Dating Profile Tips For Men & Women: How To Make An Attractive, Interesting Profile To Get More Likes, Matches On Hinge, Bumble & Tinder. Online Dating Profile Starter Kit

When it comes to dating apps, too many people focus on one aspect more than the others. A successful dating profile requires good execution across a variety of areas including photos, writing skills and more. Yes, photos are the most important aspect of a dating profile but even with perfect photos (there is no such thing), one can sabotage their profile with lazy writing, incomplete fields, and poor answers to prompts. 


Dating Profile Starter Kit, Dating Profile Generator: How To Make A Good First Impression On A Dating App

Below is an exhaustive guideline and template to keep in mind when deciding to start using dating apps or improve your current dating profile. Remember, finding a partner can be the biggest investment and decision in your life so treat it as such. Treating it like a passive activity or finding a new hairstylist is a bad strategy. Once you set up a dating profile, you need to constantly update it like a resume and test our strategy i.e. first photo choices, bios, messages, prompts, app choices, timing etc. 


What To Put On A Dating Profile: Bumbe, Hinge, Match Profile Tips

First impressions are everything, and it’s important to show effort, display intentions clearly and communicate what you are looking for. Inconsistent signals in a profile can offset any advantage you have in any one area. Even if you are purposely trying to filter out people who take things too seriously, you can be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring fields in your profile that others are using in their filters.

A dating profile is made for the people you want to attract rather than a narcissitic autobiography of yourself. The old adage applies to dating profiles: You attract who you are, not what you seek. This couldn’t be more true. Too many people fail to look at themselves without biases through the lens of a stranger to see what their profile signals. What you put on a profile depends on what you want to attract in others.


Main Dating Profile Picture: What To Use, Avoid In Your First Photo

One should assume that the decision to review the rest of your photos, profile hinge on what’s in their first, main profile photo. Some might call this being superficial, but when it comes to dating apps, first impressions are everything. If people have options, they need ways to efficiently screen profiles and the first photo is one way to do it.

Your first photo should be clear and of you. This sounds obvious but one would be surprised how many main profile photos are group shots, darkly lit, super distant or grainy, feature hats or sunglasses or feature the person looking away from the camera. The main photo should be a close up shot i.e. 1/4 body photo which is more spaced out than a selfie (those are too zoomed in) but not as stiff as a professional headshot. 

In addition to the items listed above, the photo should show approachability, ideally a smile.  


Dating Profile Photos: Best Photos To Use, Good Profile Pictures

After the first photo, the remaining photos have some flexibility in their orientation, spacing, style etc. These photos should complement the first photo to illustrate how you spend your time, sense of style, what your hobbies and interests are, what you are like in person and show your full body without using weird, deceiving angles. 

Without photos of the rest of a body, people might assume the person has something to hide or are trying to look more slim than they actually are. One popular excuse is not having more photos or full body photos. While this is understandable, it’s not an excuse if you want to do well on dating apps. With excessive selfies, people will assume you lack social circles, are hiding your weight, are insecure about others taking your photos or are trying to be mysterious by not taking photos in natural environments or local points of interest.

While it’s ok to have a hat or sunglasses at the beach, use group photos in your profile, have zoomed out environmental photos, too many photos that take away from a person will raise doubt about current appearance, lack of close up photos, and cause eyes to linger to more attractive friends in photos.

Best Photos For A Dating Profile


Dating Profile Photos: What Photos To Avoid In A Profile

The remaining photos should piece together the other areas of your appearance, lifestyle and personality. Without talking points in photos, it’s hard to comment on a profile. People extrapolate what’s in the photos so if they are taken all indoors, in hallways, bathrooms or living rooms, people will assume a person doesn’t go out much and doesn’t have much to offer. 

Even with great photos, profiles are weighted by the worst photo in the batch. It’s recommended to use 4-6 photos in a dating profile but the worst photo in the batch can offset all the good photos. Even if all the photos are good, having inconsistent photos in terms of weight, tans, hair length, hair style or facial hair can give pause to people as they wonder who will show up on a date. All photos used should look like the person in the profile today, not last week, not last year – now.

The other thing to consider in dating profiles are who is in the photos, where the locations are in photos, what’s going on in the backgrounds and what do the photos signal. Even with great lighting, wardrobes, smiles and body language, having someone that appears to be an ex or having friends doing stupid things in the background or partaking in activities inconsistent with what one is looking to attract in others can ruin a profile. 

Worst Dating Profile Photos


Dating Profile Headline: What Is A Good, Catchy Headline For A Dating Profile?

Headlines are not as common as they were 10-15 years ago but are still present on sites like Plenty of Fish, personal ads on Craigslist and sometimes used by people in Bumble in lieu of a Bio / About Me. Headlines are 1 liners used to hook people to a profile. They can be quirky, cute, funny, random or direct. Some examples of awful headlines include Pam seeking her Jim or looking for something real – not looking for hookups.

A common theme is to use inspirational quotes which is also cringy as they don’t reveal much about the person other than their ability to copy and paste something unoriginal. Some slightly better headlines can include versions of: looking for last first date; looking for someone who is kind, likes guacamole and won’t rub their junk on my drumset; 40 years old on Bumble – just the way I imagined it; 800+ credit score, vaccinated, global entry seeking someone for adventures, to control playlists on roadtrips and eat my leftover martini olives.

Ideally profile headlines are concise and show the type of person you are. If you prefer bar seats to tables at restaurants, think people in SF walk too slow, spend too much time bookmarking Eater lists and anxiously wait for Che & Colin joke exchanges, swipe right. 


