How to make a good first impression online
Online dating for the first time can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Hayley Matthews shares eight simple ways you can make a good first impression online
If you were preparing for a job interview you’d probably dress your best, fix your hair and do your homework to make sure you make a good first impression. The same rules apply to online dating. Most people will only take a few seconds to determine if you could be ‘the one’ for them, so it’s worth getting that first impression right.
Use proper spelling and grammar
The importance of spelling and grammar can’t be stressed enough. You must double, even triple, check the words that you use in your profile before you put it out there for the world to see. Just one error could make someone skip over your profile.
When you’re happy with what you’ve written, try using an online grammar and spelling tool or ask someone you trust to be your editor – and make sure you look things up if you’re unsure!
Be unique but genuine
There are thousands of singles using eharmony right now, so you have to stand out. Even so, it’s a fine line to tread. You want to be different from everyone else, but you shouldn’t exaggerate details about yourself or your life. And you definitely shouldn’t lie.
If you have a truly unique quirk, feel free to put it in your profile. Someone else could share a similar quirk or relate to it. If you have a career that is a little unusual, why not mention that and explain why you love it? Instead of writing a profile that lists the things you do and like, you could try beginning with a quote, a joke or an easy riddle that people can try to solve. Take chances, mix it up and find out what works best for you.
Post a variety of pictures
The photos you use are arguably more important than what you write, so choose wisely. You should have a variety of different shots (close up, full width, action etc.) Also, I’d recommend not posting any group pictures as people won’t be able to tell, at first glance, which one is you. You don’t want someone falling for the friend that you were standing next to at the party after all!
Keep it positive
We all get down from time to time, but this isn’t the time or the place to express it. Avoid saying things like, ‘My friends made me give online dating a try.’ You should also try not to come across as too demanding in your profile. It’s always good to say what you’re looking for – in fact, you should – but describing your ideal match as ‘someone who’s brunette, earns a six-figure salary, wants four children, a dog and a house outside the city’ comes across as close-minded. Do what you can to stay upbeat and positive in your profile and in your messages.
Don’t just list your interests – describe them
Listing hobby after hobby without adding additional details or personal stories won’t get you far in online dating. Let’s face it; almost everyone likes going to the cinema, so that’s just not enough information. There’s nothing wrong with telling potential dates that you’re a film fan, but try to name a few of your favourites and explain why you like them. For example, ‘I’ve been a film buff since my dad took me to see Goldfinger when I was 12. It inspired me to study film at university and go to the cinema at least once a week.’
Use specific examples in your messages
If someone catches your eye, you should really think about that first message before sending it. They key to a great opening message is to take a specific fact or two from the person’s profile and use it to show them that, not only did you take the time to read their profile, but you’ve got something in common too. This is sure to impress them and increase the likelihood of them responding. If you see that they’ve gone skydiving, for example, and so have you then share your experience and ask if they plan to go again.
Be interested, not just interesting
All of my advice so far has been showing you how to be interesting, but it’s also vital to be interested in the person on the other end. Remember to talk about yourself while also asking them questions. Hopefully, it’ll be a two-way street and they’ll be interested in getting to know you too. That way the conversation will feel effortless.
End with a call to action
Not only do you want to attract people to your profile and make a good first impression, but you also want them to do something about it. Putting a call to action at the end of your messages can make a huge difference to the number of responses you get. For example, ‘I see you lived in Venice for six months. I love Italy as well! Were you able to go to Murano island?’
You could even end your profile with a call to action. Remember that riddle tip I gave you? If you want to go down that route, you could try telling people to message you if they can figure out the answer. Even something as simple as ‘Want to know more? Send me a message and I’d be more than happy to tell you’ can go a long way.
Making a good first impression online isn’t as difficult as it might seem when you first start out online dating. Try out a few – or all – of the tips above, see how things go, and make adjustments as needed. You’ll find your groove in no time!
Hayley Matthews is Editor-in-Chief of DatingAdvice.com, a popular site that features tips from over 250 relationship experts, matchmakers, dating coaches and lifestyle bloggers. Besides providing expert advice articles and how-to guides, DatingAdvice.com also publishes reviews of the top online dating websites, including eharmony. When Hayley isn’t writing about dating and relationships, she’s listening to The Beatles or watching Harry Potter.