• profile picture

    Data-Backed Study: Your Profile Picture Leaves a Real Impression

    Whether you’re seeking the perfect partner online or searching for your dream job, your profile picture is always speaking for you.

    The question is, what is it saying?

    Be it on dating websites, or professional networks or any social media platform of choice, the power of your profile picture is truly immense.

    And, though most of us would never like to admit that we judge people based on a photograph, data-backed studies suggest that in reality, that is exactly what we do.

    Your Profile Picture

    As children, we were all advised to ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Though we all absorbed this message when we were younger, the digital world that we now inhabit has totally changed the game.

    First impressions don’t just count; they last. And for many of us, our online avatars contribute hugely to how we are perceived by others.

    And it works both ways.

    When we look at a person’s picture, we immediately draw conclusions about that person, even if those conclusions bear zero resemblance to reality.

    Yes, your photograph really does leave a lasting impression, and data-backed studies prove it.

    Let’s take a closer look.

    Your Picture Leaves a Real Impression

    First Impressions Last… and Last… and Last

    Over the past few years, social and psychological research has been throwing up some interesting findings. And, if we are honest, a lot of these findings go some way to confirm what many of us already implicitly know.

    When we see a picture of someone, we immediately start to make assessments of that person in our heads.

    Even though we know we shouldn’t, we do it anyway.

    Cornell University Study

    Researchers at Cornell University have some compelling findings from a study they conducted recently.

    They wanted to find out how our initial impressions of someone – based purely on seeing a photo of them – would influence us when we met that person face-to-face at a later date.

    Here are some parameters of the study:

    • Around 600 people participated
    • Each participant was shown portraits of four different strangers
    • Based only on those photos, the folks were asked to judge each stranger on three different things: Likability, attractiveness, and personality
    • They were then asked how much they would like to be friends with each stranger based on a scale of 1 to 7
    • A month or so later, the participants met the strangers whose photo they had viewed
    • After the meeting, each participant was asked to rate the person on the same three criteria as before: Likability, attractiveness, and personality.

    So, did the participants change their first impression after they had met each stranger?

    Surprisingly, they did not.

    Based on the testing criteria – likability, attractiveness, and personality – the initial judgments that each participant made remained remarkably consistent, even after they had met the stranger in person.

    As a consequence, the study found that our first impression of someone, even when based solely on something like a profile photo, not only lasts but, can actually end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    What someone thinks of you based on your profile picture, is a strong predictor of whether they are going to like you when they meet you.

    Variations in Photos

    Recently, a study conducted by Princeton University demonstrated how easily swayed we are by pictures, and how even slight variations in photos can significantly change our opinions about someone.

    If we are able to draw such powerfully lasting conclusions based simply on looking at someone’s photograph, the best thing to do is to make the most of that photograph.

    But, how exactly can we do that?

    Making Your Picture Count

    Your profile picture is your digital representative. It is not who you are, but it is a representative of who people think you are.

    As a result, you want it to say as much as it can, without over-doing it.

    Here are some tricks and tips that will help you get the most out of your profile picture:

    1. Are You Approachable?

    Nothing kills a first impression quite like a guarded, unapproachable aura. And though often thought of as something intangible, you can portray yourself as approachable in your picture.

    To do this, you must step into the shoes of someone who has a genuine interest in other people. Feel it. Breathe it. Live it.

    Feel it. Breathe it. Live it.

    Now, adopt a confident, relaxed pose and take that snap.

    2. Smile, Smile, Smile

    Smiling is a super power all of its own, and it will add greatly to any and all of your profile photographs.

    A genuine smile (one that includes the eyes) automatically portrays you as likable and engaging.

    Don’t be afraid to engage with the camera here. Some of the best photographs are often captured in moments of interaction. Use that fabulous smile of yours to interact not only with the camera but with your captive audience as well.

    3. Use Different Pictures on Different Platforms

    Variety is the spice of life, right?

    Always remember that using the same profile picture for every online platform is not a good idea.

    Why is this?

    Because each platform has its own demographic and its own specific reason for existing. What makes you seem fun and playful on one site might make you seem something else entirely on another.

    Before you upload a profile picture to each site, consider who the audience is for the site. How do you want to be perceived by that audience? Then, set about creating that impression in your picture.

    4. Consider Professional Prints

    Exasperated because you can’t find that flawless pose? Don’t know the right lighting to use to accentuate your best features? Trying your best to perfect that smile and nothing seems to work?

    Why not take the hassle and stress out of creating your online profile picture, and turn it into an awesome experience instead?

    For a first impression to beat all others, consider acquiring the services of the Online Profile Pros. Nothing beats the expertise and know-how of a professional photographer who knows exactly how to make you look your best.

    Leaving the Best First Impression

    It really is true. Nothing lasts quite like a first impression.

    So, perhaps it’s time to put your best digital foot forward?

    Your profile picture and your future self will thank you for it.

    Need any help or looking for more advice? Don’t be shy! We’re here to help. Get in touch!

  • fake online profile

    Here’s How to Spot Fake Online Profiles

    If you’re not sure how to spot fake online profiles from real ones, then welcome to the club! It is becoming more and more difficult to spot fake profiles as they are becoming more and more carefully crafted to deceive those who are targeted and more and more common.

    In fact, around 1 in 10 online dating profiles are fake, with “romance scams” garnering nearly 50 million dollars per year in total.

    All told, 60% of all online profiles are either inactive or faked.

    If you’ve signed up for an online dating service, it’s likely that you’ve been messaged by some fake online profiles. They’ll tell you everything you want to hear, but it’s always at a price.

    Whether it’s subscribing to their band’s fan page or wiring money to that Nigerian prince, it’s important to know how to protect yourself from fake online profiles.

    Making sense of fake online profiles

    It’s the stuff of nightmares, fake profiles scams are the far opposite of what you see on the commercials (Happy couples dancing to the Match.com jingle).

    Fake online profiles are much more common on free online dating sites.

    Not only in terms of scams and cons but real individuals, a whopping 80% of online daters admit that they lie about one or more things in their online profiles.

    Another study has shown an even more shocking number, stating that 90% of users fiddle with their facts on their online profiles.

    From white lies to identity theft, fake online profiles have become an epidemic in the world of online dating.

