The past year has been incredibly active for job searching - which means a lot of meeting new colleagues and a lot of "so, tell us about yourself..."
Introducing yourself in a professional way is a vital skill in the workplace. Unless you keep the same job forever and never meet a new person, you'll be asked to introduce yourself many, many more times.
It can be daunting to boil down your whole persona into a few succinct sentences, but being able to effectively introduce yourself is crucial to building positive rapport and making a lasting first impression. Here, we’ll outline best practices when introducing yourself in a professional setting, plus eight example intros for interviewing, your first day of work, and networking in person and online.
5 best practices for introducing yourself in a professional way
As you advance in your career, you’ll meet many people who can help you grow professionally. Here are five tips for standing out when introducing yourself, according to Whitney Kahn, a client advisor at talent acquisition and advisory firm Kelaca:
1. Keep your introduction short and to the point
Regardless of whether you’re introducing yourself in person, over the phone, or online, no one is going to remember intricate details of who you are, so try to find larger ways to make yourself memorable. The best introductions leave you wanting more—give just enough info to make them want to have a follow-up conversation.
2. Let your personality come out
“If you’re too scripted, people will pick up on that and feel like you aren’t a real person or say the same thing to everyone just to get what you want. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a planned out elevator pitch—but show emotion, inflection, and be okay changing it for your audience,” says Kahn.
“For example, when I was in a job transition, I would say, ‘Hello, my name is Whitney Kahn, and I’m looking to meet people and companies that…[align with my desire to make an impact] or [allow me to lead teams].’ Then I would end it with, ‘Again, my name is Whitney Kahn, K-A-H-N, unlike Genghis, Chaka, or ‘Wrath of.’’ The last line was actually the only thing that mattered, because everyone came away with a smile and asked me more about who I was.”
Look for ways to stand out while staying professional and polite.
3. Make it less about you and more about how you can help others
When you’re meeting people at a networking event, you’re much more likely to be remembered if you can listen to people talk about themselves first, and then see how you can bring value to the conversation versus asking for something right off the bat.
4. If you’re introducing yourself over email to a recruiter, don’t just send your resume or portfolio
List accomplishments that have made the biggest impact in your career in the body of your email to catch their attention. It’s a numbers and metrics game, people.
5. Pay attention to your nonverbal cues and body language
When introducing yourself in person, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your words that you forget about what the rest of your body is communicating. Want to make an impression? Maintain eye contact, relax your shoulders and arms, and master a firm handshake.
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How to introduce yourself professionally in an interview
Interviews are...nerve-wracking. As soon as your interviewer says, “why don’t you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your experience,” it’s easy to forget everything you think you know about yourself. This question isn’t meant to be a brain teaser, so show off your personality, connect with your interviewer, and hit the key points—your current role and responsibilities, previous professional experience, goals for the future, and related passions.
Professional interview introduction: Example 1
“I currently work at _____ as a managing editor. I have six years of experience in managing content and 60+ freelance writers at magazines on the East Coast, and now I’m looking to help smaller magazines find their footing. Since your publication is relatively new, I’d love to discuss how I can help you build your base of writers and reach your content KPIs. Plus, I’m so excited for the potential to work on the west coast for the first time.”
Professional interview introduction: Example 2
“I have a strong background working in public relations at various agencies, and I’ve previously handled PR for one of your clients. I’d love to discuss how I increased their client base by 300%, and how I can bring those skills to this position. Outside of work, I’m an avid hiker, and I noticed on LinkedIn that you’ve climbed Mount Shasta a few times. I’d love to hear more about that experience later!”
You can also use unique questions that you pose to the interviewer as a way to let them get to know you better.
How to introduce yourself to a coworker
It’s the first day at your new job, congrats! As you go through training and onboarding, you’ll be introduced to lots of new people on your team. Get off on the right foot with a memorable introduction.
Coworker introduction: Example 1
“Hi, my name is Taylor, and I just moved to Manhattan from Orlando. I’m very excited to start working in the marketing department with you—the health care project especially sounds really interesting. Please don’t hesitate to knock on my door if you have any questions for me, and I’m always down to talk business over a slice of New York pizza!”
Coworker introduction: Example 2
“My name is Maeve, and I’ll be working in account management with you. I just finished up my internship here, and I’m really looking forward to working together in more depth now. I’m still mastering Salesforce, so I’m all ears if you have any tips!”
How to introduce yourself at a networking event
At a networking event, you want to introduce yourself with more substance than what’s already written on your business card. These events can be uncomfortable at first, so break the ice by sharing one of your passions, what you hope to gain from the event, or even a fun fact.
Networking introduction: Example 1
“I’ll go first—my name is Tara, and I’m the CFO at ______. I see a lot of new faces here today, and I’m hoping to connect with other finance and accounting professionals. I’m leaving for a vacation after this, so feel free to pull me aside if you want to chat business and poolside book recommendations.”
Networking introduction: Example 2
“My name is Jesse, and I’m a freelance social media strategist. I overheard you mention that you’re looking for someone well-versed in social media best practices to collaborate with on a new project. Social media is my passion, and I’ve created content and analytics reports on Instagram for over 25 brands—would you like to discuss this opportunity over a cup of coffee or tea?”
How to introduce yourself in a professional manner online
Virtual networking is an integral step in the job search. Whether you’re reaching out to a recruiter through LinkedIn InMail or simply meeting other industry vets in an online professional networking group, Kahn suggests researching the companies and people prior to reaching out. Another tip? Look at the company’s open job descriptions so you can speak to the qualities they’re looking for in your intro to the recruiter.
Online introduction: Example 1
My name is Rebecca, and I’m a consultant at _____. I recently saw in the news that your company is focusing heavily on DEI initiatives, and that really caught my attention since I implemented a diversity council at _____ a few months ago. I also noticed you’re hiring for a DEI consultant, and I think my experience directly aligns with what you’re looking for. I’ve attached my portfolio—do you have some time tomorrow to chat?
Online introduction: Example 2
Hi Danielle - My name is Alice Liu, and I’m a software engineer and a newcomer to this Slack channel. I saw on LinkedIn that you were recently promoted to head of sales at ______. I really admire your career path and would love to tap your expertise and hear any advice you have on making the journey from sales associate to head of sales. I’d be more than happy to treat you to lunch if you have the time. Thank you!
About our source
Whitney Kahn is a client advisor at Kelaca, a talent acquisition and advisory firm founded with a vision to redefine the recruiting experience. She has over 15 years of experience in leadership development, team management, and program development.