When looking for a new job or making professional connections, so much depends on first impressions. It might not always be fair, but your colleagues will likely make a few assumptions about you based on the way you introduce yourself. If you struggle with self-introductions that make a lasting impression, whether in person or in writing, don’t worry, we’re here to help you make a positive impression that will stand the test of time.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
The importance of good introductions
The dos and don’ts of in-person and written introductions
Examples of great introductions, both verbal and written
Why do self introductions matter?
So much of life relies on personal connections, and this is especially true in the professional world. The people you know can help you find new job opportunities, connect you with other professionals in your field, or provide invaluable mentoring for your personal development.
When making professional connections, it’s important that your colleagues understand the value you bring to the table. This is where the self-introduction comes in. When you meet someone, you want to project confidence, describe yourself in the best light, and leave your new acquaintance interested and reassured.
6 Tips to introduce yourself in person
While a simple “Hi, my name is. . .” is usually ok when you meet your friend’s new partner, professional interactions require something a little more special. Your new acquaintances will want to know more than your name. They want to understand how your background and expertise intersect with theirs.
In-person introductions may occur in a variety of settings. You might meet a new coworker or supervisor at the office, introduce yourself during an interview, network at a conference, or greet your colleagues on a video call. In all these cases, it’s valuable to have a powerful introduction ready to go.
Here are a few tips to help you craft a perfect self-introduction:
1. Start with the basics
We know it’s obvious, but every introduction should start with the basics. Before you can say anything else, it’s important to give a polite greeting and mention your name. When choosing a professional greeting, there’s nothing wrong with “Hi,” or “Hello.” Don’t try to get too fancy. If you want to spice things up a little, you could say something like “Hello everyone, it’s nice to meet you,” or “Hi, it’s a pleasure to be here.”
Once the pleasantries are out of the way, it’s time to get your name on the table. In professional situations, it’s best to use your first and last name, although this could vary based on the context. For example, if you’re meeting with an interviewer who already knows your name, you can leave out your surname.
2. Explain your background
If someone’s meeting you in a professional capacity, it’s important to keep the focus on work. Your acquaintances will want to know what you bring to the table and how it interacts with their work. Once you’ve introduced yourself, follow up by mentioning your job title and the company you work for, if relevant. Here’s an example:
“Hello everyone, my name is Nancy Shea and I’m the operations director for Blige Global Solutions.”
3. Get detailed at your self introduction
After people know what you do, it’s time to tell them how you do it. Not everyone will know what your job title means, so provide some additional details. Explain your specialties and how you bring value to your company. If you’re at a conference or another type of gathering with external employees, try to explain how your role relates to the event at hand. Here’s an example using the greeting from before:
“Hello everyone, my name is Nancy Shea and I’m the operations director for Blige Global Solutions. I oversee the marketing, sales, and accounting departments at Blige and specialize in achieving strategic success through waste reduction and process improvement. I am happy to be a contributing speaker at today’s workshop on operational efficiency.”
4. Give it some thought
Many people fear public speaking, and if you don’t want to freeze at the moment of truth, it might be good to give your introduction some thought beforehand. Before you go into your next interview or meeting, think about what you want to say and what you didn’t say the last time you introduced yourself.
Make sure your introduction is detailed but still brief. It’s not a speech and you don’t want your colleagues to go to sleep. If you like, you can even practice your introduction in front of a mirror or with a friend. It might seem uncomfortable, but it’s good to get accustomed to an audience.
5. Know your audience
Make sure you know who you’re speaking to before you enter any room. If you’re speaking to a future boss, it may be necessary to adopt a more formal tone, while you can address colleagues from other companies in a fairly relaxed manner.
Many people try to introduce humor into their introductions, but this can be a risky move. In most cases, it’s ok to be lightly humorous, but try not to do a stand-up routine. If you’re in a formal setting or meeting people with cultural differences, it’s best to leave the jokes at home.
