However, we've already encountered a large number of profiles that are woefully ill-prepared and show a lack of either A) Common sense or B) Effort. I will be writing several posts that go through some general examples of very unhelpful/disastrous aspects of YU Connects/Saw You at Sinai profiles, with the hopes that some readers out there (especially the guys) will learn from their mistakes and present themselves in a manner that is far more appealing to prospective dates and help the Connectors do their job - after all, we're here to help YOU.
Tip Number 1: Pictures, pictures, pictures.
While this topic has been done to death, and I discussed it fairly extensively here, the point bears repeating and further insight.YU Connects / SYAS gives you the opportunity to post 3 pictures of yourself. Our suggestion is, use all 3 in this format: 1 normal, 1 dressed up, 1 full body.
This will give the prospective dater a chance to see what you look like on a regular day, with normal clothes, be that white shirt black pants, polo and khakis, jean skirt and whatever (I don't know women's clothing so well, obviously). Additionally, they will see you all decked out in your finest, suit and tie, hat - if applicable, fancy dress or suit, makeup, hair perfectly arranged or straightened, etc. Any potentially interested party will then have some sense of the range of your appearance and dress styles. They can then mentally extrapolate variations between these two polar opposites, which is probably what they'll see on a date.
The reason a full body picture is a good idea is because people can easily lie when it comes to selection one of the labeled body types. This personally happened to me a few times when the girl only uploaded head shots and claimed she was a thin/slender, when she was actually "average" or perhaps "a few extra pounds." I'm not saying this to judge her based on her physical stature, but because the lying bit didn't help me in my decision making process after our first date.
Make sure you select good, clear pictures that show you in a presentable fashion with all your clothing properly arrayed, tucked in, buttoned, straightened, etc.
In only a short time I've seen so many awful pictures posted by guys that I really want to call each of them up and yell at them. Do they think girls LIKE seeing pictures that are fuzzy or blurry, feature half of the guy's face covered in shadow, or farshvitzed from dancing a wedding? The answer to all three is a resounding NO. The first thing ASoG and I analyze upon clicking on a profile is the picture, and ASoG has recoiled in horror at tons of pictures posted by guys, so a lot of the following is based on perspectives she shared with me.
Pictures that aren't clear help no one, if the person can't tell what you look like, don't post it. Regarding the atmospheric lighting shots - this isn't meant to be an art studio gallery of you as a supermodel, the person wants to see your features in as plain a fashion as possible to see if they find you attractive. He or she should not spend time discerning if you are a dark and mysterious type based on the fact that your eyes are entirely hidden.
Angled pictures are okay as long as they are not too extreme, such as a complete side view or a picture that mostly shows your ear and the back of your head. However, please include at least one normal front-on image.
NO GROUP SHOTS - unless they are skillfully cropped for a decent head shot of JUST YOU. What's the point of posting a picture from your friend's wedding with a dozen other guys? Even if it's cropped, but shows you with one or two friends, why do you want to risk A) Confusing the prospective date by making her figure our which guy you actually are or B) Letting her see your friend and possibly find him more attractive than you?
This isn't Facebook, for crying out loud!
The other person wants to see you and determine if they find you physically attractive per their standards. This means that only YOU need to be visible, and not you watching TV, playing a video game, reading a book, learning, or eating. There are sections describing your personality, likes and activities in writing, and that is more than adequate enough - no need to prove how much you learn by showing a picture of you and an open Gemara, or how fun and outdoorsy you are by posing with a fishing rod and your latest catch.
Lastly, if you don't know HOW to take or edit pictures, or if you have no clue if you've selected a decent shot of yourself, PLEASE get someone to help. Even if you don't know how to use the crop or resize functions in your computer's standard image editting softward, I'm willing to bet your sibling, parent, or friend does.
Don't post a picture that has a giant white space next to it, cuts off half your face (or features half of your friend's), and please don't resort to simpling drawing over the person next to you, blurring their face, or putting a big ol' black box over their head.
Yes, we've seen those, no joke. These sorts of pictures show little effort in preparing your profile, and are unflattering with regard to how little you think of a prospective date's analysis of your photographs.
UPDATE 2/19/2011 4:15 PM - From the department of don't EVER post this sort of picture: We just saw a guy who used a photograph of him with an arm around a girl at a party as one of his YU Connects pictures. Not to be judgemental about how frum or not frum he is vis a vis being shomer negiah, but why in the world would you want a prospective date to see you with another girl? Yeesh! Avoid this practice at all costs.
In summary: post 3 clear, normal pictures of just you in everyday clothes, dressed up, along with a full body shot. Your Connectors and potential dates will thank you.
Tune in next time for more helpful tips on finding that special someone by making your YU Connects or Saw You at Sinai profile as great as it can be.