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Tweaking your profile: If you're getting type of responses you're looking for, great. If you're getting responses from wrong types of people or not getting as many responses as you'd like, then review your profile and think about how you can improve it and make yourself shine a little bit more. Most matchmaking systems have a place for you to edit your essay and parts of your ad. Take a look at it at least every couple of weeks.
How to search for a new friend: Each matchmaking system has different ways of searching for compatible profiles. Some have several ways. Typically these are MATCH, SEARCH, FIND, and some allow you to make a Search Profile that you can reuse. You can search by location, ideal height and weight, ethnic background -- even by interest in having kids in future.
A high percentage on a multiple choice match is a good start but read answers and look at essay. The percentages may be great but then profile might be someone who sounds desperate and lonely, is someone just looking for sex or has totally different interests and values.
If there is a photo, look at photo and remember that photo can be one taken yesterday or 5 years ago. Unless person is down right unappealing, remember that amateur/family photos don't always make a person look their best. Look for profiles that match your ideal characteristics but also hit you right way -- do writers sound funny? Intellectual? Love animals as much as you do? Like to travel?
Posting Photos: It is up to you to post a photo. You will increase your response rate TEN TIMES by posting a photo. People want to see who they are writing to, and many don't want to start a correspondence and waste time with someone that they don't know if there is even a initial attraction from a photo. If you want a lot of responses, you'd better have a picture. From my experience, and from what I've heard from others, it seems that people who don't have pictures of themselves are usually hiding something. So, if you don't have a picture, people are going to assume you look like a dog. If you are a high profile person in city you live, offer in your profile to exchange photos from your personal (yahoo or hotmail, not your real email address). Make sure you put an accurate description of what you look like in your profile. You may want to say what celebrity you closely resemble.
People who say they don't have a photo or don't have a way to get one on line are either lazy or playing games. If you don't have a scanner at home or work, take a photo to KINKO's (they are everywhere). Have your photo or photos scanned in a .jpg format. Most matchmaking systems do not allow you to send zip files or unusable formats. Typically .jpg, .gif, and .bmp is limit and they must be sized down. Photos should have a shirt on, clearly show your face (no sunglasses), well lit, no swimwear (except for secondary shots) and no family in your primary photo. Make sure you are smiling in photo. (Who wants to meet someone who looks angry and glum). Many companies allow secondary shots that have your family and friends in photos as long as you are in photo. Don't use a photo in which you're dressed too revealingly -- you want to look elegant and alluring, but a picture of you in a bikini is going to attract wrong kind of responses.
What should you not send? You car, house, boat, photos of your kids or friends by themselves, photos where your face is size of a pencil head, photos with your ex, dark shots, anything revealing, etc. Send your best photos. Remember, FIRST IMPRESSIONS may be your only chance. Your most recent photo of you camping (once in 5 years) with ball cap on may leave a impression that you don't want others to have. Again, think in terms of a resume. How would you want an employer to first see you? (Dressed nicely with your hair perfect). Ex. A good mix would be primary photo in a business suit or polo shirt, secondary photo out rock climbing with friends, third photo with two nephews at XMAS.
Out of Town or Unable to Answer email? Members of matchmaking systems expect responses to their emails quickly. If you can't answer emails for a week or two, edit your profile and at top of essay say "I will be out of town for "x time frame" and will not have access to email. Please ear mark my profile and write me back at "x time frame" and I will be happy to respond when I return." This is especially important during summer months when people are on vacation and during holidays.
Anna Winters is a writer for http://www.Singlesonthego.com, the largest singles groups, singles events and activities website helping 500,000 plus readers monthly find singles events in their city.