    To escape the bad and find the good profiles, start by perfecting your own online profile, learn to spot the bad ones, and don’t forget to always be cautious when it comes to online dating.

    How to spot fake online profiles

    There are a lot of “red flags” that can indicate a fake profile and that someone is a scammer rather than a potential romantic partner.

    If the profile or the person behind it is guilty of any of the following, it may be a fake profile and part of an online dating scam:

    1. Fake online profile power words

    These keywords found in the majority of fake online profiles include the words Catholic, widowed, female, Ph.D., Nigeria, engineer, self-employed, and Royalty.

    If you see any of the above words emphasized on a profile there is a chance that it belongs to a scammer and is fake.

    2. Nonsensical messages

    Drunk messages are one thing, but fake online profiles run through robotic messaging systems tend to make little to no sense.

    Most of the fake profiles belong to either robots or non-English speakers.

    According to a study, many romance scammers originate in Western Africa in countries like Nigeria or Ghana.

    If you can’t carry on a conversation with an online dating site user, that should be a red flag even if their profile is real!

    3. They only have one photo

    Photos are one of the most important aspects of your online profile. Having only one photo can be a major red flag, especially if the person is extremely attractive in that one photo.

    Fake online profiles are usually designed to be appealing so that people are much more likely to engage with them.

    Be wary of that guy you swear you saw in a Calvin Klein campaign or that woman who should be a Victoria’s Secret model.

    4. They have empty profiles

    It’s important to read through profiles carefully.

    Not only will you spot red flags in real profiles, but empty profiles or profiles that might as well be empty often belong to a fake online profile.

    This is also why it’s important to keep your own profile in tip top shape. High-quality profiles are appealing to real people.

    5. Empty social networks

    If you genuinely want to keep only close friends in your social profiles, then there’s no judgment here.

    But that bikini-clad model with, you guessed it, only one photo and 60 friends on Facebook is probably fake.

    6. They’re famous or royal

    Celebrities, princes, and archdukes can all be found through online dating sites. Unfortunately, they are not generally real celebrities, princes, or archdukes.

    Most commonly found are fake online profiles claiming to be African princes.

    7. They’re way too forward or flirty

    Many online dating scams come in the form of porn and prostitution.

    If you’re receiving steamy messages from someone you’ve never met or spoken to, don’t be surprised if they ask you to pay for their photos or to enter their website soon thereafter.

    8. They request your personal information

    Whether they’re trying to steal your credit card number or your identity, an online dating profile requesting your full name, address, phone number, or social security number is not someone you want to continue talking to.

    Protecting yourself from fake profiles and scams

    There are a million things that fake online profiles might be after. So what steps can you take towards protecting yourself from attracting attention from the fakes and from falling for them?

    First and foremost, start by improving your own profile. A higher quality profile with some high-quality photos will attract a higher percentage of quality messages.

    To protect yourself from harm when meeting someone new, you can run your own background checks on potential dates or on profiles you suspect to be fake using third party services you trust.

    Finally, and most importantly, never share your personal information with anyone online.

    Wrapping Up

    The anonymous nature of online dating websites has opened up a whole world for cheats, liars, thieves, scammers, and con men and women. So much so, that they now belong to the umbrella term of “catfish”.

    There’s no surefire way to get fakes to stop contacting you, but if you learn to spot them you lose the risk of contacting one first and you’re able to remove the threat at first contact.

    Lastly, never underestimate the power of a good first impression for yourself and the profiles you browse through.

  • how to write an online dating profile

    How to Write an Online Dating Profile That’s Backed by Science

    Not getting the results you hoped for from your dating sites? Maybe the problem isn’t you, it’s the profile you’ve written.

    There’s an easy fix to that. We can show you how to write an online dating profile that’s backed by science.

    Over 41 million Americans have used online dating services to find a soul mate. And many claim that it’s worked wonders for their love lives.

    This is how to write an online dating profile that gets results.

    How to Write an Online Dating Profile

    Filling out your online dating profile certainly isn’t the best part of the process. Many people struggle to write about themselves, especially with the added pressure of finding “the one”.

    It’s hard to know what to write about let alone how to write it.

    You want to sound confident, but not self-absorbed. You stress over your profile picture. So forth and so on.

    It can be pretty stressful for even the most confident people.

    Many find that using science-backed research and facts to help write your profile can relieve a lot of the anxieties and uncertainties you might be feeling.

    So today, we’re going to do just that. Let’s use science to learn how to write an online dating profile.

    Your Bio

    Let’s start with your bio or the “About Me” section of your profile.

    Khan and Chaudry (researchers who studied almost 4,000 relevant studies on the evidence-based approach to dating) suggest using a 70:30 ratio in your bio section.

    Instead of writing a couple paragraphs reminiscent of your resume, try using 30% of your bio space to talk about what you’re looking for in a partner.

    Would you like to meet someone who’s serious about fitness? Or maybe you’re looking for an avid traveler? Talk about characteristics you would like to share with you ideal match.

    The other 70% should be about yourself, your hobbies, and your accomplishments.

    Studies show that women who are actively seeking a partner respond positively to traits like braveness, courage, and risk-taking.

    Meanwhile, men who are actively seeking a relationship tend to respond positively to partners who portray altruism and kindness.

    Remember to keep your bio fairly short. Of course, use full sentences and correct grammar. But don’t write a novel. This isn’t a literary competition.

    Lastly, a common mistake when writing online dating profiles is to try and sound funny. This is extremely hard to do and usually, comes across on the other end as flat and underwhelming.

    So don’t try to sound funny, show it. I know, easier said than done. Try using your profile picture for that one.

    Your Profile Picture

    In teaching you how to write an online dating profile, we really can’t leave out the profile picture.

    This part catches many people as a point of tension. You don’t want to look too serious, or goofy either. Maybe you’re unsure if you should smile or not, or wear sunglasses.

    It’s no surprise that a lot of people joining online dating sites stress over their profile picture.

    It’s also no shocker that science shows that the picture on your dating profile has a major impact on the amount and quality of responses you’ll get.

    Mainly, you want to show light-heartedness and good humor. That is of course if you are light-hearted and have a good sense of humor.

    How do you do this?

    Choose a picture of yourself with a clear “Duchenne smile”. The Duchenne smile is a real smile. Not fake or posed.

