A 30-second introduction shares highlights about your interests, experience, strengths, accomplishments, and goals! Be sure to tailor your introduction to the industry or person you are speaking with. A well crafted introduction will make a strong first impression. Use your introduction at networking events and career fairs. This response is great for interviews in response to the “tell me about yourself” question. Crafting an engaging response takes practice so be sure to find a friend to practice on!

Structure of your 30-second introduction

Your 30-second introduction should include the following four parts:

  • HELLO: my name is…
  • CURRENT ROLE: For students, this could be degree, major and expected graduation.
  • WHAT YOU BRING: highlights from experience including relevant knowledge or skills developed, accomplishments from school, internships, work, volunteering, research, or activities like clubs, sports, etc. In some cases, you can be explicit about how you would immediately benefit the company.
  • QUESTION: Your interest in this person or a field and what you want to learn from this interaction
  • Example: I’ve done extensive research on your website about your internship program. I’m very interested in Research and Development. Can you tell me a little more about the project work done by summer interns?

Practice, Practice, Practice

Your 30-second introduction should be conversational and natural so that you appear confident, enthusiastic, poised, and professional. Although prepared in advance, it should never sound memorized—you want to engage the listener and give him/her an opportunity to see your personality.

Here are some questions to think about in developing your 30-second introduction:

  • What is your career goal?
  • What skill, strength, or experience do you have that would help you realize that goal?
  • What are you searching for in a job?
  • How can you immediately benefit the company?

Examples

To help you get started with your introduction, review these examples and then sit down and craft your professional introduction.

  • Hello, my name is Mary Lions and I am a sophomore at Columbia studying English. I’m interested in exploring career opportunities in media, specifically in fashion and lifestyle editorial writing. I was very involved in my high school newspaper and am currently working as a freelance writer for the Columbia Spectator and enjoying my work. I noticed that you are working at Condé Nast. Could you please share with me how you entered your field?

  • Hi, my name is Joe and I am a senior at Columbia studying mechanical engineering.  I’m interested in entering the aerospace defense industry, specifically in design engineering. I’ve done an internship with Raytheon doing 3D drafting and modeling for heavy equipment using ProE. I’m on the ultimate frisbee team and really enjoy being in a team environment. Boeing is my top choice employer. I’ve attended your information session and am really excited to apply for your training program.  Can you tell me a little more about the selection process once I’ve submitted my resume online?

Using the tips above, you are now ready to make the best of your next networking event

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