Get an Extreme Profile Makeover

Tamar Caspi Shnall is giving online profile makeovers. Today she’s tweaking the profile for “Emily.”


Dear Tamar,

I’ve called JDate customer service and solicited the advice of some girlfriends, but so far nothing has helped.

I’m a fairly attractive and very smart/fun girl… in real life I get approached by a good number of smart and pretty good-looking guys. Online, however, very few guys message me (and almost none reply to my messages). Plus, all of the ones who do contact me are, frankly, poorly educated, inarticulate, and unattractive.

I don’t mean to be dismissive of these people but I just have the feeling that something is terribly wrong with my profile and is turning the ‘good’ guys off.

I suspect that my profile is too long (and I read that this can indicate desperation), but I put in all those details so that I could attract a like-minded guy. I’m afraid that a shorter and more generic profile will attract people I have nothing in common with.

Can you help me to figure out what’s wrong with my approach?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Emily,

Thanks for writing in and letting me know that you updated your profile already. I agree, your previous one was far too long and this one is much better. Let’s start from the beginning though…

Your profile name isn’t your name although it is a name, so that right there can be confusing. I’m a huge fan of Lucille Ball, so if you’re trying to reference her then at least incorporate a more obvious connection. If it’s some other reference then I’m personally not catching and maybe you want someone who does understand it but then you might end up losing people who aren’t in on the joke even though they don’t know that there’s a joke to get. I wouldn’t judge potentials on whether they do or don’t get your profile name. Of course, it would be very impressive and earn major points if a prospect mentioned the inside joke in his initial email to you but that is just one little connection. I would prefer you had a profile name which described you better.

You have lots of great photos! Maybe too many though. I love your main photo and the second one with the red background, I also love the fourth one in the white dress and the eighth one in the green dress. The 11th one showing your side profile is super cute too. The others are not preferable to me for a few reasons — I don’t love the idea of alcohol in photos so that eliminates the 6th and 7th photos. The 12th one is just too small (low-resolution) of a photo that it’s a toss away. There are 2 others which have the ame background of the cool and colorful wall but you have enough photos that you don’t need to repeat. I do like the Halloween pic as it shows your fun personality but the third picture, the one in the black lace dress is just okay to me. I think you can do better with a full body pic (in a sexy dress like that one) with your great smile to match. I don’t think the full 12 pics is necessary. Your look is consistent in all 12, so if you just offered 6-8 that would be sufficient.

You’ve written some really eloquent paragraphs so I’m going to be pretty nit-picky with you. Under ABOUT ME, get rid of the word “boyfriend” and just keep that sentence to “friends.” In the last paragraph I would also remove the following: the part about books and about movies. I love a great book and indie flick too but you mention it a number of times throughout the entire profile (and of course it’s asked further down under MY FAVORITES) so this would be a good place to delete and shorten the response, including the last cutesy exclamation. Instead put something like “If you like any or all of these things too then maybe we’ll have more fun doing them together!” With MY LIFE AND AMBITIONS saying that you want to find someone you “really love” is, for lack of a better word, weird. Of course you should really love the man you marry! That’s a given. Alas, I get what you mean. Instead say “I hope my husband and I are passionately in love for the next 60 years” and then add in the rest of the sentence. I love your answer to MY PERFECT FIRST DATE and I think the remainder of your responses are all solid. You could shorten and tweak I’M LOOKING FOR as it is, literally, a tall order. I too had a height requirement but you can narrow that down yourself, you don’t necessarily need to say it in your profile as that may give a guy the wrong impression about your priorities when I know you truly prefer someone who is intellectual and cultural above everything else.

Your details all look pretty solid and reasonable. I applaud you for selecting a minimum age range a few years below your age and a maximum age range 10 years above. This is the perfect range. You do seem like the type of person who would be fine meeting someone who ended up being an “activity partner” but that’s not what you’re on JDate looking for, so there’s no problem with eliminating activity partner, friend and a date from the list of what you’re looking for.

I think you’re well on your way and your most recent trend of great guys writing to you will continue. If you want me to review some of your initial emails or responses, feel free to email me some examples. Good luck!

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