    Research shows that a true Duchenne smile is characterized by raised corners of the mouth and raised cheekbones.

    People tend to smile back and experience good feelings when they encounter a genuine smile, even in photos.

    Of course, never hide your true self by choosing an old or outdated profile picture. The goal is to attract a mate online and keep them interested when you meet in person.

    Don’t scare someone away by setting up their expectations with a photo 20 years old and 50-or-so pounds ago.

    Other profile picture tips backed by science:

    • Slightly tilt your head if you want to seem a bit mysterious or playful.
    • Post a group shot with friends (especially if you’re in the middle).
    • Use pictures of yourself making physical contact with a friend such as touching their arm.
    • If you’re a man looking for a woman, share pictures of you with female friends smiling in your direction. Studies show that it creates a sense of competition and desirability.

    If you’re still worried about your profile picture, you can always hire a professional.

    Your Username

    You might be surprised to learn that usernames have a direct impact on your first impression to possible acquaintances and might affect whether or not you get a message.

    As it turns out, some online dating sites will show results to a user in alphabetical order. So, it might be beneficial for you to start your username with a letter high in the beginning of the alphabet.

    Letters A through M can sometimes experience better luck attracting profile views and date requests than letters later on the list.

    Studies also show that sometimes women have positive reactions to usernames that show success and intelligence while men are attracted to usernames that imply physical attraction or cuteness.

    Bonus Tip

    As mentioned earlier in this post, grammar is important.

    People want to see that you are educated. But not only that, it shows that you cared enough to take the time to properly write your online dating profile with accuracy.

    However, don’t get overzealous with your punctuation. Here are a few pointers to remember when writing your profile:

    • Don’t get too wordy – cut out unnecessary words.
    • Don’t use long-winded adjectives.
    • Keep punctuation simple.
    • Avoid excessive exclamation marks. If you must use one, just use one.
    • Don’t overuse emojis. A smiley might be cute in the right place but don’t cross the line into cheesy.

    Of course, don’t be so afraid of making a mistake that you come across dry. Always be yourself. It’s OK to show off your best side and dress to impress.

    We hope these tips on how to write an online dating profile have helped give you a boost of confidence and eventually lead to the love of your life. Good luck!

  • Social media screen

    Here’s What Employers Look for in a Social Media Screen

    Is your social media presence unprofessional or virtually non-existent?

    If so, you could be sabotaging your job-seeking efforts without even realizing it.

    According to recent studies from both Career Builder and Jobvite.com, more than 40% of employers are less likely to hire someone if they have no social media presence whatsoever, and a whopping 92% of professional recruiters perform a social media screen to find worthy candidates.

    Social media isn’t just for voicing your opinions any more or documenting those nights out on the town. Today, it can literally be the difference between grabbing that dream job interview or missing a great opportunity altogether.

    If you’re worried about your lackluster social media presence, keep reading because we’re dishing on all the do’s and don’ts you need to know to craft a more professional social media presence.

    Accounts With These Top 3 Social Media Networks

    Remember that statistic about employers not hiring individuals with zero social media pages?

    That number is only expected to grow, so the first thing you have to do is create accounts with the three most important social media networks recruiters look for.

    According to that same Jobvite recruiters’ survey, 87% of recruiters immediately look for a Linkedin profile, 55% look for a professional Facebook profile, and 47% look for twitter accounts during a social media screen.

    Another rising social media network you should consider joining is Glassdoor, as 38% of recruiters now use Glassdoor profiles in their social media screen.

    Career Experience

    Registering for the right social media networks is one thing, but you have to populate it with the right content to grab the attention of recruiters.

    To start, make sure you list your career experience without any major time gaps between jobs. You want to treat your social media presence as you would with any other resume, especially with your LinkedIn profile.

    If there are gaps in your career history, make sure to include any volunteer experience, projects, or courses that you may have taken during that time.

    Include any professional responsibilities and “hard skills” you obtained from each career listed, and don’t forget to include all your job titles if you were promoted during your tenure.

    Linkedin also has an endorsement feature that let’s former bosses, coworkers, and clients leave positive notes about your work.

    We also recommend including your current job title in your Twitter profile and to populate the “work” section of your Facebook profile.

    As always, make sure this information is public so recruiters can see it!

    How Well Do You Know Your Industry?

    Employers want the cream of the crop.

    Social media is a great way to “show your stuff” about your industry and prove you’re committed to your work.

    For example, if your industry is interior design, we recommend sharing public posts about the latest interior design trends, statistics, and up-and-coming designers to watch for.

    If marketing is your niche, try posting articles and infographics on best practices in marketing or content marketing trends for the new year. This is also an opportunity to create your own original infographics and blog posts to share with your audience and recruiters.

    What’s great about social media is that there are several ways you can share industry-focused content.

    Check out these features to improve your social media screen:

    • LinkedIn blog posts and status updates
    • Slideshare presentations for LinkedIn
    • Facebook notes, Facebook live webinars, and statuses.
    • Tweets
    • Medium stories. You can easily create a Medium blog with your Twitter account.

    Education

    Almost one-third of employers today want job candidates to have a college degree, and 60% of employers will choose applicants with a college degree over those with only a high school diploma.

    Therefore, it’s critical that you list your college degree and all universities attended for your social media screen.

    Both Facebook and Linkedin have sections to include your college degree, as well as sections to list applicable coursework that’s relevant to your industry.

    We also recommend listing any college clubs, merit scholarships, and any other academic awards you may have obtained throughout your college career.

    Professionalism

    If you’re already active on social media, then it’s time to assess whether or not you need to clean up your act before your social media screen.

    Going back to our original career builder study, employers cite the following problems as red flags for potential candidates:

    • 46% of employers surveyed cited “provocative or inappropriate” photos and video material as reasons for not hiring a candidate.
    • 41% will not hire an individual if their public photos involve drinking, drug use, and any other drug-related material.
    • 33% of employers cite culturally and politically insensitive material as reasons for not hiring a candidate.
    • Being critical of past employers is also a no-no, as more than 30% of employers will reject a candidate for posting negative material about previous employers.
    • 29% of employers also look to see if you’re a good communicator on facebook. Rude, immature, or illogical responses to public online conversations can also hurt your chances for employment.