Dating Profile Demographics, Questions

Some people feel very strongly about filling out the bare minimum in their dating profiles. While not every field needs to be filled out, some should definitely not be ignored. Current location, age, height, education, job type are the basics. Items like drinking, smoking, kids, religion, politics are also important. They may not be important to you but they can be for others. The last thing a person should want happen to them is that they are pre-maturely filtered out because they forgot to fill in a field in their profile.

Empty or incomplete profiles suggest one is not taking things seriously, might be more open to hookups or is not interested in dating. They could be looking for attention, casually browsing, looking up their significant other or super insecure and nervous about putting themselves out there for the world to see. Dating apps require thick skin, patience and ability to be yourself. 

Lying is a big no-no on dating sites. They suggest distrust, insecurity. What else is the person lying about? What is the person insecure about? Common lies told on dating apps revolve around age, height, location, marital status, employment status, intentions i.e. relationships vs casual dating. If a lie is one of the first impressions people notice on a dating app, one should expect little hope for success and even expect to be banned from some dating apps.


Dating Profile Bio, About Me Section: What To Write, What To Put

The dating bio is one of the most overlooked things in a dating profile. It shows not only writing skills but how one views the world, how they think of themselves, what they are looking for and what type of person you can expect of them. Profile bios should be concise and offer a glimpse of lifestyle, personality, values, hobbies, interests and passions. If a person doesn’t take their bio seriously, they can expect others to not take them seriously either.

Avoid long, verbose paragraphs in profiles but also avoid cliche, vague laundry lists. If the profile looks and reads like everyone else’s, it will get overlooked even with good photos. Brunch, wine, Netflix etc. is boring. Use examples, specifics. If you don’t have enough details or examples to write about, it could be you are a boring person and don’t have much to offer. People can only get as excited about you as you are about writing yourself. 

If you struggle with this part of a profile, it might be that you need to take a break and explore your hobbies and interests, make friends, invest in self-improvement, diversify your social circles and try out new things in life. Without life experience, you can’t date effectively if you can’t convince people you are worth getting to know.

Apps like Hinge don’t have a bio so one must try harder to cover aspects about themselves exclusively through the prompts.

Bumble Bio Tips


Dating Profile Prompts & Answers: Hinge, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel & More

Prompts on Hinge and Bumble are where most people make or break their profiles. Not all prompts are the same and not all prompts allow for thoughtful answers or insight into people. Some are cliche and result in one-word answers while others offer no insight into one’s character, morals, values, lifestyle, hobbies, priorities or what they seek in a partner.

To understand dating apps, one must realize others are browsing through dozens if not hundreds or thousands of profiles. The more one plays it safe and chooses boring, cliche answers to prompts, the harder it is to stand out. One can’t make themselves more interesting than they actually are and this is hard for some to understand. Lacking personality, substance or interesting things about oneself can be brutal to one’s ego or confidence. 

One must work on themselves offline in order to have success online. There are not shortcuts, hacks to dating profiles. Hard work, patience, self-awareness, realistic expectations, focus, timing are all important.

Bumble Prompts, Questions List   |   Hinge Questions, Prompts List


Good Dating Profile Photo Captions

Apps like Hinge and have captions for the photos people upload to their profile. Captions allow people to offer context, write candidly and offer conversation starters to others. Writing skills are key to show creativity, display an ability to engage in witty banter, and highlight what makes one different from others. Not all photos demand captions and one should certainly avoid canned prompts on Hinge. 

Captions provide the best outlet for self-deprecating humor and offer a glimpse into personality, humor and how one view themselves.


Choosing The Best Dating App: Knowing Your Audience

Apps like Bumble can be tricky. Guys have to have better than average profiles and photos because they can’t send first messages to separate themselves from others. Similarly, Bumble requires users to be attentive to avoid missing out on the 24 hour expiration windows for chats.

Apps that serve limited profiles like Coffee Meets Bagel and The League are more thoughtful as users have to be more patient to review daily offerings rather than swipe non-stop. Knowing the app audience is key. Some apps are better for professionals, some are better for shorter guys, others are better for those that have great photos. If the app you choose is not favorable to your lifestyle, demographics, you shouldn’t expect much success or rather be super patient.

Many people lack self-awareness about their looks, photos, writing skills, first impressions and realistic expectations. It’s important to get a gut-check to see if you are delusional, making obvious mistakes, are on the wrong app or have unrealistic expectations.

Best Dating Apps   |   Best Gay, LGBTQ+ Dating Sites


Closing Thoughts – Dating Profile Help, Dating App Profile Tips

Yes, some people can get away with less effort, joke profiles. This is the exception and not the norm. Even so, getting such dates and matches might be inefficient because of the type of people they attract or lack of intention they have. A one-time event or something that happened to you years ago doesn’t offer anything to readers. No one cares what you were like in 3rd grade or if you went sky-diving once.

Having a great profile and photos is a great first step when it comes to online dating but there is more to dating apps than having a stellar profile. Conversation skills, opening lines, timing, ability to screen profiles and read people, and plan first dates are needed to take the next step. 


Personalized Online Dating Profile Critique

Strategy (App Choice + Timing + First Messages), Photo Critique, Bios + Prompts + Photo Captions, Wardrobe Feedback, Body Language, Smiles & More

About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.

In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally. 

Dating App FAQ's  |  Online Dating Resource Guide  |  How To Be Successful With Dating Apps

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