- Use gentle humor with colleagues in less formal settings
- Make fun of your audience, use controversial jokes, or mention any identity categories
6. Be positive
Even if you’re feeling shy, try to project confidence and positivity when meeting people. This is inviting and can lead to better interpersonal connections. Your body language can also affect how you appear to others. Try to maintain good posture, make eye contact, and smile when making your self-introduction.
3 Steps for a strong self-introduction by email
Nowadays, email communication is nearly as important as in-person communication. When writing these emails, it’s important to make a good first impression. Although many of the rules for in-person introductions apply, there are a few bits of email etiquette to remember. Here are three steps for introducing yourself in an email:
1. Ace the subject line
Whenever you write an email, you’ll have to include a subject line. This is a good opportunity to spark some interest in the reader, so take some time to ace it. Make sure to convey the purpose of the email while keeping it short and sweet. Here are some examples of good subject lines:
Referral from [contact name]
Introducing [your name]
Introducing [your name] for the role of [job title]
Do you have time to chat about [job position]?
I’d love to know more about your [position title] role
Hello from [your name]
My name is [your name] and I’d love to speak about [job position]
Nice to meet you [contact name]!
2. Use proper formatting
When writing a business email, try to treat it like a letter. Taking the time to format your email properly shows dedication, professionalism, and interest in the issue at hand. Make sure to include a header with your name and contact information and address your contact on a separate line like you would with a letter.
If you know the name of your contact, try to use it. You can address them using any of the following phrases:
Hello [contact name],
Greetings [contact name],
Dear [contact name],
Nice to meet you [contact name]!
When signing off, place your closing statement on a separate line followed by a comma, and write your name on the next line. Here are some examples of how to wrap up your email:
Sincerely, [your name]
Best regards, [your name]
Thank you for your time, [your name]
I look forward to speaking further, [your name]
3. Include a call to action (CTA)
When introducing yourself in an email, your goal is usually to instigate further action by the reader. Maybe you’re hoping to get an interview or enter into a professional partnership. In these cases, it’s important to include a call to action.
After thanking the recipient for their time, mention the follow-up actions that you’re hoping for. Here are some examples:
Thanks for your time, I hope to hear back from you soon.
I would love to discuss the next steps at a time that works for you.
I am available to meet any time this week.
If your team is interested in collaborating, I’d love to talk.
Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Self-introduction examples for in-person meetings
Let’s take a look at two examples of in-person introductions.
“Hi everybody, my name is Jim Steele. I’m a recruiter with RSV Technologies and I specialize in locating top software development professionals from all over the world. Over the last few years, I’ve been helping other recruiters improve their talent acquisition with the use of new technologies. I’m happy to be here and can’t wait to meet all of you.”
“Hi, it’s nice to meet you, I’m Jocelyn Davenport. I’m really happy we could meet today. I've been admiring your company’s work in cybersecurity for several years and I was excited for the chance to apply. Over the past few years, I’ve been working at Titan Global and I think my experience would make me a great fit for this role.”
Self introduction examples for email introductions
Let’s take a look at two examples of email introductions.
My name is Roger and I wanted to take a moment and introduce myself. I just came on board as the new payroll manager and I can’t wait to meet the whole team in person. I have five years of HR management experience, specializing in compensation and compliance. I’ve heard great things about you and everyone else on the HR staff and I would love to have a quick meeting at a time that works for you. I’ve available any time this week!
Hope to hear from you soon,
My name is Deirdre O’Neill and I was referred to you by Matt Walen concerning your open content manager position. I have four years of experience in content management and social media marketing and I think it would be a great fit. I have heard great things about your company and would love to schedule an interview if you’re available. I’ve included a link to my portfolio if you’d like to take a look at some of my work. Thanks for your time, I hope to hear from you soon!
Crafting a good self-introduction is a great way to make a good first impression and secure professional connections.
When introducing yourself in person, start with a polite greeting and then explain more about what you do and how it relates to your audience.
Prepare for your introductions beforehand and be careful when using humor.
When introducing yourself in an email, craft an engaging subject line, use professional formatting, and include a call to action.