    Now that you know what not to do, let’s talk about a few tricks that you can do right now to immediately professionalize your social media presence.

    How To Improve Your Social Media Screen

    You want to make a great first social media impression with employers. To achieve that peace of mind, we recommend that you take advantage of your privacy settings to improve your social media screen.

    Anything you don’t want your employers to see, whether its comments about a TV show or even innocent photos with friends, can be set to “friends only” on Facebook.

    If you go into your Facebook settings, you can also set your all past posts to “friends only” or “only me” if you’re worried about any past content coming back to haunt you.

    Please note that everything you post on twitter is public, so never post any inappropriate or unprofessional material on your twitter. As well, your LinkedIn should be reserved for professional content only, as LinkedIn acts as an online resume for your social media screen.

    Your social media profile pictures should also look appropriate. That’s why we recommend using a professional headshot that you can use across all social media platforms.

    Now, you’re ready to put your best foot forward on social media.

    There’s no time like the present, so hurry up and improve those profiles right now to ensure your chances of future employment.

  • online dating tips

    These Online Dating Tips Help You Save Time

    If you’ve spent any length of time trying to date online, then you’ll know how difficult it can be. You’ve probably read 100s of online dating tips in a bid for success.

    Looking for a partner takes a lot of time! And with 40 million Americans using online dating, that’s a lot of profiles to check.

    Just consider how long it takes to write a decent profile and upload good photos. Then you have to trawl through your search results and craft interesting first messages.

    That’s not even taking into account the time spent on the dates themselves.

    But, we’re here to help. Try out these online dating tips to save you time!

    Don’t be afraid of being yourself.

    You might want to be more generic in the hope of attracting a wider range of people.

    But if you’re too generic, you might end up wasting time in conversations with the wrong people. If they don’t know what you’re into, they don’t know what you have in common.

    You’ll have seen the profiles yourself. Everyone loves “going out with friends” and “staying at home with a movie and a bottle of wine.” Don’t be that person.

    So be yourself and use your interests or quirkiness as a ‘filter’ to screen out people who just won’t be interested.

    Maybe you’re chronically shy and you’re worried about the whole process. Try these tips and get past the fear.

    Likewise, if you know you will not date people with children, then use that in your search criteria.

    It’ll narrow the number of people you can message. But you won’t waste time on people who aren’t right for you in the long run.

    It’s alright to say no to people.

    Sometimes you can be too nice and reply to every message you get. After all, you know how bad it feels when people don’t reply to your messages.

    But maybe you don’t like a person’s photos or their profile leaves you cold. Perhaps you have nothing in common. Then it’s alright not to reply.

    Sending a message gives the wrong impression, even if you say you’re not into them.

    If you know you’re not interested, then not replying doesn’t just save you time. It also saves them time.

    Some people go on dates just for “practice”. Don’t do that. It just wastes everybody’s time.

    Only go on a date with someone if you’re genuinely interested.

    Actually use the profile space you have!

    It’s amazing how many users leave their profile blank. Or maybe they write “I’ll fill this in later”.

    Don’t bother messaging users like that.

    If they can’t take the time to write out a profile then they aren’t serious about dating. And they’ll just waste your time.

    Focus on messaging people who’ve taken the time to write something. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace. It just has to show they’re serious about dating.

    But you should make the most of your profile space too. Give people something to talk about in their first message to you.

    Pay attention to the type of messages you get.

    We’ve all had the “Hey, ‘sup?” style message.

    It can be nerve-wracking to send a message to a stranger. But it doesn’t hurt to put a little more effort in.

    So if you get a lazy message like that, feel free to save your time and ignore it.

    You can also tell when the message has been cut and pasted. Do they only talk about themselves and never refer to your profile?

    There’s a good chance they didn’t even read it.

    If they’re just sending the same message to everyone, then cut your losses and move on.

    Though, you can save time with a customizable stock phrase

    Using cut and paste messages can be a no-no. But there’s nothing stopping you from having a basic template that you use each time you send a message.

    Perhaps it’s a quirky way to sign off your intro. Maybe it’s a fun question that always provokes interesting conversations.

    Just make sure the message is still tailored to the recipient. You want them to know there’s a reason you’re sending a message.

    Feel free to keep your message to the point though. Most people use online dating apps and don’t want to scroll through endless paragraphs.

    OkCupid reports that messages of 40-60 characters get the best response rate. So maybe treat your messages like tweets!

    If you’re not sure what to say, try these guaranteed conversation starters.

    Please pay attention to your photo!

    We don’t like to admit that we’re swayed by how people look, but humans are a visual species!

    Besides, given the problems around anonymity online, online dating tips like this one should help you stay safe.

    Try and avoid the following types of photos:

    • Group photos
    • Blurry, out of focus photos
    • Inconsistent photos
    • Photos that don’t actually look like you

    Group photos are always bad because no one wants to play Where’s Wally to figure out who’s in every image. And if you look different in 4 photos, people might struggle to believe it’s you.

    There’s no point using a fake photo. And don’t use one that doesn’t really represent you. After all, you’ll just disappoint your date and waste your time.

    Find a photo that shows you in your best light. Or, better yet, book a professional online photo session, and get ready to impress.

    Remember you can’t change other people.

    You might see someone who ticks most of your boxes. But it says on their profile that they’re only interested in casual dating.

    If you want a committed relationship, then don’t message them. You won’t be able to change their mind, and it isn’t fair to try.

    This is one of the harder online dating tips to follow, especially if you really like the look of someone. But just think. You can spend the time you’ve saved from them on someone else.

    The biggest of the online dating tips – actually make a date!

    Maybe you’re already talking to someone. You seem to have things in common and you enjoy reading their messages.

    But it’s been 10 days and there’s still no plans for a date.

    The whole point is to have dates, so feel free to suggest something. Coffee can take the pressure off the date. Meeting for lunch at the weekend keeps the day free if you find you hit it off.

    It might be an idea to suggest a quick chat on the phone beforehand to check you get on. Try setting up a separate Skype just for dates, or use Google Voice.

    Then when your first date turns into a second, you can use these tips to land a third!

    Just remember that putting yourself out there really can be tough. But if you follow these online dating tips, you’ve given yourself a much better chance!

