Setting up a dating profile is a bit like doing those awkward ice breakers at every group job interview.

But instead of being peppered with questions that'll inspire a quarter life crisis – "Tell us the most interesting thing about you? If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?" – you're forced to find a profile picture that does the impossible.

What kind of a photo flatters your best features but still shows your face clearly; makes you seem free-spirited (but not like all your cash goes to holidays); implies you're loving and caring (but not like you just take pictures with other people's children) and also suggests your have a heaps of friends without including the dreaded group photo?

Way out of your depth? Don't worry, these hacks will have you taking the perfect profile pic in no time.

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No mirror selfies: Especially shirtless ones. There are better ways to show off your rig (in context) other than in a dim bathroom selfie.

Eaaaasy on the filters: These are the modern equivalent of wearing a mask or a paper bag over your head. It's hard to know what you look like when there's a dog face plastered over yours or when your skin is so blurred your face just looks like a smudge. Heavily filtered photos imply you have something to hide, so please avoid.

Grab your pet: Research conducted by the dating platform Zoosk suggests that having a dog in your profile may increase your inbound messages by a whooping 265 per cent. But as we all know, getting your pet to actually look at the camera is half the battle.

Luckily for us, a new genius invention called 'The Pawfie', simply slip in a treat and snap and your pooch will be ready for their close-up.

Quality: Use quality images: And by quality, we don't just mean ditch the grainy ones that look like they were taken with a potato. Using pics where your face is clearly visible is a plus for users. In fact, wearing sunnies or hats can reduce your swipe rate by 15 and 12 per cent (respectively), according to Tinder.

Smile: While girls love to pout through selfies and guys think doing Blue Steel will get them a swipe, it's actually counter-productive. Tinder reports that smiling instead of sexy pouting or doing bedroom eyes ups your chances of a match by 14 per cent.

Make eye contact: This is not a green light to stare down the barrel of the camera like a serial killer, but "face forward" photos as opposed to artsy, side profile shots up your chances of being swiped right by 20 per cent.

Add some colour: When you only have 0.5 seconds to impress the swiper, it helps to stand out. Tinder's own stats reveal that 72 per cent of users wear neutral colours in their first photo and it's not doing them any favours.

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If your wardrobe is a minimalist's dream and wearing bright colours inspires feelings of extreme self-loathing, taking a nice, presentable photo and throwing it on a brightly coloured background could also do the trick.