As I interview for summer internships, there is one thing that consistently keeps me confident: the flow of my resume. While I was pretty unsure about my resume for a while (I only have two years of working experience), through a lot of practice, I have learned to make it read like a great drama that I had planned all along rather than a tragedy.
The idea that one of my senior classmates explained to me early on in my MBA classes was that every good resume reads like a crafted story with a purpose. This is relevant not just in your job, but also in your personal life, on dating sites and beyond. No one else has lived your life, so it is in your control what you tell and what you highlight.
I’m not saying everyone needs to be a Don Draper and make up who they are, but not everything is going to be a high in your life. What’s interesting about the mentality of creating a cohesive story is that you can easily turn negatives into positives. For example, I left a job in retail management last summer, never planning to return to retail. However, when I began the job hunt, I realized working in the corporate office of a retailer would be great with my experience, and I learned to pitch various parts of my job to any company I went to — retailer or not. My “on the floor” experience would be vital for any position within a retailer as it showed I understood the business. And as I applied to non-retailing companies, I highlighted the skills from my retail job to whatever the job posting was — everything can always fit, if you mold the story properly.
Luckily, dating is pretty free form — there’s no industries or specific jobs, just genders and traits you’re looking for in a partner. When I last re-did my JDate profile, I had just come back from an amazing experience volunteering in Israel and wanted to highlight my desire to give back and find someone else to explore the world with me. That is definitely not all there is to me, but I do like to travel and want someone with a kind heart, so that is the story my current profile tells, and my pictures back it up. So whatever you do, don’t worry too much about covering every base with your profile, should you choose to redo it, but tell a good story.
No matter how hard you try, the true you can never show up 100% in a small dating profile, but you can make the story sound nice enough. Whatever’s left, you can fill in with a message to those who fit what you’re looking for. But no matter what, don’t underestimate people’s desire for a good story, and make sure the narrative you make flows through your entire online persona and beyond.