  • linkedin profile

    5 Simple Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile in Minutes

    So, you’ve been meaning to update your LinkedIn profile for quite a while but, despite your best intentions, you’ve been putting it off. That stuff takes serious time and enormous effort, right?

    Well, actually…

    Wrong!

    What if we told you that we have some tried and tested ways for you to improve your LinkedIn profile in minutes?

    Guess what? That’s exactly what we’re telling you and we’re only too happy to share.

    LinkedIn Profile – Your Personal Branding Tool

    With over 467 million members, LinkedIn isn’t just Facebook for business people. It’s the most powerful professional network in the world.

    And, while your entire online presence is part of your online profile, LinkedIn may be the most important link in the chain.

    Why?

    Because your LinkedIn profile is your personal branding tool. It’s more important than a resume and it is the go-to place for business owners and recruiters.

    Now, as we know, the professional world is ultra-competitive. Small things can make a big difference.

    And, since we’re living in a world of constant distraction, standing out from the crowd has never been more important.

    Today, human beings have a lower attention span than a goldfish. Research suggests that recruiters spend six seconds on average looking at a resume. A LinkedIn profile will get even less time than that.

    So, how can you make your profile instantly stand out from the crowd?

    We’re about to share 5 simple ways you can improve your LinkedIn profile in minutes.

    But first, let’s talk a little about the power that LinkedIn has to propel your career forward.

    Why Your LinkedIn Profile is So Important (We’re Talking Mega, Mega)

    Your LinkedIn profile is your gateway into the world’s largest virtual professional world. Having a powerful presence on LinkedIn can take you from zero to hero in a very short space of time.

    Why is this?

    Here are some important things to consider:

    • All the serious players in every industry imaginable have a LinkedIn profile. If your profile sucks, are you ever going to be taken seriously?
    • When people search for you on LinkedIn, (and they will) you’re in full control of what impression you leave them with. As we all know, in life, as well as in the online world, first impressions last.
    • LinkedIn shows up first in Google searches. If someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile will likely pop up.
    • It’s all about connecting. On LinkedIn, people are constantly searching for services you may provide. If you don’t have an updated LinkedIn profile, your awesomeness might never be seen.

    Convinced of your need to improve your profile yet? Great! Now, let’s take a look at how to update it.

    5 Simple Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

    1. Rewrite Your Headline

    Your headline is one of the first things that people see when they visit your profile. But, did you know that LinkedIn automatically defaults that headline to your current position and company?

    Most people leave it this way. But remember, you don’t want to be like most people. At least, not on your LinkedIn profile.

    When rewriting it, you want to craft a compelling headline that includes the important keywords you want users to see.  You’re constructing your own personal brand, and you get to do it your way in your headline.

    Jump at the opportunity to do that.

    2. Your Photo

    Before you even ask, the answer is YES! Of course, you need a photo!

    But, not just any photo will do. You’re presenting yourself and your skills to the business world. It’s important that your photo positions you as the professional you want others to see.

    For most of us, when we see a photograph of someone else, we make immediate judgments about that person. A photo can influence our opinion on how likable someone is, whether they seem competent and whether they’re friendly or nice to be around.

    Here is some general advice about your photograph:

    • Use a professional photo if at all possible. It really will speak a thousand words
    • Use a current shot
    • Smile!
    • Ensure that your photo isn’t cropped awkwardly. There is nothing worse than seeing a photo with other people’s heads cut from the frame!
    • It should be just you in your photo. No animals allowed unless you’re a vet!

    3. Your Summary

    If used correctly, the summary on your LinkeIn profile has awesome sway. This is where you get to inject your personality and really differentiate yourself from the crowd.

    This is your opportunity to tell the story of you. Who are you? What is your experience? How do you plan to change the world?

    A summary of 40 words or more will make it more likely to show up in a search. Now is not the time to be shy.

    4. Your Connections

    Sometimes, with your LinkedIn profile, you might find yourself torn between these two opposing ideas:

    • You’re reluctant to connect with people you don’t know or don’t hold in high esteem
    • The more connections you make, the more opportunities you are likely to have

    How to solve this problem?

    Exercise caution and be strategic. Make sure that you connect with people within your industry but, if a connection doesn’t sit well with you, don’t go there.

    And, you can always use the power of groups to your advantage.

    Groups allow you to reach out to people you’ve never met before but in the comfort of a safe setting. You’re not breaching etiquette and you’re not appearing desperate to connect either. A win-win!

    5. Add Your Location

    This takes seconds and yet, it comes with an enormous benefit.

    According to LinkedIn, more than 30% of recruiters using the platform will use the advanced search option. In this, they will search based on location.

    So, the more details you have provided, the more likely you are to be found by the right person.

    Your LinkedIn Profile is Now Ready to Take Off

    There you have it. 5 simple ways to improve your LinkedIn profile in minutes.

    In the world we live in, we are faced with two choices: Stand out or fade into the background.

    Choose to stand out.

    And, make sure that when people land upon your LinkedIn profile, they have something really interesting to see.

    We’re always here with help and advice. Should you need any, get in touch!

  • online dating tips for men

    Online Dating Tips for Men: Impress Her and Win that Date

    Nearly 50 million people in the U.S. alone have attempted online dating. If there ever was a stigma, it’s gone now.

    Online dating is now second nature for singles, but so many walk away confused, frustrated, and give up altogether.

    It’s easy to fall into a cycle of never-ending online messages, flakes, or worse, get no response at all.

    That’s because online dating is a little different.

    You just don’t sign up for an account and walk away.

    Just like job interviews and meeting your girlfriend’s family, first impressions are everything when it comes to online dating. But you also have to be present, responsive, and master the overall art of online dating communication.

    That means having the right profile bio, photos, attitude, and online chat etiquette.

    So let’s improve your dating outlook right now with online dating tips for men that actually work.

    Draw Her In With A Standout Bio

    Your online dating bio and profile picture are the first two things a woman notices.

    Online dating statistics show that women hope for these top four qualities on a first date:

    • Good personality
    • Attractiveness
    • Humor
    • Education or career ambition

    So when writing your online dating bio, think about what women want from that hypothetical first date with you.

    Now, does this mean you have to write a novel?

    No, it’s actually the exact opposite. You don’t want to bore people to tears, so try and sum up who you are in a few sentences.

