The Personal Description
An important task in preparing for shidduchim is writing a self-description or “blurb”. In this paragraph, the single describes him/herself and the kind of person s/he would like to marry. This description is sometimes called an “elevator pitch” since it is the sort of succinct message one might use when suggesting the single as a shidduch just as an employee might pitch a job to the boss when entering the elevator. Sometimes, it is this paragraph that the shadchan or other shidduch proposer sees or hears rather than the resume.
Much of the information in this post was contributed by Mrs. Ruchama Twersky, a dating coach. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-449-5101.
Composing the Blurb
Learning About Yourself
It is best to work on the self-description before beginning the resume, since writing the blurb forces the single into the essential process of self-examination that should precede entry into shidduchim. “Date yourself before you date others”: the single needs to determine who s/he is and what makes him/her unique in order to have an idea of what kind of person to marry.
When the single starts spelling out what s/he wants in a spouse, ramifications or contradictions may emerge: a totally chilled out spouse, for example, is unlikely to also be completely reliable about paying bills. A “doer” kind of single needs a spouse who values an activist. A “real shteiger” may be on the reserved side.
This is the time to make sure that everyone who is helping the single with shidduchim understands and agrees with the single’s assessment of who s/he should marry. If this is not established correctly at the outset, the single may have trouble getting married, since s/he may be set up with unsuitable or unwanted prospects.
What to Include
The self-description usually begins by stating age and height and current occupation (school, employment), continuing with some detail about one’s personality, hashkafa, talents, hobbies, and interests. It follows with a description of the kind of person one is seeking, laying out the core values that matter to the single. This includes hashkafa and personality traits: charming, outgoing, decisive, etc. The desired age range should also be specified.
It is wise not to include anything self-incriminating, even if the single feels that his/her journey made him/her into a deeper, more mature person. This kind of information is best shared during the dating process.
Tips for Writing the Description
Try to use first person
Many singles seem uncomfortable with using first person (“I am…”) and prefer to either state “I am described as…” or write the whole thing in third person (“Aviva is ….”). They will need to internalize the contents of the pitch in first person.
This includes Hebrew phrases like “middos tovos”, “simchas hachayim”. Each word must have a specific meaning. For example, rather than stating that she is looking for a boy who is “kovea itim” (learns regularly), the girl should specify that the boy should be someone who learns daily, weekly, or attends a shiur.
Be Clear and Concise
Take the time to write and revise until the paragraphs are well-written and unambiguous.
Have it Proofread
Spelling or grammatical errors or poor writing discredit the single. The blurb should also be shown to the single’s shidduchim mentor.
Using the Blurb
Once it’s written, the elevator pitch is used in a variety of ways.
The single should memorize the pitch and practice saying it (in first person) to friends. This helps the single sound poised when people ask what s/he is looking for. Sounding self-confident allows the single to make a good impression on Shadchanim.
In the Resume
Depending on the social circle, the description may be inserted into the resume. In Yeshivish circles, the pitch is usually not on the resume, but sent to the shadchan separately.
Supplementing the Resume
One advantage of leaving the description out of the resume, is that a week after meeting a shadchan, the single may email the blurb to the shadchan, as a way to follow through on the initial meeting.
The elevator pitch should be given to everyone involved in the single’s shidduchim: all references, the family Rav, and friends or relatives who might be looking for shidduch prospects.
In the Computer Profile
Shidduch-matching sites usually have the single fill out a standardized form instead of relying on the resume. The form also includes a place for describing oneself—the blurb should go there.
Sample Elevator Pitches
Dan (23 years old; 5’ 7”) is a responsible, spontaneous, fun loving, adventurous guy who is resourceful in challenging situations. His warm and easy-going personality make Dan a valuable friend to have. When Dan is not busy studying towards his MSW or working, he can be found planting vegetables, hiking mountains or hosting a BBQ. He also enjoys learning with his Chavrusa and relaxing while appreciating the beauty of nature.
Dan is looking for a young lady (19- 23 years old) with a balance of being serious and passionate about life and Judaism and also being feminine, fun loving and easy going. He wants someone who takes relationships seriously, is a loyal friend, authentic and emotionally mature. A willingness to try new experiences would also be a plus in Dan's life partner.
I am (28 years old, 5’ 5”) full of simcha, gifted with a positive attitude to whatever life throws my way. Reliable, giving, insightful, and tzanua are some attributes people use to describe me. My daytime job is teaching 5th grade English at Moriah Academy. My passion is helping the elderly in my community as director of a senior social club and organizing Shabbos home visits.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading historical fiction, attending a parsha shiur, walking in the park, researching entertainment for geriatrics or socializing over the phone with friends.
I am looking for a young man (aged between 27 – 34) with Yeshivish hashkafa who puts serious time into learning, whether he’s learning full time or combining learning and working. He should be emotionally and socially attuned, decisive, straight, warm, giving, accepting, and fun. It is important that he should have a strong relationship with a Rav to answer Halacha questions and to give him guidance.