“Hey, my name is Alex and I…um…”
And your mind goes blank.
Be it a college class, your new workplace, a networking environment, or a job interview, introducing yourself professionally can get awkward.
First impressions are important and we want to make sure you get it right.
That’s why we have prepared this detailed guide full of tips, best practices and sample answers to inspire you.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- All the DO-s and DON’T-s of Introducing Yourself Professionally with Proper Examples and Sample Answers
- Some Tips and Tricks for Introducing Yourself in a Job Interview
The Best Way to Introduce Yourself Professionally + Sample
Introducing yourself and meeting new people may sound like the easiest thing in the world for some.
Even if that’s the case, you’d still want to know how to switch from a relaxed setting to a more professional one.
And no, you can’t just blurt out your name, and stand there awkwardly waiting for the other person to carry the conversation. In any kind of professional environment such as:
- A new classroom
- A new job
- A job interview
- A networking event
- A trade show or job fair, etc.
You’ll need to come up with a thoughtful professional introduction for each specific context.
Here’s how you do that:
#1. Keep it relevant
What is relevant heavily depends on the context of the conversation. So try focusing on things that you have in common with your audience.
“Hi, I’m Sarah, my favorite pastime is making banana bread and I adore everything avocado-themed” can be a good introduction for your book club.
It’s not a good introduction, however, if you are at your first meeting at your new job as an interior designer. It says nothing relevant about you or what you’re capable of.
This leads us to the next point…
#2. Explain how YOU contribute
The easiest way to become memorable when introducing yourself is by communicating your capabilities and achievements.
That’s what sets you apart from the others.
By mentioning your skills from the very beginning, you have a much better chance of sparking up a conversation with someone who’s interested.
#3. Add something PERSONAL
To create a more memorable introduction, you can add a personal touch.
This could be why you chose this specific career, what inspires you about your job or what initially drew you to it.
Instead of introducing yourself with
“Hi, I’m Jared and I work in accounting”,
Try something like this instead —
Tanya is introducing herself in a visual arts convention:
“Hey everyone! I’m Tanya, and I’m an artist. I particularly love painting portraits. Something about extracting that human emotion that is super difficult to do right, has always fascinated me. That’s what I try to incorporate in my own pieces as well. I am happy to be here surrounded by talented, like-minded people. I look forward to learning more about you and your work!”
How you deliver matters.
Holding eye contact and smiling makes you appear more confident. It also makes you more approachable and friendly.
Make sure the smile is natural or you can risk coming off as The Joker!
#5. Don’t be awkwardly funny!
Humor is always risky because the chances are, you might offend someone one way or another.
It also heavily depends on your audience.
If you think that a bit of lighthearted humor in a relaxed setting will tell your audience more about your character, then go for it!
However, there is a fine line between tactful humor and being tone-deaf.
Saying “Hey everyone, I’m Josh and my hobby is shooting things, people, everything for that matter! Hahaha…get it…I like photography. Anyway, I’m the new marketing intern.” is not a crowd pleaser. It’s not tactful or appropriate to a professional setting.
#6. Don’t overshare!
You don’t have to recite your resume. Instead, keep your answer as concise and to-the-point as possible, and focus on what directly differentiates you from others.
If others are interested in knowing more about you, they will ask questions. So there’s no need to go overboard.
#7. Avoid CONTROVERSIAL topics
Introducing personal views about political or social topics in your introduction is certain to create a debate.
There is nothing wrong with a lighthearted discussion, however, you’re there to leave a good, professional first impression, not start a fight.
Controversial topics have a way of dividing people and creating tension, and that’s the last thing you’d want from your first introduction with someone.
How to Introduce Yourself Professionally Sample
Now that you know all the best practices to follow and all the No-Nos, you are ready to start preparing your own introduction.
Not coming up with anything? No worries! Here’s an example where all you have to do is fill in the blanks.
“Hey everyone, I’m _______ and I am based in ______.
I hold a _______ degree in ______ from _____. I have ____ years of experience in ______, and I’m currently working as a ________ in the ______ department of _________. I’m in charge of ________ and I also deal with _________. I love doing ____ because ____When not in my office, you’ll find me _______. I also enjoy ________ whenever I have some free time.
I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.”
How to Introduce Yourself at a Job Interview + Example
Adapting your answer to an interview situation can be a bit different- you can’t exactly say “Hi, I’m Jeff, and I like fishing.”
Your first introduction is meant to grab the recruiters’ attention and it also determines the questions the recruiters are going to ask next.
That’s why we suggest using the Present-Past-Future structure to help you organize your answer:
- Present– your current or most recent job position and your main responsibilities
- Past– past job experiences and your education
- Future– your career goals and how this position aligns with those goals.
Also, make sure to follow these 3 best practices:
Keep it relevant
You want your first introduction with the recruiters to leave a good impression and spark their interest.
That is precisely why your answer should focus on things that are relevant and applicable to that particular job position and company you are applying to.
Doing research beforehand should help you pinpoint the type of candidate they are looking for. Introduce yourself as that.
Make sure to highlight any experiences, skills and passions that can be useful to that position.
Keep it achievement-oriented
Mentioning your most relevant achievements and qualifications is what can tell you apart from the other applicants that are being interviewed.
Your achievements add to your credibility because that’s how the interviewers easily get an overall idea of what you can potentially do for them.
In your introduction, mention 1 key achievement that adds value and shows you’re qualified for the position you are applying for.
Keep it professional
There is no room for funny business in an interview, especially when your future career is on the line.
The interviewer wants to know that you are skilled and that you’ll be a good fit for the position.
That’s why you need to keep your answer as professional and straight to the point as possible, in a way that tells them exactly what they want to hear.
Check out the example below as a potential introduction in an interview:
“My name is James and I’m from New Jersey, but I am currently based on New York City.
I’ve had the opportunity to work as a Budget Analyst at Company X for the past 3 years. There I was in charge of interpreting budget directives and I also prepared budget reports. In my time there, I was able to develop detailed cost tracking and forecasting templates, which reduced the company’s expenditures by $200k. I am currently pursuing a second degree in Economics, because I believe it broadens my field of expertise even more than my Bachelor of Accountancy does. I am very passionate about budgeting and problem-solving and I constantly strive to find easier and effective ways to ensure the best use of budgets for the organizations I work with.. It’s very nice to meet you!
Still not sure how to best introduce yourself in a job interview?
Next time you introduce yourself, you won’t stumble and be awkward.
Some things to keep in mind before we part ways:
- Be mindful of the context! Keeping that in mind, it will be much easier for you to introduce yourself in any setting and appeal to anyone you encounter.
- Keep it short and simple! You want to be able to grab people’s attention with a short and tailored introduction. No one will be able to pay attention to you if you’re telling your whole life story or reciting your resume.
- Practice! You surely wouldn’t have a problem coming up with a good introduction on the spot. However, it’s always a good idea to have something prepared beforehand. That way, you’ll never be caught off guard.
With all those tips and tricks up your sleeve, you are now ready to introduce yourself in any setting and be the most interesting person in the room.