12 Self Introduction Tips to Ace Anything
Introducing yourself can be daunting. Whether you’re speaking to an interviewer, kicking off a presentation, or at a networking event, what you say about yourself — and how you say it — says a lot.
You don’t want to brag, but you need to highlight your accomplishments. You don’t want to share every detail about your life, but you don’t want to miss out anything important, either.
It’s a tricky balance to strike, and as first impressions are everything, it’s an important one to get right, too.
But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. Below, we share 12 self introduction tips to help you with the perfect self introduction. Plus, we share examples of introductions to get you inspired.
12 Self Introduction Tips
There are many times in life you might have to introduce yourself. The most common is at the start of an interview. So, while these tips will apply to most cases, we’ll be focusing on what to say when an interviewer asks “introduce yourself.”
But don’t worry, there are tips in here for introducing yourself before a presentation or at a networking event, for example, too.
1. Brainstorm the Key Points Beforehand
Feeling flustered, or worse, sounding flustered, is never fun. You want to be able to introduce yourself confidently and professionally. After all, your self introduction sets the tone for the rest of the conversation.
So, to avoid stumbling over your words or forgetting anything important, take a few moments to prepare what you’ll say and brainstorm the key points you want to cover.
These key points may be very different depending on the situation.
For example, for an interview, you’ll want to highlight your education, your job history, and your key skills.
At a networking event, you’ll want to share your name, job title, why you’re there, and perhaps what kinds of people you’re looking to connect with.
2. Briefly Explain Your Current Job
In most cases, your current job title and responsibilities will be the most important part of a self introduction.
But you don’t need to share every gory detail. State what your job title is, who you work for, and then highlight two or three of your main responsibilities.
You can tailor these depending on who you’re speaking to.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a social media job, and social media is only a small part of your current role, you’ll still want to highlight it.
3. Share Key Points from Your Job and Education History
As well as your current job, briefly — and we mean briefly — talk about your job and education history. This doesn’t need to be everything you’ve done since school, though.
If you’ve had many jobs, pick out one or two of the most relevant or most recent.
You could also include how long you’ve worked in the industry, if you’ve worked in any other relevant roles, and where and what you studied.
- “Before Google, I worked at Facebook for three years in their legal team.”
- “I got a degree in marketing from New York University before working for several startups in the city, helping them build their social media from the ground up.”
- “I’ve been working as a freelance UX designer for five years now and I’m looking for a full-time job in the field.”
4. Mention Key Accomplishments
Don’t be shy, especially if you’re in an interview. Mention one or two of your key accomplishments. This could include any projects you were in charge of, big sales you made, or awards you’ve won.
You can also talk about your unique skills here or how your experience sets you apart.
This is obviously important in an interview, but even when giving a presentation, people like to know they’re listening to an expert.
5. Mention Any Hobbies or Interests
Depending on the situation, you may want to mention your hobbies and interests, too.
This can be especially useful if they relate to a job you’re applying for, or if they’re unique and will help you stand out.
When meeting new people, this can give the conversation a direction to go in or you may find something you have in common.
6. Say Why You’re There
Wrap up your self introduction by saying why you’re talking to the person in the first place.
If you’re in an interview, you might mention how the job you’re applying for fits with your skills and experience.
At a networking event, you could talk about the kind of people you want to meet.
7. Add Personality
Even though in most cases you’ll be introducing yourself in a professional setting, don’t be afraid to add in some personality.
This could come in the way you introduce yourself or in what you say.
If you’re in an interview, for example, you could bring up something unusual about yourself — such as a childhood event that inspired your current career.
Not only will this help people get to know you, it’ll make you more memorable.
8. Add a Bit of Humor
If appropriate, crack a joke or add in a tiny bit of self-deprecating humor. Some light-hearted comedy will go a long way to helping people like you and feel more comfortable around you.
- “I’ve been working as a freelance writer for seven years now. I started off writing about cars, even though I can’t drive, and then worked in fashion for a few years, despite being hopelessly unfashionable. I finally found my happy place writing about travel, which I do know a thing or two about.”
- “I studied at Northwestern University, where, alongside getting a degree in engineering, I was captain of the ultimate frisbee team. In all honesty, it was the only sports team that would let me play for them, but I fell in love with the sport.”
- “Hi, I’m Sarah. I work in publishing, so I’m at this networking event to get to know local writers, but also because I heard the snacks at these things are legendary.”
