“Selling” yourself in 25 words or less

Posted on July 12, 2011


Now that you’ve done the really hard work (getting your pictures taken, getting some friends to help you figure out your greatest personality traits and writing your online profile), this last step in the process will seem pretty easy and simple.

But simple does not equate to unimportant. Today I’ll be discussing how to create a username and headline that’s alluring and interesting.

Although these won’t take you long to compose, they are the first thing that others will see when they look at your profile. Which means, in the world of online dating, these two things, along with the first picture you post, will be the first impression that you make on potential future partners. So like any first impression, you’ll want to present your best self. Here are some guidelines and tips on how to “sell” yourself effectively, in the 25 words or less that you’re given to do so.

Your Username

Keep this classy and keep it discreet.  “Goodtimegirl” doesn’t make a quality first impression and “GregNorman” doesn’t help you keep yourself relatively anonymous (which you will want to do because you are online). “Looking4Love” is cliché and “ILoveDogs” is too cutesy.

Try to pick a username that is perhaps your real first name and then something basic about yourself (and no, I don’t mean your birth year). GregRunsMarathons is good because it immediately gives people an idea about one of your hobbies and so is JanKarokeFan.

Although you’ll generally want to stay away from cheesy expressions, sometimes a little cheese in your username doesn’t hurt. In fact, it helps people remember you better. The trick here is to make yourself stand out just enough so that you garner others’ interest but not so much that you look flamboyant.

Your Headline

Most of the online dating sites have an option for you to write some kind of headline. Usually limited to 25 words or less, you are basically asked to sum up who you are and who you are looking for. Just like with your username, you’ll want to sound somewhat unique but (once again) not so unique that you scare people away.

“Divorced mom of two looking for a second chance at love,” is the headline for about 20,000 people. It won’t help set you aside from the crowd.

In your headline, give some information about yourself, perhaps one of your most important hobbies or interests and then a very brief nod in the direction of what you’re looking for in a partner. Don’t use your precious 25 words to talk about your ideal mate, either.

“Skiing and mountain-climbing fanatic would love to meet other outdoor-loving, divorced parents” gives so much information in just 14 words. By reading this headline, we know the writer is really into skiing and mountain-climbing, is divorced and has children and is looking for a partner who loves the outdoors. Obviously the writer is not deterred by dating other divorcees, taking on step-children or blending families. This is what I’m talking about.

Learn how to sum up who you are concisely and in an interesting way and also what’s important to you in a partner, and you’ll be on your way to online dating success!

Posted in: Online Dating