How To Introduce Yourself (Professionally And Casually)

By Chris Kolmar - Jan. 13, 2021

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In some encounters, all you’ll have at your disposal to make a positive impression is the time to introduce yourself. Whether you’re sitting down for an interview, meeting a new co-worker, or going out on a first date, your self-introduction is the first glimpse into the kind of person that you are.

Making the most of an introduction builds initial rapport with people and gets them invested in hearing what else you have to say.

Why Are First Impressions Important?

Meeting new people happens daily. Whether this initial meeting will blossom into a long-term professional or social relationship is often based on first impressions. How you demonstrate your character in the first moments of meeting another person dictates their perception of you moving forward, even if that doesn’t accurately describe who you are.

Reflect on a time that you met someone who left a negative first impression – a teacher, colleague, or even a stranger on public transportation. Unless you were given more time to understand who they were beyond the poor first impression, they probably remain a negative memory to this day.

In situations where there is limited time to interact, such as a job interview, making a positive and professional first impression is crucial in achieving a desirable outcome. The 30-minute interview confines are all a candidate has to demonstrate themselves as the perfect choice for a job.

This is truly a test in first impressions as job-seekers are asked to perform well in a brief introduction before being hired.

Four Steps on How to Introduce Yourself

  1. Consider the context of the introduction. Adapting your self-introduction for the situation you’re in is imperative. An introduction that is professional at a job interview is considered boring on a first date. Additionally, speaking as casually as you might on a first date is inappropriate when interviewing for an open position.

    Before speaking, the first step is to understand the context of the scenario you’ll be introducing yourself in and adjust your approach accordingly.

    Examples of self-introductions situations include:

    • Job interviews

      Job type you want
      Full Time
      Part Time
      Internship
      Temporary
    • The first day of a college class

    • Welcoming new co-workers

    • Going on a first date

    • Giving a presentation to a large group

  2. Use positive body language. People are strongly influenced by body language, even if they don’t realize it consciously. Using positive body language draws the other party into what you have to say and who you are. However, make considerations for Covid-19 when using some of these positive body language techniques.

    Examples of positive body language include:

    • Eye contact

    • Shaking hands

    • Smiling

    • Nodding

    • Standing upright

    • Arms uncrossed

  3. Give a little information about who you are. The thing about an effective introduction is that it’s a push-and-pull in exchange for information. Spend equal time speaking and listening.

    In the case of a job interview, this means explaining your professional background briefly while highlighting your responsibilities and achievements. Explain what jobs you’ve worked in previously and what the responsibilities in those roles entailed.

    When you’re introducing yourself in a social situation, it’s okay to include some career-related information, but try to extend the description past that to give a more well-rounded depiction of your social status.

    Whether the introduction is professional or personal, keep the description of yourself short to maintain the other party’s attention.

  4. Ask questions. It’s not an attractive quality to be self-absorbed, whether in a professional or social setting. One way to avoid this perception is by asking the other person questions about themselves, the position you’re applying for, or the company you hope to work for.

    Questions demonstrate a genuine interest in the other person or professional role, and that makes them respond more positively.

    Asking questions also helps the interaction flow naturally from an introduction to a relaxed conversation.

    Good questions to ask an interviewer include:

    • What do you like about working here?

    • What are the biggest challenges I’d be facing in this position?

    • How will I be trained?

    • How do you evaluate success in this role?

Tips for Introducing Yourself

Making a strong introduction is more complicated than simply shaking someone’s hand and stating your name. Consider the following tips for introducing yourself to leave a lasting positive impression on people you meet:

  1. Dress well. Clothing is the first impression that a job interviewer or colleague has of you before you speak. Dressing well for an interview secures that you’re portraying yourself in a professional light.

    It also shows the interviewer that you know how to dress appropriately for the role if hired.

  2. Be confident.. Refined confidence draws people into what you have to say. While sounding conceited repeals most people, a healthy dose of security in your ability to do a job establishes you as a dependable candidate.

    Employers want to hire individuals who know that they can succeed in the role, and giving a confident self-introduction demonstrates that mentality.

  3. Look for opportunities to further the conversation. An introduction that goes back and forth between two people only lasts a few minutes at most before it gets boring. To avoid a boring discussion, be on the lookout for opportunities to further the conversation.

