How To Introduce Yourself Professionally (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 2, 2020
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Job-seekers and those working to establish themselves in the professional world know that first impressions are key. The job market moves very quickly, and hiring managers are often oversaturated with applications, resumes, and names to remember.

Quick judgments must be made.

A good first introduction can be the difference between your name and credentials being remembered, or being forgotten in the sea of candidates. In the short period of time it takes to introduce yourself, you can project confidence, intelligence and charisma and set the tone for the rest of your job interview.

In this article, you’ll learn some simple steps for making a great first impression with your personal introduction, whether verbally, nonverbally, or written.

Introducing Yourself in Person At An Interview

To make a great first impression when meeting an interviewer in person, all you need is a little prep work and the confidence to convert this practice into an open dialogue.

When it comes to making a good first introduction, you don’t have to go in blind. In fact, it’s better to do some strategic planning to set yourself up for a successful job interview. Here are some steps you can take before your interview to nail your first impression:

  • Research the company and (if possible) the interviewer. Get all the information you can on this company, what it does and what it’s like. Read the online mission statement, and see if you can research the company culture. Perhaps do some light research (avoid social media stalking) on who will be interviewing you.

  • Research common interview questions. Do some research on what type of things you’ll be asked about, especially industry-specific questions. Read up on what to expect.

  • Prepare what you’re going to say. Keeping in mind your research on the company and on interview processes, write out a prepared introduction for yourself and answers to common questions. Focus on and emphasize common ground between the company’s aims and your own experience.

  • Make sure you have all the correct details. Put your mind at ease by reviewing all the details of when and where the interview will take place. Lay out an outfit for yourself the night before.

  • Stage a “mock interview”. If you’d like, recruit some friends or family to pose as the interviewer and run through your introduction with them.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

During the Interview

Once you’re at the interview, stay calm and remind yourself that you are fully prepared for this moment. Your introduction to yourself begins when you walk through the door.

  • Introduce yourself kindly to everyone you speak to before the interview. You will most likely have to interact with an administrative assistant or other non-interviewer helping to facilitate the interview process. Make a good impression by being warm and friendly to these people

  • Remind the interviewer why you are there and set the tone. After shaking hands with the interviewer, let them know it’s nice to meet them and briefly introduce yourself by re-stating why you are there.

  • Be receptive to whatever direction the interviewer goes. You have prepared written answers, but the most important thing is going with the flow and finding ways you can naturally insert these answers into the conversation. Don’t jam your entire prepared self-introduction in there unless you are explicitly asked.

Introducing Yourself Over Email

Email is quickly becoming the most common form of corporate communication, so it’s likely that you’ll find yourself in a situation where you must introduce yourself over email. It’s easy to fear that you might get lost in the many emails that are sent and received in a day, but you can still stand out with a well-crafted email introduction.

The same basic principles of introducing yourself apply, only this time the physical nonverbals are gone, and you have more time to think about what you are going to say and word it to your liking. Likely, if you are introducing yourself to someone over email, you will be speaking with them and their organization for the very first time, so keep in mind that you may need to do a little extra explaining.

Writing an Introduction Email

Here are the basic steps of writing an introduction email

  • Include an informative subject line. In four words or less, summarize the reason you are reaching out. Don’t leave the subject line blank.

  • Use an appropriate greeting. Something like “Dear Ms./Mr.[NAME]” or “Hi/Hello [NAME]” depending on the level of formality you want to portray.

  • Mention how you got this person’s contact information. The receiver of your email might be a bit confused or even creeped out if you don’t specifically mention how you found their information.

  • Compliment the recipient or organization. Nothing piques someone’s interest more than positive words about themselves or something they’re involved in. Try congratulating the company for a recent accomplishment, or praise the work they are doing. Just try not to lay it on too thick or you will come off as insincere.

  • State why you are contacting them. State clearly and plainly why you are contacting this person, what you want from them or what you are inquiring about.

  • Tell the recipient you look forward to hearing back from them. Put a small amount of pressure on the receiver to respond to your communication by letting them know that the ball is in their court, and you are eagerly waiting.

  • Include signature and contact information. Sign your name at the end and include all appropriate contact information.