    You should also avoid these dating profile mistakes:

    • Including excessive personal information like your credit card info, address, where you work, and your even phone number.
    • Putting down the very idea of online dating. Why should you be embarrassed to date online? That’s dismissive and off-putting.
    • Rambling or including sentences that don’t make sense.
    • Complaining or expressing negativity.
    • Overconfidence or even narcissism.
    • Lying or over-embellishing in your profile.

    Catch Her Eye With Appealing Photos

    The second part of crafting a great first impression with your dating profile are getting the photos just right.

    First, you need to select an attractive profile photo that catches her eye. But is there some secret sauce behind a great profile photo?

    Yes, say the online dating experts!

    For instance, the left side of your face is actually considered more attractive than your right side.

    A study from Wake Forest University found that when comparing right-side and left-side profile photos, photos that favored the left side of the face were perceived more positively than the right side.

    That’s because the left side of your face projects more emotion than your right.

    So what type of emotion should you aim for in your photo?

    According to the University of British Columbia, women are more attracted to photos of men that project a sense of pride. In fact, they prefer this to photos that project happiness.

    For women, pride is perceived as strong and masculine. For someone looking for a long-term partner, pride indicates a man may be more interested in becoming a strong, reliable husband and father.

    You should also include more than just your profile photo.

    eHarmony’s own stats found that members with at least four photos get more messages on average than others.

    How To Master The Gift of Gab Online

    Now that you’ve written your awesome bio and uploaded your photos, it’s time to take that first step to message a potential date.

    Now, you want to pick the right person to message.

    64% of online daters believe common interests is an important quality in a significant other, so let’s start with that.

    When you find a match, reference one of your shared common interests in your initial message. You score double brownie points here, because not only do you connect with a common interest, but you show you’re genuinely interested in her profile too.

    Not only do you want to impress with that first message, but most importantly, you want her to respond back to you. So don’t hesitate to end your message with a question. For instance, if her profile says she loves Sci-Fi, feel free to ask her if she’s seen that new Sci-Fi film that’s in theaters or what she thinks of your favorite Sci-Fi series.

    So tapping into common interests is a surefire way to start a free-flowing conversation. But don’t overdo it with that first message. Like your bio, you don’t want to overwhelm potential dates with too much information, so just a few sentences for that first message in fine.

    Likewise, avoid turning into Mr. doom and gloom with your first conversation. A positive attitude is key for traversing the world of online dating.

    If she doesn’t respond right away, don’t let it get you down. Women on dating sites are inundated with messages from guys, which is all the more reason to stand out by referencing shared interests.

    If a woman doesn’t respond at all, chin up! Don’t let it get you down and do not send a negative message under any circumstances.

    Online Dating Tips For Men: How To Finally Ask Her Out

    Now it’s time to bite the bullet and actually meet one of these girls in person.

    Typically, the responsibility of initiating that first meet up will land with you, the guy.

    But don’t ask her out in that first message. That’s creepy. Instead, wait after a few messages to initiate or when it’s clear the two of you are comfortable with each other.

    That’s why it’s so important to build up a good rapport and conversational flow first. It’ll make the first date feel more natural and less forced.

    After your first date, don’t abandon your online communications either. It’s important to be present and responsive, otherwise, you may come across as aloof or disinterested in a second date.

    So are you ready to change your luck with online dating?

    Now, go back to the drawing board with these online dating tips for men so you can improve your profile, communication, and confidence to land that first and second date.

  • online dating message tips

    7 Online Dating Message Tips That Will Get a Reply

    So you’ve set up the perfect online dating profile with your best profile pic. What’s next?

    While there’s plenty of fish in the sea, you want to catch one. And it’s hard to get the girl (or guy) if you never communicate.

    But what good is sending a message if you can’t even get an initial response?

    If you want a reply, read on. We’re sharing 7 online dating message tips that will actually get you somewhere.

    7 Online Dating Message Tips To Get (And Keep) The Convo Going

    1. Get Going With An Unusual Greeting

    Start strong with your salutation.

    You’ll want your first impression to do just that—make an impression. So, use an unusual greeting.

    Statistics show that the 3 most popular ways to greet someone in an online dating message were actually bad beginnings.

    These top 3 intros to avoid include “hi,” “hey,” and “hello.”

    Sorry if these have been your go-to’s, but it’s time to switch things up.

    Instead, opt for options such as the next three most popular greetings, which perform better with response ratings.

    These include “how’s it going,” “what’s up,” and even “yo.” All were shown to get more replies than the more standard “hellos.”

    In fact, it’s better to use no traditional salutation at all than one of the top 3 introductions listed initially.

    No traditional greeting at least earns the reply rate of 27%.

    Overall, more informal standard greetings did very well. So rather than a simple “hey,” or “hi,” go for a “howdy,” which received almost a 45% response rating!

    2. Start With A Question (One That Won’t Get You Stuck)

    Out of all the online dating message tips, this one is simple. Lead with a question to get your online dating conversation started.

    First, find common ground with your girl or guy.

    Then, begin a conversation about it by asking a question.

    People normally like talking about themselves, so opening with a question about him or her to get the ball rolling is a good way to improve your response rate.

    The goal is to start a conversation, not ask a one-sided or super general question such as, “what’s up?” This will more than likely leave you hanging.OPP Side Bar Ad (2)

    While “How are you?” or “How’s your weekend?” are indeed both questions, these don’t actually start a substantial conversation.

    Questions are the gas that keeps a convo going, so think of something more interesting or specific to ask than a boring “what’s up?”

    3. Don’t Compromise The Convo With Physical Comments & Compliments

    Data shows that avoiding physical compliments will benefit you in the end.

    While this advice holds true for both sexes, it is mostly directed at men, considering they are more likely to mention looks.

    It might sound strange, but no one wants to hear these physical compliments. Data shows words like “sexy,” “beautiful,” “hot,” and “cutie,” do not receive many responses.

    Although, as we all know, people normally enjoy compliments, they’re not as big on pick-up lines. This especially holds true in situations when you have not met in person.

    So, instead of messaging someone that they are “gorgeous,” mention the words “awesome,” “fascinating,” or “cool,” if you want to give a compliment. These words show much higher response rates.