    For example, suppose you’re talking to a stranger at a networking event, and they state that they just watched Sunday night football the previous evening. In that case, you could ask them about their favorite teams or mention a notable game.

Ten Ways To Introduce Yourself Professionally And Casually

  1. Introducing yourself in a job interview.

    “Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you in person. Even though we spoke over email, I wanted to formally introduce myself. My name is Sally Jones, and I’m a passionate social media manager.

    I’ve been a professional social media manager for the past five years after graduating with my bachelor’s degree in communications from New York University. I’ve led teams that handled high-profile clients and improved their sales margins by upwards of 4%.

    I’m hereby seeking the position of social media manager with your team to utilize my leadership skills and industry knowledge.”

  2. Introducing yourself to new co-workers.

    “Hi, my name is Connor. What’s your name? Nice to meet you, _____. I understand that you’ve recently been hired for the job of administrative assistant, which means that we’ll be working together a lot.

    I just wanted to introduce myself and extend a warm welcome to the team.

    Please let me know if there’s anything I can help you with while you’re getting adjusted to the new role.”

  3. Introducing yourself at a hiring event.

    “Hi there, how are you? My name is Matthew Shelton. I’m a recent graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in engineering. While I haven’t had much paid professional experience, I participated in a competitive internship with Cisco Systems for six months.

    I wanted to come over and introduce myself to you because I saw that you’re representing Flash Energy Solutions. I’ve heard incredible things about this company’s innovation, and I’m curious to find out more about their open positions. Are you available now to talk more about opportunities at Flash Energy Solutions?”

  4. Introducing yourself to a university professor.

    “Good afternoon, Professor Johnson. My name is Abigal Morris, and I’m a sophomore here at The University of Washington. I just wanted to formally introduce myself and say I’m looking forward to learning more in your course this semester.”

  5. Introducing yourself to your network.

    “Hi, Samantha. How are you? I hope all is well. My name is Jessica Lane, and I’m a gallery director for Elegance Art Studios. I’m reaching out to you today because I recently came across some of your artwork online.

    Specifically, I saw a painting titled “Oblivion” that I thought was immaculate. I’d like to see your other work and speak further about the possibility of building a working relationship with Elegance Art Studios. If you’re interested, please email me at JessicaLane@EleganceStudios.com or call me at (558)-292-6868. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Jessica Lane”

  6. Introducing yourself over email.

    “Dear Mrs. Adams, How are you doing? I hope this email finds you well. My name is Jackson King, and I’m a school librarian. I have ten years of experience working as a librarian in the public schooling system, which has awarded me strengths in collaboration and patience.

    I’m emailing you today because I know that you are the hiring manager for Woodbridge City School District, and I wanted to pass my resume along in case any positions open up that fit my experience and skills. I’d love to have a further discussion about the education philosophies at Woodbridge City School District.

    I can be reached via JacksonKing@gmail.com or (923-742-6336). Thank you for reading my email in full, and I hope to hear back soon.

    Sincerely,

    Jackson King

    JacksonKing@gmail.com”

  7. Introducing yourself on social media.

    “Hey, Catherine! How’s it going? My name is Sadie Michaels, and I represent a clothing company called Free Air Designs as a marketing coordinator.

    I came across your Instagram profile while I was searching through my Top Posts page. I think you have a keen eye for social media development, and I enjoy your style. I was wondering if you’d be interested in collaborating on a few targeted posts involving Free Air Designs. Let me know if you’d be interested in talking more.

    Thanks!

    -Sadie”

  8. Introducing yourself to a stranger on a plane.

    “Hello, I don’t mean to bother you, but since we’re going to be on this 12-hour flight, I figured I’d introduce myself. I’m Tom. What’s your name? It’s a pleasure, ____. What brings you on a flight to Milan?”

  9. Introducing yourself at a party.

    “I don’t think we’ve met before. My name is Eric. I’m Leah’s older brother. What’s your name? Awesome, it’s great to meet you, ____. How do you know Leah and Craig? Oh, you’re Craig’s second cousin! I guess that makes us family-in-law now! Where are you from originally?”

  10. Introducing yourself on a first date.

    “Hello, Emma! I’m Benjamin. It’s so great to finally meet you. We’ve chatted over text for a while, but I still prefer face-to-face meetings. How was the drive over here? I’m glad there wasn’t too much traffic. Friday’s can be hectic. What’s your favorite drink? I’ll order a round of drinks.”

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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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