Don’t tell your life story. Keep things short, sweet and, most importantly, engaging!
Your palms are sweaty. Your breathing is fast. You look up to see dozens of eager eyes staring directly at you. “Go ahead and tell us about yourself,” the voice behind you booms.
Learning how to introduce yourself in a professional setting may sound challenging. No matter where you are on your career journey, there may be times when you need to give people a brief overview of your job role. Whether you’re having a job interview, networking or taking part in a meeting, having this short speech down will ease any worries you have.
Here at Resume.oi, we have everything you need to take your job search to the next level. That includes CV writing guides and examples, field-tested templates and an easy-to-use CV builder. Introducing yourself doesn't have to be tough. In this quick guide, we’ll cover:
- What to include when introducing yourself professionally
- Examples of self-introductions for different settings
- Tips to help you improve your public speaking game.
Key points to cover when introducing yourself
Before you introduce yourself professionally, you’ve got some planning to do. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking you can simply wing it. You can’t. Going in there without at least an idea of what you’re going to say is a recipe for disaster. You’ll end up rambling on without any clear points or direction. Here’s what you need to include.
1. Who you are and your current role
First up, you’re going to need to tell the other person who you are. Don’t skip over this important part of your intro. Start with the basics: your name and your current job. You might want to add some more detail here and include how long you’ve held the position.
For example, you might say “Hi, I’m Mark Greene and I’ve been a customer relations manager for 12 years.” In that short sentence, you’ve already laid the foundations for your introduction. The listener knows who you are, your job and how long you’ve had it.
2. Special achievements or accolades
Next, it’s time to talk about what makes you special. In a job interview scenario, this will be what sets you apart from other candidates. So, what is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? Think about the achievements you have gained that other professionals may not have.
The way you deliver your accolades will depend on the setting. If you’re in a job interview, you should relate everything back to the job for which you’re applying. See how closely you can match your prior experience and skills to the criteria set out in the job advert.
On the other hand, at a networking session, you should relate your feats to whoever you’re speaking to. So, should you be trying to pitch to a potential client, how does your experience help them? For instance, you might say “I’m an experienced life coach and work with professionals like yourself to help them realise their full potential.”
By referring back to your audience, you let them know how your prior experience can support their needs. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle your introduction with these call-outs.
3. What the future holds for you
Chances are, you don’t have a crystal ball so you don’t know exactly what the future holds. However, hiring managers and clients alike want you to have a clear vision of where you’re heading. What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? What would your dream job be? Are there any specific challenges or projects you’re itching to sink your teeth into?
Sharing some of your aspirations shows that your story hasn’t ended yet. You are ready to take on whatever this person has to throw at you — whether that’s a job or a freelance project. While you don’t want to go into too much detail, briefly touch on your goals.
4. Lead into the next conversation
Don’t forget the art of conversation. When you’ve hit on the above points, you need to lead into the next topic. In a job interview, that may be as simple as saying “I’m looking for a new role because X.” However, in other professional situations, you can be more specific.
For example, in a business meeting, you might introduce yourself first and then continue with the main purpose of the discussion. You may be introducing a new work-flow system, for example, or sharing the results of a report from your department.
Within a networking session, it’s polite to ask about the other person. After all, they are there to connect with other professionals and share their expertise. For that reason, you might end the professional introduction by saying, “So, tell me, what is it you do?”
Three professional introduction examples
Are you at a loss for words? When you’re starting from scratch, you might think that introducing yourself is complex. That doesn’t have to be the case. We’ve got you covered with some snappy examples for various scenarios. Take a peek at each of them below.
1. Job interview self-introduction example
You’re suited and booted and ready to land that dream job. Most interviewers will ask you for a personal introduction to kick things off. Highlight your experience, achievements and your USP. Be specific when detailing your professional history — e.g. include how much experience you have. Finish by saying why you are interested in this new job role.
“I’m Danielle and I’ve been working as a research assistant for the last five years after completing my master’s in social research. I’ve worked on three studies at the University of Manchester, dealing with databases and analysing the results. I am a driven person with high attention to detail. My last project finishes this month and I am currently looking for a new research project, specifically in the environmental field.”
2. Networking event self-introduction example
Networking events can be intimidating. One of the first things you need to do when you walk through the door is introduce yourself to a stranger. While your stomach may be churning, there is a right way to do this. Hit on what you do, your track record and how you can help new clients. Aim to connect with the other professional and find common ground.
“I’m Steve, a marketing consultant. I work with startups to help them reach their target audience and increase their sales. Most recently, I supported Monkey Tree in launching a new advertising campaign which increased their sales by 13%. I’m currently looking to connect with entrepreneurs launching tech businesses. What is it that you do?”
3. Meeting self-introduction example
Your boss wants to have a meeting and you’re the star of the show. That may mean presenting a new projecting or sharing a departmental update. Before you can do that, you need to introduce yourself to the team. Keep things simple and touch on the key points.
“I’m Laura and I head up the graphic design department here at Diablo Media. I oversee the creative team members when working on client projects. We’ve recently completed a draft for the Darlington campaign and I’m going to share the highlights with you.”
Public speaking tips to help introduce yourself
Preparation aside, there’s no doubt public speaking can be scary. Whether it’s your first rodeo or you’ve introduced yourself countless times, we all get stage fright now and then.
Scared of talking in front of a crowd? You’re not alone. Experts estimate that glossophobia — or a fear of public speaking — affects around 77% of people.
It’s not merely the mental impact that matters. The subset of general social phobia can cause people to experience the following side effects:
- Muscular tension
- Fast heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Dry mouth
It’s worth looking into anxiety management approaches to help. However, should you find this phobia is affecting your everyday life, you may want to seek additional support.
Before you open your mouth to speak, you might get more than a few butterflies in your stomach. If that sounds familiar, there are some simple tricks you can try to relax:
- Prepare what you’re going to say well in advance
- Practice the speech before the big day comes
- Avoid reading from a card and keep it casual
- Pace yourself — you don’t have to race to the end
- Look for approachable faces in the group
- Remember to regulate your breathing — inhale, exhale!
While few people love public speaking, the more you do it, the easier it should become. Making sure that you’re well-versed ahead of time will make a huge difference.
- Learning how to introduce yourself professionally may support your career goals.
- You should make sure you include key points about your career and expertise.
- Different professional settings call for different approaches to this task.
- Public speaking is rarely easy — use some simple tips to manage your fear.