Your online dating profile gives you an opportunity to do three things:
- Get noticed by your target audience
- Use written words to make your case
- Convince another person that you'd be an asset to his or her life.
Your profile sends the message that you're not only a non-serial killer, but you're actually pretty terrific to have around. Meanwhile, there's another important written document in your life that's making a similar pitch in a different direction: Your cover letter.
An introductory letter to potential employers says "Hey! I won't turn your life upside down and give you headaches. In fact, hiring me may turn out to be one of the best business decisions you ever make." So if they're sending the same basic message, learn some strategies that might work well for both of these two venues.
Make Your Cover Letter (& Your Dating Profile) Stand Out
- Show, don't tell. Funny people say funny things. Friendly people say friendly things. And smart people say things that are clear, to the point, insightful, original and memorable. There's no quicker death for a dating profile than a statement like "I am very funny. I love to make people laugh. I have an excellent sense of humor." Why? Because that's not funny. And there are so many ways to deliver this message that actually are.
- Your words matter. As an employer, think about how you'd respond to a statement like this: "I'm very detail oriented and I never make mistakes." Or, "I'm a results-oriented solution provider and a top-tier performer with a strong task-management focus and an addiction to success, and I get right to the point. I never waste time with empty buzzwords." Don't just say things. The written format provides you with a chance to demonstrate your "communication skills" instead of just declaring it.
- Build your case around a theme. If you're the high-adventure snowboarding guy or the fun punk-rock girl, weave your dating profile around that image. And when it comes to your work persona, if you're a micromanaging data analyst, an unpredictable artist, or a rock-solid supportive team member, choose words and a tone that align well with that idea. There's no need to stereotype yourself — just make your message easy to remember.
- Be nice. Don't be a jerk in your dating profile, and don't show even the slightest hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or hostility in your cover letter. Ever. No matter where the future may take you, keep the present moment respectful. Say kind and complimentary things about your reader, show gratitude for his or her time, and if you're writing to an employer, offer sincere praise for past accomplishments and well wishes for current projects if applicable.
- Let your reader know exactly what you want, and as you conclude your message, provide him or her with clear information on how to take the next step. At the end of your cover letter, let your reader know that you'd be pleased to discuss the position and your credentials further with an in-person meeting.
Need a few more dating tips and help with your love life? Ask your grandma. Need help with your job search? Ask LiveCareer. Our resume building tools, cover letter writing services and practice interview questions can help you keep your search on track and take your career to the next level.