CHICAGO (WLS) -- More than 107 million Americans are single, and more and more are turning to online dating to find love. One in three marriages in 2014 took place because of online connections. There are some ways to make your online profile stand-out from the crowd:
Top/common profile mistakes:
1) Being generic in your essays is a big mistake. "Show don't tell, and be specific!" Nine out of 10 profiles read the same way online, for example: "I'm fun, adventurous, and am just as comfortable in jeans as I am in a ball gown." This is NOT memorable; be authentic and unique. Instead of saying "I'm thoughtful" - think of a one to two sentence example that shows how you're thoughtful. Example: "I'm the guy that will clean the snow off of your car, and warm it for you on a blizzardy day."
2) Spelling and grammar: Your online profile is your personal advertisement in cyberspace! People are brutal in their judgments of intelligence online. If your profile mixes up "your" and "you're", people may assume you're not well educated. Use a dictionary or spell check!
3) Length: Don't make it too short or too long. Sticking to essays between 250-350 words is great! Writing about yourself is one of the toughest things to do well with online dating, so seek out friends for help if they're good writers, or hire a professional to do it. It's well worth it.
Great profile photo tips:
1) You need a great headshot - your opening photo is the most important picture. Direct eye contact with the camera with a great smile. You should look warm and welcoming, so that the viewer will want to click on your profile, instead of one of the multitudes of others on the page! It should be well-lit!
2) You need body shots! People want to see what you look like from head to toe!
3) No other people, pets, kids in your shots. And dress to impress in your photos. Men, wear a nice sport coat, dark jeans, a crisp shirt underneath, or nice layered sweater looks. It goes a long way and doesn't look like you're trying too hard. For women, look feminine! Pretty blouses, dresses and skirts in solid bright colors photograph best.
The founder of the Smart Dating Academy, Bela Gandhi, joined ABC7 to give more tips for online dating success.
Smart Dating Academy Webinar
Admission/ticket prices: $30
Deadline to register: Dec. 5