rating the photo as the one thing that they look most closely at in a profile (a trend echoed in every single country we surveyed). Of course, simply having a pic is not enough: those who tend to top the nice list also avoid the most common photo mistakes. In New Zealand these include having a photo that is too revealing (chosen as the biggest no-no by 23 per cent), being in too many group pictures (19 per cent), and presenting a photo that is poorly photo-shopped (also 19 per cent). Interestingly, the much-maligned selfie was not as hated as its reputation would suggest, being picked as the biggest photo sin by just 4 per cent of our members.

3. Write a profile that reveals the real you

While it can be so tempting to write a profile that includes a few well-meant fibs, here’s the thing – it can’t last. Once you meet in person any sweet little lies are going to get rumbled. In fact, you’ll soon find that telling porkies is one of the quickest routes to the naughty step, especially according to EliteSingles members.

AVOID: Sweet little lies

With so many of our members looking for true love, it’s really little wonder that fibbing is so frowned upon. Whether it is in a profile, a message or even on a date, if you’re caught out in an obvious lie it is unlikely to endear you to someone new. In fact, 80 per cent of our Kiwi respondents would disapprove if someone turned up to a date looking different from their profile. Furthermore, 64 per cent of Kiwis wouldn’t even consider a relationship with someone who embellished themselves! In other words, it pays to stay honest.

EMBRACE: The real deal

Owen agrees that real is best, pointing out that ‘your online profile is there to help those you’re matched with find out who you genuinely are.’4 If we were going to get a little sentimental we would say this: a big part of the EliteSingles experience is finding someone who is going to fall for you – the real you. If you opt for untruths, you don’t give anyone that chance. In other words, don’t let little lies get in the way of finding true love: when it is time to write a profile, make a resolution to be honest. It really is the best policy.

EliteSingles editorial, September 2015

If you have any questions about the survey results or want more information on how to write a profile, please comment below or email us at [email protected]

For technical profile help, please contact our Customer Care team.


1 All percentages based on a survey of 1,000 EliteSingles members from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and South Africa , of which 20% are Kiwis. Statistics may not equal 100% due to rounding and multiple choice answers.

2 Interview with Sam Owen for No 1. Magazine, November 2014
3 EliteSingles interview with Sam Owen, October 2014.
4 As above

About the author: Sophie Watson

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