First impressions are important.
While you’ll forget preconceived notions or awkward handshakes, the way someone presents themself to you lingers and affects how you feel about them later in the relationship. Unless you’re given the opportunity to learn otherwise, you likely already made up your mind about them.
A true first impression only takes seven seconds to form, so you need to start strong — from the first moment.
Luckily, acing self-introductions isn’t difficult. We’ll discuss how to introduce yourself verbally and in written form to leave a professional impression and offer some introduction examples for you to try.
Why good introductions matter
Presenting yourself well means leaving a good first impression, which impacts the early stages of any relationship. You’ll likely manage to change someone’s mind about you with time and patience if you have a rocky start.
But if you can avoid misunderstandings from the beginning, it could set you up for opportunities you might otherwise miss.
For example, if you’re writing a letter of interest to a company you’d like to work for and forget to include personality traits and skills matching their organization values, they may move past your application. Remembering to include those sections helps you start that much further ahead in the application process.
Writing an introduction about yourself also allows you to consider your strengths and interests. Even professional introductions often involve discussing a few hobbies and favorite pastimes. You can self-reflect when creating these short introductions about yourself to improve your self-awareness and write a more authentic letter.
Regularly updated self-intros on your platforms like LinkedIn also help prospective followers and professional connections know what you’re up to and what to expect when they connect.
Structuring your introduction
In professional settings, a good introduction doesn’t need to be formulaic and can be casual or lengthy, depending on the scenario. Here’s a general outline for an intro that covers all the bases:
If you’re wondering how to start an introduction about yourself, the best thing to do is keep it simple. Greet your conversation partner or audience, state your name, and mention why you’re there, if relevant.
Let your audience know where you’re from and what you’ve been up to recently. Customize this to the situation. In some cases, you’ll discuss where you grew up and where you live now. In others, where you went to school and your profession will be your focus.
In professional settings, mention any relevant skills and offer context by discussing why you’re mentioning or where you gained them.
If this is a written introduction, like a cover letter or letter of intent, include skills mentioned in the job description to show you’ve prepared and know what’s required for the role. And ensuring your skills are aligned benefits you. According to Gallup, working where you can use your skills to the best of your ability reduces the likelihood of hypertension and high cholesterol.
In most professional intros, it’s helpful to note things you’ve accomplished, like degrees or promotions. This might also be relevant when introducing yourself to new colleagues or clients.
You can use an introduction to express to your community what you’d like to achieve and how you might get there. This subtle type of networking might help you gain help or land an opportunity you might’ve missed.
To show your proactivity and sincerity, include examples of how you’re already taking action to realize these goals. For example, if you’re interested in learning French, mention you’re taking classes and have a language-exchange partner you meet once a week.
Expressing your values during an introduction doesn’t have to be explicit. The way you behave when meeting someone says more than stating you value a specific trait. Be honest, speak articulately and with kindness, and remain humble to show you value transparency, compassion, and humility.
If this is a job search or workplace introduction, align your values with those expressed by the team or company. For example, if their mission statement mentions valuing teamwork skills, talk about your love of collaborating with others to achieve common goals.
The best way to end an introduction is to leave the conversation open. For example, if the intro is for a job interview, ask the hiring manager how they’d like to proceed. If it’s a meet and greet where there’s only time for introductions, set a follow-up call to ask more questions.
How to create a great self-introduction
Preparing a succinct and genuine introduction is valuable in every facet of your life. Here are five tips for composing the best introduction:
1. Rehearse it
A great way to make introducing yourself less nerve-wracking is to memorize a simple introduction. Customize this to each situation so you don’t have to think on the spot so much, or rehearse intros for various scenarios so you’re never caught off guard.
Try recording yourself saying the introduction to ensure you’re speaking articulately and clearly. You could also rehearse it with a friend to get constructive feedback.
2. Tell a story
Instead of summarizing easily-accessible online information about you, engage your audience by sprinkling in new details and formatting your intro like a story.
A great way to do this is to replicate the STAR interview method. This is the framework:
- Situation: Establish your career path, starting with where you came from and a challenge you faced.
- Task: Define what your position and responsibilities were during this time.
- Action: Tell them how you confronted this challenge.
- Result: Share what you achieved and the insights you gained along the way.
You can shorten or lengthen this story, depending on your circumstances.
3. Communicate your values
Communication skills are essential to making a good first impression. Demonstrate your confidence with good posture, show your values by remaining sincere, and express your consideration for others by actively listening.
4. Showcase your personality
Even in professional settings, your audience wants to know what kind of person you are. A hiring manager cares about your qualifications but also wants to ensure you’ll get along with your coworkers and enjoy the company culture.
Being yourself also shows your sincerity — you’re not about to completely hide qualities such as humor and nerdiness just because this is a formal introduction.
5. End with a question
A great way to show your interest in the person on the other end is to complete your introduction with a question. In a professional setting, this might be asking something about a job description or probing about next steps. This shows you see them as active participants in the conversation and also keeps things moving smoothly.
Personal introduction examples
You understand the importance of a great self-intro, know how to format one, and are filled with tips and tricks for creating a great first impression. Here are two introduction templates for different scenarios to help you get started:
Example 1 — Job interview intro
Hey [recruiter name],
My name’s [name]. I completed my [qualifying course or training] in [year] and have [x] years of experience working as [relevant position]. While working for [previous company’s name], I developed [soft and hard skills], which I think will apply well to this role.
I’ve also been hoping to work on my [ambitions], and I know I’d get the opportunity to do so at [this company] since you value [insert value]. I look forward to telling you more about my qualifications throughout this call and thank you in advance for your time.
Do you have any questions about the resume I sent over?
Example 2 — New team member intro
I’m [your name]. I’ve just joined this department as [position]. I have [x] years of experience [list relevant tasks and situations]. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of you already and look forward to getting to know everyone here better. To start, maybe everyone could mention the position they’re in and the clients they’re focused on?
Composing a self-introduction is an excellent opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been, what you’d like to achieve, and what you have to offer. We make formal and informal intros all the time, be it with a new date or a potential employer, so it’s worth knowing how to introduce yourself.
Consider asking friends, family, and colleagues for help if you find it hard to summarize your past and qualifications. Fresh perspectives are always helpful since it’s hard to pinpoint our own strengths and weaknesses. And once you’ve practiced a basic intro a few times, you’ll feel ready for every scenario.