    4. Specifics = Success

    If you’re hopelessly messaging and not really looking for a response (which likely isn’t you if you’re reading this post), then go ahead and continue holding vague and general conversations.

    But if you want to hear back, bring up specifics.

    Specific interests and precise reference words for those—such as “zombie,” “band,” “tattoo,” “literature,” to name a few popular ones—show to be successful.

    Leave the basics behind.

    Research shows that most “niche” words have a positive effect on messaging.

    Try talking about particular things that interest you or details that you might have in common with your message receiver.

    5. “Dont” Do “Dis”

    You can consider all the online dating message tips in the world, but if you aren’t literate when you put them into practice, it won’t do you much good.

    What do netspeak, bad grammar, and bad spelling say about you? Well, it’s not good, as these are all huge turn-offs and tend to make a terrible first impression.

    Language is a strong deal-breaker.

    “Ur,” “u,” “wat,” and “wont” likely won’t get you any replies.

    Instead, put your elementary education into play by using correctly spelled, fully written out words, with apostrophes where appropriate.

    Correctly written but otherwise everyday words such as “don’t” and “won’t” (notice they include the appropriate apostrophe) have nicely above average response rates of 36% and 37%.

    There are exceptions to every rule, however.

    In this case, the “no netspeak” rule isn’t set in stone, since expressions of amusement are in fact accepted.

    Go ahead and use “haha” and “lol” as you please, because both turned out in the sender’s favor with 45% and 41% reply rates.

    Although less popular than “haha” and “lol,” another success was “hehe,” which received a 33% chance of response.

    6. Keep It Short & Simple

    Your first message should be sweetly simple and stay short.

    Express your interest in their profile, and add in a question or two about things you share in common.

    A long message with many lines or paragraphs is too much and can overwhelm and turn the receiver (if they even finish reading it all).

    The more you over-write, the more likely you are to come on too strong.

    Since the goal of your first message is to continue the convo, leave the receiver wanting more (as opposed to already knowing too much)!

    Also, maintain a message that is simple to start.

    While some people make the mistake of leading with a long list of questions on a range of topics, it’s best to just pick one detail you think is cool or something you’re curious about and stick with it to start.

    7. Don’t Let Your Message Ratio Get Out Of Whack

    In general, aim to maintain a 1:1 message ratio.

    Multiple messages will overwhelm the receiver.

    Unless you want to be classified as a crazy person or annoyingly needy, keep your messages to this plain ratio.

    Messaging someone more than once without getting a reply is the quickest turn-off you can try.

    So then what do you do once you’ve messaged someone?

    It’s simple—you wait.

    Either have patience or set your sights on something new, such the thousands of other single people who could reciprocate interest.

    Whether you realize it or not, repeat messages send even another message on top of what you’ve explicitly typed—“I am a creep with boundary issues.”

    So, resist the urge! Do not send multiple messages.

    What online dating message tips do you have for us? Let us know in the comments how you make online dating work for you and/or which approaches you’ve tried have left you without a reply!

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  • online dating tips

    Busy? Don’t Worry – These Online Dating Tips Save You Time

    Considering online dating? You’re in good company! Online dating is more popular than ever.

    There used to be a stigma surrounding internet dating sites but with 59% of Americans agreeing that it’s a great way to meet potential matches, it’s safe to say those ideas are outdated.

    Online dating can lead to long-lasting results, too – 20% of committed relationships started online.

    It’s not just a young person’s game, either. People of all ages are using internet sites to meet new mates.

    More people of a variety of backgrounds, ages, and economic groups are joining in on the fun.

    The thing is, dating gets harder as we go through life, and not for reasons you would imagine.

    Life’s obligations pile up. If you’re a parent of school-age kids, are climbing the career ladder, or anywhere in between, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to devote to finding romance.

    Get rid of that mindset; these online dating tips are everything you need to cut through the clutter and meet the person you deserve.

    Decide On And Stick To Your “Must Haves”

    In every relationship, a bit of compromise greases the wheels. There’s nothing wrong with being flexible and meeting your partner halfway.

    That being said, do you find yourself ignoring your dealbreakers?

    Being a doormat isn’t going to serve you in the long term. If you’re a cat person and your online match is crazy about dogs, you’re only going to put up with it for so long.

    Wanting to date someone who is as obsessed with food as you are? Reasonable!

    Only dating guys over six foot four who drive a certain brand of car? You’re going to have to think again.

    Take time to assess what you can bend on and what you can’t live with. Be honest in what you’re looking for and what you need for a relationship to work.

    When Chatting, Cut To The Chase

    It’s easy to get trapped in an endless cycle of texting or messaging and never really getting anywhere.

    And just like with a company’s ad campaign, you’re going to spend a lot of time sending messages but only getting a few in response.

    Be efficient with your messaging so that when you finally get a reply, you can move on and get results.

    Don’t use canned responses. That’s just cheap and impersonal. It’s annoying to get a generic opening message that you know has been sent to everyone on their list.

    That being said, some things are going to come up more than once during the “getting to know you” phase.

    Keep a word document with replies for standard questions like “what’s your favorite movie,” etc.

    You can even program texting shortcuts into your phone.

    Don’t waste time texting back and forth without moving on. Set up a phone call as soon as you think it would be a good idea.

    Real live chats can tell you more about a person than a bunch of emotionless text.

    When you hear someone’s voice (and they hear yours), you’ll get a sense of their personality (which is probably the most important thing that will land you dates!)

    As with all online dating, if you want to talk but don’t want to use your real phone number just yet, it’s important to stay safe.

    Services like Google Voice or downloading a burner app can cloak your number during your calls.

    Don’t Be Afraid To Cut Someone Loose

    Out of politeness or fear of hurting others, we sometimes let things go on a little too long.

    Why bother wasting your time on a second or third date with someone who you know you’re not compatible with?

    Yes, rejection hurts, and it might be rough to reject someone even if you’ve just met them, but you’ve got a busy life to live.

    Being polite will do you no favors. If you can’t see a future with them, there’s no point in seeing them again.

    Your Profile: Your Most Important Asset

    If there’s one piece of info you need to know from these online dating tips it’s that your profile is the most important weapon in your arsenal.

    Just like you’ve got criteria you want in a potential match, so do those viewing your profile.

