18-Oct-2015 08:26
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Writing a good profile for online dating

Twelve years ago, I took a chance and wrote a personal ad. My finished product reflected my attitude at the time—a combination of "you have to play to win" and "hey, why not?

Props that make you feel soulful, frisky, and fascinating help you make those claims for yourself in your ad. It might sound obvious, but be sure to post a terrific photo of yourself. More to the point: I wanted to attract a man who appreciated subtlety.Eggers suggested that she list a restaurant where someone could find her, or a specific cocktail at a bar, as a better conversation starter. 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). Make your self-summary feel like the first line of a novel.

"Recognize when you're repeating something that you've heard," said Dan, one of the attendees, and then try to eliminate it from your profile. 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.

If you're not comfortable putting your picture up online, avoid overselling your appearance with dubious claims like "Sharon Stone look-alike." I started my magazine personal with: "Curvy, almond-eyed writer, fit (good shoulders)...." My husband says he was attracted to the soft sell of the description and the quirky confidence of the assertion.

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. 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. One attendee had "Eating and drinking with friends" listed as some of her favorite activities.

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