9. Think About Your Body Language
What you say about yourself is important, of course, but so is how you say it. Body language has the power to convey a lot, and when we’re talking about ourselves, it’s easy to get nervous and start crossing our arms, avoiding eye contact, and fidgeting.
While introducing yourself, make an effort to improve your body language.
- Making eye contact
- Keeping your arms by your sides or in your lap
- Straightening your posture
10. Be Honest
We know how tempting it is to embellish the facts a little. You want to sound more interesting and impressive, but avoid the temptation and keep your self introduction truthful.
Not only is it just bad karma to lie, you might get found out. And as first impressions are everything, it’s very hard to bounce back from lying to someone up front.
11. Keep it Short
Aim to have a self introduction you can run through in just a few minutes. You want to hit the main points without rushing, but you also don’t want to bore the other person or share every detail of your life.
If you’re not sure how long it takes you to share your self introduction, time yourself beforehand.
This is where brainstorming ahead of time comes in handy. Pick out the most important and relevant things about you that you want to share and stick to them.
As well as brainstorming what you’re going to say ahead of time, practice saying your self introduction out loud a few times before you actually need to do it.
This will help you discover if it’s too long, too short, or if you stumble over any parts in particular.
To really perfect your self introduction, film yourself and watch it back, or practice it in front of a friend or close colleague and ask them to share any feedback.
Self Introduction Examples for a Job Interview
When introducing yourself in a job interview, your work experience is one of the most important things to talk about.
Talk about your:
- Current job and key responsibilities
- Work history — pick out one or two roles or jobs
- Education history
- Key skills
- Most impressive achievements
Depending on the situation and how long you want your self introduction to be, you don’t need to hit all of these points either. Keep it natural, and remember to let your personality shine through.
- “I’m a senior designer at TechCo. I’ve been working in design for the past seven years, mainly working with technology companies, helping to implement new designs into consumer apps. I studied literature at university, however, and I’m now looking to get back to my passion for books. So, I’m looking for a design position in publishing where I can bring my skills and passion together. PublishingCo looks like a great place to do just that.”
- “I’ve worked in marketing for the past eight years. I started out as a general marketer at Smart Inc, before moving into a content marketing role at a health start-up. I launched their blog as a team of one and grew it to 20,000 readers and a team of five full-time writers.”
- “I currently work in ad sales at J&Co. I studied sales and business management at university, but I actually got my start as a saleswoman at the age of 5 when I used to accompany my dad on his sales calls.”
Self Introduction Sample for Presentation
When introducing yourself before giving a presentation, you want to keep it short.
- Your name
- Your job title
- Any information you think listeners would like to know about you or your expertise
- “Hi everyone, I’m Mark. I’ve been invited in today to talk to you all about mental health in the workplace. A quick bit about me, I’ve been working as a therapist for over 15 years now and as a mental health consultant to businesses for about five. So, whatever problems you’re facing, I promise you I’ve heard about them before, and I know a few tools that can help.”
- “Hi everyone, I’m Paulo, welcome to our panel discussion on how hotels can use SEO to boost their bottom line. I’ve been working in hospitality for 10 years now, both on the guest side as a hotel manager and on the business side in marketing.”
- “Hi, I’m Lindsey from legal — that has a great ring to it, doesn’t it? I’ll be going through the latest changes to our work from home policies today.”
Self Introduction Sample for Networking
Self introductions at networking events need to be professional, but they can be less formal than an interview or a presentation. Add some humor, try to connect with the other person, and aim to keep the conversation going.
- “What do I do? I’m an editor at the Monday Times. I mainly cover the environment section, so spend most of my time commissioning articles on the latest green tech news or climate change science. I’m here tonight to hopefully meet some writers who have never considered writing for the environment beat before. What do you do?”
- “I’m the co-founder of Xco, a healthcare startup that connects junior doctors with senior medical professionals in a variety of different specialties. I started the company with my friend and colleague, John, when we were junior doctors ourselves. We were eager to move up in the industry and specialize in a field of medicine, but found there weren’t a lot of mentoring opportunities like there are in the business world. So we created them! With Xco, we run events, have an app, and most importantly pair medical professionals looking to either be a mentor or find a mentor. What do you do?”
Want more self introduction tips? We’ve covered how to answer tell me something interesting about yourself and the most common interview questions.