    Your profile is your introduction to your online matches, bait on the hook so to speak. Would you bite on that lure if you saw your profile?

    Spend time developing it so that it accurately represents the best of you.

    Are your responses boring and bland?

    Does your personality shine through?

    Were you honest with what you were looking for?

    And the biggest factor affecting the number of clicks you get – is your profile photo up to date, accurate, and shows you in the best light?

    If not, we’ve got a solution.

    Capture Your Very Best Side With A Professional Profile Pic

    With digital cameras and smart phones, people are taking more photos of themselves than ever before.

    But are those pics dating profile worthy?

    You might be tempted to slap on some poorly-lit photo you took in a bar last summer or add pics where you’re mostly cropped out because you feel you don’t look good in pics, but there’s an easier way.

    Online Profile Pros has a foolproof and affordable system that’s going to deliver photos that make your profile extra clickable.

    It’s so easy – find a photographer in your area, select the package you want, then have fun getting your photo taken.

    You’ll have professional photos to add to your online profile within 48 hours. How simple is that?

    Your time is valuable – get great pics to add to your profile without any added stress and watch the clicks come in!

    Start Using These Online Dating Tips And Get Real Results!

    With these tips and tricks, you don’t have any more excuses. No matter how busy you are, you can get out there and start dating!

    Streamline your process, stay safe, be honest, and above all, put your best foot forward with affordable professional profile pics.

    Soon, you’ll be setting up second and third dates with the types of quality people you always wanted to meet!

    Get ready to meet the love of your life and have fun in the world of online dating

  • dating tips

    10 Fantastic Dating Tips for the Over 30 Crowd

    Returning to dating after some time away or reevaluating your dating tactics after you turn thirty can seem overwhelming.

    The internet has changed the dating game. Dating after your twenties is no longer about frequenting bars or night clubs looking to meet other people your age.

    Now, you have to learn to navigate social media. You also have to learn new dating techniques that you would never have used in your twenties.

    If you’re wondering how to navigate this transition, check out these dating tips for the over thirty crowd.

    Know What You’re Looking For

    While dating someone with a nice car, an exciting job, or the latest clothes may have seemed like a good idea when you were in your twenties, you are likely in a much different place in your life now. This means that you’ll be looking for different traits in a potential partner.

    Maybe you are looking to settle down, and want to find someone who feels the same way. Maybe you enjoy traveling for long periods of time and need someone who is able to do the same.

    Figuring out what you want will help you avoid a lot of wasted time and disappointing dates.

    Don’t Be Afraid to Let Others Know What You’re Looking For

    If you’re just now getting back in the dating game, you need to figure out what it is that you’re looking for right away. You don’t want to waste your time going on dates with people who don’t feel the same way you do or who are looking for very different things.

    Once you’ve decided what it is you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to be open about it.

    There will be plenty of people out there who want the same things, and you’ll find them much easier if you’re honest right from the start about your wants and needs.

    Don’t Ditch All of the Dating Tips You Followed in Your 20’s

    While there are plenty of things about your dating routine that’ll change once you’re past your twenties, don’t ditch everything you learned during that integral decade.

    Even if you didn’t date around much during that time, you likely learned many things about yourself and what works when it comes to relationships, and many of these still apply after you turn thirty.

    For instance, you probably learned a long time ago that you can’t force chemistry, that it’s much easier to be yourself than it is to put up a fake front and that impressing someone isn’t always about buying them expensive gifts or taking them on fancy dates.

    It’s a good idea to keep these guidelines in mind no matter what age you are.

    Let Go of Stereotypes About Age or Divorce

    There are so many stereotypes out there that say that people need to date others who are close to their age, or that people who have been divorced are likely to get divorced again.

    Neither is accurate.

    Dating past your twenties means learning to open up your mind. Don’t be afraid to date someone who is several years younger or older than you. Don’t say no to a date with someone you find attractive or interesting simply because they are a divorcee.

    Create Your Own Happiness

    If you aren’t happy with yourself and where you are in your life, you’ll likely never be happy in a relationship either.

    Learning to be happy with your own life before you start seeking a partner is essential.

    If there are parts of your life that you aren’t happy with, set goals for yourself and make gradual changes.

    Then, once you are dating again, remember to never compromise your own happiness for someone else’s sake.

    Stop Insisting on Perfection

    When you’re in your twenties, you probably had a list of things that your perfect date would do.

    Now that you’re older, it’s time to let go of those restraints.

    If you’re constantly looking for someone who is a perfect match to you in every way, you’ll never be truly satisfied. Instead, consider letting go of some of your requirements, and opening up your mind to people who think differently than you.

    Learn to Navigate the Latest Social Media Trends

    If you’re returning to dating after some time away, you may be wondering whether you can still get away with dating offline.

    The answer is probably no.

    The majority of people are now turning to the internet to find love, and if you don’t join in, you’ll be missing out.

    To join the digital dating age, you’ll need to learn how to use the latest social media platforms if you haven’t already.

    Facebook, Tinder and dating sites like Match.com are among the most popular websites for meeting and connecting with others and finding dates. Create profiles for each, and do some research to learn how to navigate their features, including messaging, posting, or commenting.

    It’s also a good idea to do some research on the rules and proper etiquette associated with each site.

    Put Your Best Foot Forward

    When you’re creating profiles for these social media sites, you’ll want to make sure that the image you’re presenting is a good one.

    Be honest in your descriptions, because lying is only going to lead to some awkward dates.

    You’ll also want to make sure that the photos that you post on these profiles are good ones. Bathroom selfies are never a good idea; in fact, selfies of any kind are often unflattering and poor quality. Group shots can be confusing, as it won’t be easy for potential dates to figure out which person in the shot is you.

    Instead, consider having professional photos taken, to ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward.

    Be Safe

    If you’re new to online dating, you may not realize that it can carry some risks.

    Never give away your home address to someone that you meet online. Always schedule a first date in a public place, and make sure that you meet your date there rather than allowing them to pick you up.

    Learning some safe online dating tactics is essential no matter what age you are.

    Never Give Up

    Dating over thirty doesn’t have to be stressful. Just like dating at any age, it takes some work, but in the end, finding the right person for you is always worth it.

    Follow these dating tips and stick with your search, and you’ll be happily dating in no time.

     

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