Tips For Introducing Yourself Personally

  1. Be (the best version of) yourself. Don’t force a false personality onto yourself, but instead try and highlight the best aspects of who you are.

  2. Pay attention to your nonverbal communication. Try and make good eye contact and maintain a confident, open posture. Don’t speak too loudly or too quietly, and let a natural smile come through often.

  3. Remember your first impression extends out past the interview. When the interview’s over, exit graciously by thanking the interviewer for their time. Send a follow up email thanking them as well.

Examples (Good vs Bad)

Needs Improvement:

“SUBJECT: [BLANK]

To whom it may concern –

I’m reaching out to inquire about your open graphic designer position. I am experienced in this field as well as having multidisciplinary experience in many positions.I am a recent graduate and have begun my process of applying, and I would like you to know that I’m interested in this position as a first choice. I not only received a 3.7 GPA at my university, but I also received an award for visual arts, and I was active in many clubs on campus. My hobbies include baseball, fantasy novels, and enjoying a good TV series. I’m proficient at all common business software, and I consider myself to be a natural leader, and an ideal candidate for this position. Let me know what times work best for you to schedule an interview.

William Maskitt”

This unfortunate email does just about everything wrong, and would likely catch the recipient’s interest for all the wrong reasons. There is no subject line, no contact information, a cliche greeting, a lack of clarity, and no acknowledgement that there is an actual human being on the receiving end of this email.

The sender of this email talks way too much about themselves and irrelevant details of their life, with no mention of the person or organization the sender is trying to reach. The sender is also overconfident about how the receiver will respond to him. The receiver of this email isn’t going to enjoy reading it very much.

Good:

“SUBJECT: [Junior Graphic Designer Application]

Dear Mr. Bryant,

My name is William Maskitt, and I was first made aware of the innovative designs and ethical missions of Moonlight Creative through its work with Auburn University while I was attending. A mutual colleague at Auburn University — Melissa Sunkle — informed me that you are currently seeking junior graphic designers and gave me your contact information.

I am reaching out today because I am interested in applying to this junior graphic designer position. I have attached my resume and cover letter to this email, as well as a portfolio of my work. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Regards,
William Maskitt
W.a.maskitt@gmail.com
(628)-719-2458”

Introduction to Administrative Assistant or Other Non-Interviewer

Needs Improvement:

“I’m William Maskitt. I’m here for my interview.”

If you can’t remember your basic manners when speaking with people, you’re going to severely limit your job prospects. Greet people in a respectful way.

Inform the person you are speaking to of the details of why you’re there so that they are better able to help you.

Good

“Hi, how are you doing today? (pause for response). My name’s William Maskitt and I’m here for a six o’clock interview with George Bryant for the junior graphic designer position.”

Brief Introduction

Needs Improvement:

“Hi, I’m William Maskitt. I’m an experienced graphic designer and creative.”

After the interviewer shakes your hand and introduces him or herself, you have the chance to give a brief introduction to yourself. Remember, this person already knows the basics of who you are, and the details of your experiences will be discussed later.

Your job at this moment is to warmly receive the interviewer’s introduction, and state that you are looking forward to the position you’re about to discuss.

Good:

“It’s nice to meet you George. I’m looking forward to discussing my fit for the Junior Graphic Designer position”

Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

Needs Improvement:

“I went to Auburn University where I majored in studio art with a graphic design concentration, and minored in Russian. I’m a pretty easy going guy but I am also very professional. I graduated with a 3.7 GPA and I worked in pizza places to help pay for college, where I developed professional experience.”

The “tell me about yourself” question and all its variants is your golden ticket to giving your prepared “about me” answer. The implied ending of the statement is “…in relation to this position.” They are looking for an answer that explains who you are in relation to the company culture, and how your interests and experience align with the company’s aims.

The above answer is not ideal because it tells a bit too much about who you are, in ways that aren’t necessarily relevant to the conversation at hand. You can give information about your interests and life story but remember that the bottom line is that your interviewer is searching through many applicants to find who is the best fit.

Good:

“I’m a graphic designer with four years of academic and professional experience in creating elegant and user-friendly graphics. I have experience working with data analytics to create impactful visuals that increase peoples’ understandings of complex concepts. I’m looking forward to utilizing and growing these skills with Moonlight Creative’s ethical mission as a foundation.”

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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