I had fun last week with Jil Hogan, a journalist at The Canberra Times, who invited me to critique her online profile for a feature article about my online dating coaching.

She wrote that she’d assumed she’d have done a pretty good job – after all, journalists are supposed to have a way with words.

Well, the problem was what she said rather than the way she said it. Like writing about her great group of friends. I pointed out to her that most women have wonderful friends and talking about them in our profiles might just put some men off. If we talk about our active social life some men assume there’s no room for them in our lives. And the thought of all those Sex and the City post-date post-mortems is enough to make many men nervous.

She also made a major feature of her love of travel and included a bunch of travel shots in her pictures. The problem is that talk of travel has become such a cliché in women’s profiles. Women think they will come across as sophisticated if they show off all the exotic countries they have been to but it makes for very boring reading when everyone else is doing just the same thing. Plus you risk coming across as a princess with nothing better to do than swan across the world.

And like most women, she included another profile shot complete with a glass of champagne. I explained I’ve talked to men who are wary about all those bleary-eyed women posing with the glass of bubbly. Very few men are interested in taking on a party animal.

Then there was her comment about grammar and punctuation. She’d written about this in the profile in what she thought was a light-hearted way but I think there’s always a risk in sneering at potential dates. It’s fine to avoid men who can’t spell but you may come across as too judgemental if you include snide comments about this sort of thing in your profile. Men are sick of women’s long list of deal-breakers. It’s always far better to be positive.

This very public profile critique proved an interesting exercise and Jil did a great job writing it up for The Canberra Times. And I loved the picture with my dear old dog, Hershey. Read more here: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/online-dating-sexy-profile-secrets-20140512-384ml.html#ixzz32tBVYphn

Contact me if you’d like a free critique of your online profile.