3 ways to improve your dating app profile for hot vax summer - and 4 things to avoid, according to dating coaches

3 ways to improve your dating app profile for hot vax summer - and 4 things to avoid, according to dating coaches
Enes Evren
  • Your dating profile acts as a first impression and impacts the number of matches you'll get.
  • Dating experts say the photographs you choose are the most important aspect of your profile.
  • Lead with positivity and be open-minded about matches to boost your success, dating coaches told Insider.

Whether you're delving into the world of online dating for the first time or refreshing your profile after a year of solitude due to the coronavirus pandemic, creating an eye-catching and conversational dating profile is the key to making quality connections.

The pictures and words you use to show yourself off to prospective daters act as a first impression, and if you go about it the wrong way, you could have fewer matches and therefore fewer chances to meet a potential partner.

Most often, online daters fall into the trap of sounding or looking inauthentic, relationship coach Rachel DeAlto told Insider. A dating profile should zero in on your interests, explain what makes you unique, and illustrate that you're a person worth spending one-on-one time with.


Incorporating all this information into your online presence can seem daunting, so Insider asked dating experts for their best tips to optimize your profile to get more quality dates.

Do: Take full-body profile pictures for your dating profile

3 ways to improve your dating app profile for hot vax summer - and 4 things to avoid, according to dating coaches
Experts say one of the biggest complaints about app-based dating is that people's profile pictures misrepresent reality.mimagephotography/Shutterstock

Like it or not, the photos you choose for your dating profile will be the first impression other daters will have of you. "Your pictures have to be right or everyone will just move on [from your profile] because words don't say as much as the picture," DeAlto said.

Sharing five to seven varied images is best, but DeAlto said the full-body shot is arguably the most important since people often become disappointed after finding their in-person date looks nothing like their profile image.


Being honest about your appearance will serve you in the long run too, dating coach Rori Sassoon told Insider. "If you start with dishonesty, it's like, 'Where are we going from here?'" she said.

Don't: Use photos that include your friends (or the toilet seat) in your dating app profile

Sharing images of you with a group of people can be confusing or off-putting, DeAlto said. If you share a snapshot of you and your same-sex friends, a prospective date could have trouble pinpointing which person you are. If you share one with your opposite-sex friends, they could get the wrong idea about your intentions.

Also, using bathroom mirror pictures that highlight the toilet seat or other, well, personal areas of your home are a big don't. (Apparently, experts say, it's advice that needs reiterating.)


On the other hand, sharing photos that illustrate your interests is the way to go. "Give people a conversation starter with your photo," DeAlto said. You could post a selfie with your dog, for example, or share an image from a favorite place you've traveled.

Do: Lead with positivity, even if you're nervous or skeptical about online dating

Even if you're not sure the online dating scene is for you, DeAlto said being as positive as possible in your profile will attract others to you.

Rather than leading with all of the things you don't like (or even using the word "don't" at all), DeAlto suggested explaining the things you do enjoy or look for in a partner.


Don't: Have too many non-negotiables on your dating app profile

3 ways to improve your dating app profile for hot vax summer - and 4 things to avoid, according to dating coaches
If you have a lengthy checklist for the perfect partner, your chances of finding the right person will go down.mistersnappy/Flickr

Knowing what you look for in a partner is important, but many people are too picky, which sabotages their dating profiles, according to DeAlto.

"I only allow my clients to have four non-negotiables and they can't be physical," she said. "Those [four non-negotiables] are values and foundational things that make people's relationships work."

If you're creating a dating profile in the hopes of finding a person who matches an exact appearance ideal you have, or someone who loves all of the same activities you do, you'll likely find yourself frustrated with the online dating scene.


Instead, DeAlto suggested sharing a few of your hobbies or interests in your profile, like "I love the outdoors," or, "I'm looking to meet an athletic person."

Additionally, Sassoon suggested sharing your handful of deal breakers right away. If dating a smoker or recreational drug user is out of the question for you, make that known in your profile, either in the bio section or with filters, to attract the right types of people.

Don't: Use 'travel' as one of your hobbies or descriptors

Avoid mentioning your love of travel in your profile, Meredith Golden, a veteran dating app ghost writer and founder of Darma Dating Inc., told Insider.


"For every 100 clients I talk to, 99 of them tell me they love to travel. Even for that 1 person who doesn't 'love' to travel, they still typically have a travel plan on the horizon," said Golden.

Instead, save your vacation plans for a future conversation-starter, she said.

Do: Start a conversation with a match as soon as it happens

Once you have your dating profile set up, don't play hard-to-get and wait for your match to make the first move. It's important to respond to prospective dates quickly, according to Coffee Meets Bagel cofounder and CEO Dawoon Kang.


"Do it as soon as the connection happens. [Our research has shown] within three hours of matching, you're 52% more likely to get a response from the other person than if you respond later," Kang told Insider.

And before you schedule your first in-person meet, Golden suggested hopping on a brief video call with your match.

She said video conversations reveal your connection potential more quickly than text and photos can, and can save you from heading to a date that might not be the right fit for you.


Don't: Worry about listing your vaccination status

Though the pandemic isn't over, an increasing number of singles are getting their vaccines.

That's why you can skip adding your vaccination status, or even the syringe emoji, to your dating bio, according to Golden.

She said the extra words and emojis take up precious space for other, more interesting conversation starters.


Instead, use that space to share a fun fact about yourself and bring up vaccines during one-on-one chats, according to Golden.