In our Fast Company column this month, called “Polarize Me,” [which isn’t avail online to non-subscribers but is referenced by Brady Whalen here] Chip and I poke fun at people whose online dating profiles are terminally abstract and bland. Go ahead, do a quick search — you’ll see an infinite number of headlines like these: “Hey there!” “I’m unique!” “Looking for the right person.” That kind of thing. So in the column, we urge people in the dating world (and by extension, advertisers in the business world) to take a stand and say something wonderfully concrete, like this headline we found on Match: “Athletic math nerd looking for someone to hum Seinfeld intro music with.”
Well, it turns out that there are people who actually make a living giving advice like this! Check out this Time magazine piece called “It’s a Brand-You World,” which discusses consultants who help people spruce up their self-descriptions for job- and mate-hunting purposes. From the piece:
Fran Hartman, a bubbly New Hampshire widow, had posted a Yahoo! Personals ad touting her fondness for seafood and back rubs, and herself as “a young looking 66 year old grandmother. I still work as a courier for a lab company. I love to feel wanted and needed.” But when she didn’t meet a suitable man, Hartman, now 67, paid New York City–based PersonalsTrainer $159.95 to polish her narrative. Her new entry begins “Whether listening to Merle Haggard while driving in my courier vehicle or settling in for some fried clams and a good conversation at Bob’s Clam Hut, you will always find me with a smile on my face and a ready-hug for new friends and old.” The new story generated more responses from prospective mates and “made me feel like I walked on water,” Hartman says. “And it was very much me.”
Chip and I are in the wrong line of work. This sounds fun.