By Julie Spira
Both celebrities and everyday people are flocking to online dating sites and mobile dating apps with the hopes of finding someone special to meet.
Still many are frustrated with the process as they find it overwhelming, aren’t sure who to write to, or after a few dates don’t believe that online dating works for them. As an online dating expert and coach who’s helped singles for 20 years find their perfect match and have been responsible for many weddings of naysayers, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Looking for love online to find your dream date is like finding your dream job and should be taken as seriously and in a strategic manner.
Does it sound unromantic to you? Perhaps, but if you don’t research your dream job and come prepared to an interview, why would an employer hire you? The same strategy holds true for being prepared for your online date. So before you start calling Jimmy, Johnny, here are 5 tips on how to date like you’re looking for a job.
1. Your profile should look like a resume for love. Just like you list your best qualities to a potential employer on your resume, your online dating profile should show you looking your best. Take the time to describe your passions and why you’d be a great date to the person viewing your profile.
2. Leave the baggage behind. Just like you wouldn’t bash a former company that you worked for while on an interview, don’t start talking about your ex and what went wrong in your profile or while on a date. We do learn from our past on what we want and won’t accept in a future relationship, but listing the don’ts and negative comments only shows that you might not still be over your ex. Nobody wants to date a Debbie or Donnie Downer.
3. Your first email is like a cover letter. First impressions matter and we know that you’d really like to have your email read by a potential date. My best advice is to make sure your emails are brief and very specific. In other words, don’t copy and paste the same email to everyone. Could you imagine sending a cover letter to a potential employer that doesn’t include the name of their company or why you’d be the best employee? Well a potential date needs to know what you have in common and if at all possible, refer to them by their screen name or real name if it’s listed. Keep your first email to five sentences and follow the advice from Steve Jobs about sending business emails. Shorter is sweeter.
4. Ask questions. Just because a job seems like a match to you, before you move forward with a new company, you should be asking questions in your interview.While you don’t need to make your date feel like they’re in a deposition, showing them that you’re interested in them and that it’s not all about you is appealing. I recommend taking it one step further and ask questions in your profile and introduction email. Describing things that you’re passionate about are great, but add the question of, “What about you?” This helps take your profile from 2-dimensional and turns it into a dialog.
5. Grammar Matters. Before you send off your resume and cover letter or a thank you letter to a hiring manager, you should always use spell-check and grammar-check, right? Well the same holds true for online dating. Too often I see people getting lazy in their profiles and find them filled with acronyms, lol’s, or the letter “u” instead of the word, “you.” Since first impressions matter, please always check your profiles for accuracy. Most dating sites include a spell-check feature so you can see if a word is misspelled, which helps. Research has shown that dating profiles with bad grammar go right into the digital trash bin. Before you push the send button, have a friend review your emails and profiles to make sure you look as smart as you really are.
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