The Great Profile Debate: Specific vs. Vague

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following mock dating profiles is more effective?


Man seeking sexy Klingon woman!

Profile #1:

nuqneH!* I’m a tall, skinny guy of excellent taste looking for milady. I’m a Star Trek and comic book enthusiast, with special interest in limited-edition copies featuring superheroes that match my sheets. I also boast a large belt-buckle collection. Fun fact: I have a potentially fatal peanut allergy! My professional passion is aerospace engineering, and I love studying the electromagnetic spectrum to perfect the development of atmospheric satellites. In my spare time, I enjoy shopping for turtlenecks, playing World of Warcraft with friends, and building articulated robots.



“I’m into music and stuff…”

Profile #2:

I’m a single guy looking for my best friend and partner in crime. I like to go out, but also stay in. I like all kinds of music. I also enjoy sports, hitting the gym, and eating out. When I am not busy with my career, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.





Correct answer: NEITHER!  (Extra credit: can you name the fictional character described in profile #1?)**

But do you know why these are both unappealing profiles? Well, technically, there are several reasons, but today I will focus on specificity of interests.

Let’s start with Profile #1. This individual shows personality, which is terrific. But his interests are very specific to the point of possibly alienating many potential ladies. I’m not at all saying that he shouldn’t include those interests because girls don’t like robotics or comic books – many do! I’m saying that instead of talking about belt buckles and superhero comic books, for example, he could instead mention that he likes to build both robots, and some unusual collections.  This wording leaves a little bit of mystery, provides the reader with a little bait, and doesn’t necessarily disinterest readers with eccentricity. Similarly, instead of saying that you like to knit sweaters for your cat while watching Kosher Soul on Lifetime, consider saying instead that you enjoy crafting and following pop culture. Oh – and please don’t discuss allergies or medical issues in your profile. You may be thinking – hey, anyone who doesn’t like my interests or judges me based on them isn’t my bashert anyway. Valid point, intelligent reader.  However, if you are struggling to generate interest online or would like to increase your message response rate, you may find it a better strategy to keep your interests open enough to capture a wider net of profile visitors (while still keeping some individuality)!

I probably don’t have to explain the problems with profile #2. But, just in case, I’ll spell it out: b.o.r.i.n.g. Converse to profile #1, profile #2 could probably describe a very high percentage of the JDate population. (Seriously, why does everyone like to go out and stay in?) Be original. Just don’t be excessively original to the point where you might turn off potential suitors.

*According to my Google research, this means Hello in Klingon.  If you don’t know what Klingon is, ask your nearest nerd.

** Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory… sorry, ladies, but both the TV character and the actor who plays him are both married!

Extreme Profile Makeover — “Dateless”

by Tamar Caspi under Monday Makeover,Relationships

Get an Extreme Profile Makeover

Tamar Caspi Shnall is giving online profile makeovers each Monday. This week she’s tweaking the profile for “Dateless.”


Dear Dateless,

Upon first glance at your profile I would have a friend whose first language is English help you make fixes to the grammar and punctuation. What you have to say is good, but a reader could be distracted by the typos. Note to all JDaters: have a friend proofread your profile because even native English speakers will let a typo or two slip by!

Your path to converting to Judaism is very interesting and will be a great conversation piece for first dates — just be prepared to discuss it further. Also, you may want to give just a bit more detail about your divorce — namely, how long you’ve been divorced — so that prospects have a better idea as to your relationship history and current status.

Your main profile picture is great, but I would delete the one of you taking your photo in the mirror with your phone and instead add two more pictures of you smiling. I would also add another full length photo of you to show your body. An average of six photos is the right amount to show consistency: a mix of close-ups, full body and different angles, smiles and serious expressions, real and professional.

From looking at your profile, I can’t tell where you live. Make sure to fill out the questions properly because both places answer “where you’re from,” but neither says where you actually reside.

Also, answer a few of the multiple choice questions about  your “favorites” on the Likes and Interests page. The less a profile is completed, the less time someone will take to look at your profile.

Good luck!

View Your Own Profile!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

JDate has added lots of great new features including more questions. Take the time to answer at least the original questions so that you don’t end up looking shady with tons of blank spaces. People get suspicious when you repeatedly avoid answering a question. Your basic profile (multiple choice answers) really, really ought to be answered. Then answer as many questions as you can. You don’t necessarily need to answer every quiz  (if you answer every single little question every day then you can start to look a bit overanxious (read: desperate)) but you shouldn’t make it look like you’re trying to hide something.

Active Duty

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been someone who enjoyed doing community service and felt that it was my duty to give back. It’s Tikkun Olam, heal the world, something we as Jews have instilled within us. And I was always interested in men who were active in the community. Doing community service, whether volunteering your time or giving your money, is an important attribute in a mate. You may inspire your mate to become active or you may be inspired, or you may not want to date someone who isn’t already active. Obviously, you should talk about your volunteerism/donations (without mentioning the amount of money you give) in your JDate profile and that you are looking for someone who is also active in the community. And keep your eyes open at fundraisers or events where you’re volunteering for other singles.

Smooth-Talking One-Liners

by Tamar Caspi under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

I’ve written about this before, but the topic of the JDate profile one-liner came up again recently as I was speaking with a few single girlfriends. The one-liner I’m talking about is not the one you hear at the bar, but rather the one which shows up on the computer during your JDate searches. It’s the couple of words which appear next to your photo with your screen name, age and location, particularly when you’re a Spotlight Member. So these words are very important.

One person told me she even would count the number of characters which show up in that one-liner and then crafted the first line of her About Me paragraph to fit in that space. Brilliant! There’s about 60 characters in that line – less than half of a tweet – but it’s enough to say something unique, smooth and attention grabbing. It is not the place to say your name, age or location, since those items are already posted with your photo.

Say something witty, funny, enlightening, eye-catching. Use your words -and letters- wisely. Bounce the idea off of a number of people first, if need be, or even post it on Facebook and ask for feedback. Just make sure it’s not boring or cringe-worthy or an incomplete sentence. It seems like it should be easy, but it’s worth taking the time to develop because it truly is the first words JDaters will read about you.