Writing a dating profile is much like writing an article or a novel — if I haven’t grabbed you by now, you’ve already swiped left and clicked to the next best thing to read.
On Saturday, author and editor Dave Eggers helped San Franciscans increase their chances of a lifelong match by editing their online dating profiles at a National Independent Bookstore Day event at Books Inc in the Castro district.
Eggers became famous with his 2000 autobiography, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” and in 2013 wrote “The Circle,” a dystopian novel based loosely on life at Silicon Valley tech companies like Google and Facebook.
Eggers wouldn’t let Business Insider sit in on the editing, but we spoke to a few attendees about what Eggers said they should do. Here’s what he told them:
Be specific. One attendee had “Eating and drinking with friends” listed as some of her favourite activities. Eggers suggested that she list a restaurant where someone could find her, or a specific cocktail at a bar, as a better conversation-starter.
Make sure it’s congruent. If you list consuming cocktails as an activity but then say in response to “what’s your ideal Friday night” that you actually prefer Saturday mornings, you may be sending mixed signals, as Eggers pointed out to one person. And you probably don’t want to be sending mixed signals to someone before you even start dating them.
End on a “Zing”. If you have a joke, save it to be the last part of the answer so that’s what people remember. And if the last question is “why you should message me,” make sure you sound inviting so people want to message you.
Be honest with what is a cliché (and try to avoid them). “Recognise when you’re repeating something that you’ve heard,” said Dan, one of the attendees, and then try to eliminate it from your profile. Don’t say you like comedy or like to laugh. Show it.
Make your self-summary feel like the first line of a novel. It needs to be the “hook”. The “about” section is where you can sound most generic, Eggers told Dan, so make sure you hook people in like you would in a book. Don’t have them glaze over the section of who you are because it reads like everyone else’s.