Illustrated by Liz Riccardi.

How To Optimize Your Dating Profile

new year, new boo

New year, new boo. That’s how the saying goes, right? For some, yes! Just like many folks sign up for gym memberships at the beginning of the new year, so too will single folks flock to online dating sites and apps. Last year, January 4 was deemed “Dating Sunday,” since many publications, like The Washington Post, reported that online dating sites saw a surge in sign-ups and activity the first Sunday of the new year. Signing up for a site is but the first step of many, though. How you populate your page and brand yourself is key. What photos you choose, how long your auto-biographies are, and what hobbies you list play a vital role in landing a date (or dates!). 

Lisa Hoehn, the author of the new book You Probably Shouldn't Write That: Tips and Tricks for Creating an Online Dating Profile That Doesn't Suck, does this for a living. She’s officially been tweaking profiles since 2013 and with the launch of, her profile makeover service, Hoehn has turned it into a fully-fledged, successful career. Talk about helping the people. 

We spoke with Hoehn over email to break down the absolute essentials one must (and mustn’t) have in their dating profile. Whether you’re new to the game or a veteran on the brink of being jaded, take note: This is online dating 101. No matter what you’re looking for—be it a hook-up or something a little deeper—online dating is the epitome of the ol’ “you get out of it what you put into it” idiom. Consider the following.