Posing for photos with Kermit the Frog in front of La Sagrada Familia. Ranting about seahorses. Equivocating on the futility of existence. In the virtual world of dating apps, where men outnumber women two-to-one, a guy’s gotta do something to stand out in a crowd of shirtless men taking mirror selfies. But when the going gets tough and tech-savvy, the tough and tech-savvy, like Charlie Motew, get going.
To give himself that extra edge online, Charlie, a 25-year-old marketing director in Phoenix, created a “dating resumé” website showcasing his most dateable assets, which he has been sending to girls he matches with on apps.
“Charlie Motew,” the landing page reads, “An American Legend. (And I’m not just talking about banging.) Let’s go on a date. Get dinner. Adventure. Make love. Spit off a bridge. You know. The fun stuff.”
The tone of the site is witty, sarcastic and consciously cocky in that polarizing way that rubs some the wrong way and rubs others the right way (and I’m not just talking about banging). “It acts as a filter for girls who will be compatible with my sense of humor,” Charlie says. “I’m not taking myself seriously at all here, and the girls who get that think it’s hilarious. And I’ve set up some promising dates as a result.”
Charlie isn’t the only guy touting a dating resumé. A handful of others have surfaced online, ranging in levels of self-awareness, sincerity and douchebaggery. Baby-faced Michigan State University student Joey Adams’s dating resumé went viral and delighted the masses. Colorado businessman Nathaniel Rifkin, who looks suspiciously like a cardboard replica of an aardvark, created a dating resumé that went viral and pissed off the masses. And derpy-yet-sweet French-Canadian digital nomad and online business owner Maxime is just looking for his soulmate and travel partner—any takers?
The ubiquity of digital tools is steadily merging the personal and professional, the private and public, in all areas of our lives. Business can be conducted in pajamas cross-continentally from the La-Z-Boy. YouTube home videos skyrocketed Justin Bieber from an obscure Canadian runt to a level of stardom so towering it would drive anyone to publicly urinate in a mop bucket. “Social media influencer” is perceived as a valid job title on The Bachelor, a show that broadcasts the intimate, and turns a profit. (That “aspiring dolphin lover” is also perceived as a valid job title is neither here nor there.)
On apps, you are the product. And those who excel at selling and branding themselves get swipes and dates. The paradox of choice is realer than ever—you have limited opportunity to grab someone’s attention before they move on to seemingly greener pastures and higher-resolution selfies. The competition is hot, meticulously curated and potentially photoshopped. The “dating industry” is growing, with more and more dating coaches and matchmakers (like me) offering their professional services. Given the increasingly flirtatious relationship between work and play, it’s not hard to imagine “dating resumés”—as literal an amalgam of the professional and the personal as there could possibly be—becoming the inevitable next step in digital courtship. The question is: should you take that step yourself?
Apps like Tinder favor the bold. But there’s a fine line between bold and obnoxious, and dating resumés teeter dangerously on the edge.
In my professional opinion, successful dating is some mystifying combination of numbers game, social intelligence and luck. We can optimize and improve on these variables by consistently putting ourselves in the way of opportunity, and ruthlessly filtering out the noise. Online, there’s a lot of noise, and it’s an art to pull off the transition from the screen to viable face-to-face opportunities. For Charlie, the dating resumé has proven an effective way to grab attention and increase his odds by narrowing his pool to women who understand and appreciate his sense of humor.
If you’re interested in creating a dating resumé, act fast while it’s still original. And to fall on the bold side of the line rather than the obnoxious, here’s my advice: include enough humor and self-deprecation to make it clear you’re kind of joking. (Be kind of joking.) Distribute your resumé organically only when relevant, rather than publicizing it on a mass scale in an open forum. Treat it as a tool to enhance and leverage what you’re already doing, not as a full-on replacement. Don’t include an application form or a laundry list of what you’re looking for—we’re here to judge you, not have you judge us. Make sure your resumé is polished and aesthetically-pleasing. And lastly, know your brand—that is, know thyself.
Some people will love it. Some people won’t. At worst, someone on the Internet might compare you to a cardboard aardvark. At best, someone might compare thee to a summer’s day. And there’s always the possibility of finding love.