Getting down to basics
To get things rolling, Hoehn administers a basic questionnaire.
What are your hobbies?
Where have you lived?
What kind of relationship are you looking for?
Answers to these meat-and-potatoes questions advance Hoehn onto the next step: a personalized, in-depth interview with the client. “I aim to get people to tell me stories and anecdotes,” Hoehn says. “I just really dig in.” She's looking for concise, slice-of-life observations here... not cliches or rambling anecdotes.
Then Hoehn gets to writing. She distills quirky details and stories -- the stuff that makes you, you -- down into three- or four-sentence paragraphs describing the client. This is the art: to offer important information (but not too much) without making boring old lists. Hoehn avoids filler sentences, unnecessary words, and ensures there isn't a single typo. There’s no space worth wasting when your profile is only meant to convey one thing: that you're a decent, dateable human being.
But describing yourself in simple terms is no easy feat -- and the arena of online dating raises the stakes. There’s a “whole downward spiral of self doubt that people get into,” Hoehn says. Who among us hasn’t written a half-baked OkCupid self-summary that seemed succinct at the time but in the light of day read verbose, try-hard and full of meaningless details? And sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’ve gotten knee-deep into those murky waters beyond the reach of a quick ‘Control + Alt + Delete’.