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How to Introduce Yourself During the Job Search, By: Courtney Crites

Oct 23, 2023 07:55 PM
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During the job search process, you are constantly having to introduce yourself, and effective introductions can make a lasting impression. At career fairs, networking events, or even during interviews you have a moment to tell your story. Of course, you tell different versions of that story within your resume and cover letter, but sometimes it’s hard to know when to say what.

I’ve curated a guide (with examples) to help you decide on the best time to use different introduction techniques like the elevator pitch, written bio, and answering the “tell me about yourself” question. 

Elevator pitch 

When to use it: In-person at networking events, career fairs, or when you have limited time to make an impression.

Why use it? A concise and impactful introduction showcases your skills, experience, and value proposition. Networking is just talking, so think of it as a conversation where you’re sharing the most notable facts about yourself. 

What it can sound like: 

At a career fair:

“Hi! I’m Courtney, a grad student in public relations, I’m interested in working in marketing communications.”

“Great to meet you! What area of marketing are you interested in?”

“Well, last summer I interned at a learning and development company where I was helping launch a new B2C brand on socials. It made me realize that I really love writing and creating content, so I’m looking to use those skills in a full-time role. Are you hiring for any marketing communication roles?”

At a networking event:

“Hi! I’m Courtney. I’m a grad student studying public relations and I’m here because I’m exploring how to start my career in marketing.”

“Nice to meet you! I’m the senior marketing manager at Acme. What area of marketing are you interested in?”

“That’s so interesting! Well, last summer I interned at a learning and development company where I was helping launch a new B2C brand on social media. It made me realize that I really love writing and creating content, so I’m exploring where I could apply those skills. Could you tell me a bit about what you do in your role?”

Written bio

When to use it: Written bios are commonly used in cover letters, resumes, and social media profiles, like LinkedIn. 

Why use it? Written bios are a great place to talk about yourself in your own words, highlighting your professional background and achievements. When recruiters look at your LinkedIn profile, for example, your bio can give them a quick snapshot of you as a candidate. 

What it can sound like: 

“I’ve always had a passion for writing and understanding consumer insights, so I knew studying business and public relations was the right path. Through my education and internships, I’ve honed my writing, video editing, and content creation skills. I’m a contributing writer for OCC, a tap dancer, and a big fan of stationary.” 

“Tell me about yourself” 

When to use it: Most often in job interviews or informal networking conversations.

Why use it: To offer a brief overview of your professional background, skills, education and interests to set the stage for further discussion.

What it can sound like: 

I’m a recent McMaster graduate with a degree in Commerce, and I’m currently a PR grad student at Humber College. Over the course of my studies, I’ve had the chance to explore opportunities in marketing, communications, and customer success. In my most recent internship at XYZ company, I had a lot of freedom in creating a social media strategy to launch a new product. During that time, I realized that I love working cross-functionally with different people and teams, being creative and working on things that challenge me.

Final Thoughts

By tailoring your introduction to the situation, you can properly convey your skills, experience, and passion. Remember to customize each introduction to align with the specific job inquiry or opportunity and also maintain your authentic personal brand.