Ask e: Tooting your horn without bothering the neighbors.

Nick asked the following question on the last Geek Love post.

This article brought up a question, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only guy out there who does this. Well, at least I hope not.

Anyway, whenever I try to write anything about myself, I find it hard to put down direct positive facts. It’s not entirely a self-esteem issue, it just seems that anytime I proof something positive about myself, it comes off as exceedingly arrogant, and I cut it. So…any short and sweet advice for us geek guys who want to sell ourselves but are too concerned about coming off as an incarnation of bloated hubris?


e says:

Well, Nick, that’s where having a writer on your side will help!

Let me find the profile of someone who is the “incarnation of bloated hubris” and show you how he could market himself better. Sometimes it helps to see things from the other side of the coin.

(Hint: The best way to find these people is to search for the MatchWord “successful”.)

This guy is such a good/bad example that I’m going to post his whole profile:

Headline: I am a great catch with a lot to offer that is looking for a great catch with a lot to offer.

If I were described by people who knew me best, they would describe me as someone who is intelligent, attractive, ambitious, sweet, humerous [sic], with a passion for life. I am someone you can be proud to take home to your mother. I am very secure in my life now, and my hardwork [sic] has made me very successful.

I grew up in _____. I went to college at the University of ______, where I recieved [sic] my Bachelors in Finance and Management. I stayed there and went to Law School. I graduated in 2002, and I moved back to _______. I have lived here ever since. I work hard, but I still make time for fun. I am not a health nut, but I do take great care of myself. I work out three times a week, and I try to eat fairly healthy.

I am looking for someone who is sweet, intelligent, cute, somewhat grounded, with similar interests to me. I am very straight forward, and I don’t like to play childish games. Life is too short for that.

I do believe that there are good quality people that you can meet online, and I am an example of one of them.

Wow, women must be falling all over him. Wait, let me get a towel so I wipe off all this sarcasm. It’s dripping off me. The sad thing? He’s not a bad looking guy. Pretty cute, actually.

Image by dmcneil on Flickr

Writing a good profile is a lot like writing a resume and cover letter for a job. You need to tout your strengths. This might be the only chance you get to make a good impression on the person responsible for hiring you.

However, there is a delicate balance between touting strengths and looking far too self-important. Too little tooting and you look boring or unqualified. Too much tooting and you look like an ass.

I don’t know this guy, so I’ll be taking some liberties with the facts.

Here’s how I’d re-write his profile:

Headline: Runner seeks girl for a marathon of movie watching

I am grateful to be at the point in my life where I have stability in terms of my career and finances. No more salad days, here! (Those days were pretty fun, though!) I work as a lawyer, specifically in real estate law because I love helping people feel confident when purchasing a new home. When I’m not working, I enjoy working out at the gym and running on the nature trails near my house. Last week, I ran in shorts! Spring is here!

My perfect match would love to join me on a run (or even a walk – it’s been a while since I slowed down). She loves learning new things and would be up for a game of chess or snuggling up and watching all six Star Wars movies back to back on a rainy Sunday. (Bonus points if you hate Jar-Jar as much as I do.) Which movie is your favorite? I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours!

Easy Advice

  • You don’t need to list as many things about yourself as you think.
    • Stick to a few points about yourself that you think make you unique or interesting.
  • Find a way to show things rather than say them.
    • Instead of “I am rich and successful“, say “I am grateful to be at the point in my life where I have stability in terms of my career and finances.”
  • Give the girl at least a few ways of seeing herself as fitting in to your life.
  • Update frequently – put in a line about the current season. This lets the ladies know that you are actively involved in your search for love.
  • Be confident about your strengths – there is no bigger turn-off than a guy who is always down on himself and unable to voice what’s great about him… and geek guys have so many things that are great about them!!

The April Personal Ad Makeover Contest needs some entries!! Click here to learn how to enter.

Happy dating, geek friends.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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