Knowing more about your personal interests, motivations, and abilities will be helpful for you once you begin connecting with others to market your unique strengths. Having this information readily available can also help your informational interviews with your network to feel more productive. This can also be a good tool to develop your response to interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your resume.”

Preparing Your Introduction

Make a positive and lasting impression in a short time by preparing your own personal introduction. Introduce yourself by talking about your strongest skills or leadership experiences. Mention your major if you feel it is clearly related to your career goals. Have some questions prepared so that you can engage the other person after your 30-second personal introduction conversation. For example, ask for clarity on you read in an internship/job description, or talk about a new product or development you noticed on their website or in the news. 

Example

I’m a first year here at UVA, planning on majoring in Psychology. (Personal) I’ve always enjoyed roles where I can serve as a mentor or a teacher, as well as work that focuses on communicating with a diverse group of individuals. (Passion) I think that my work as a tutor with Madison House (Past experience) helped me hone those communication skills as well as mentoring skills. (Portable skills)

I hope that I can further develop those strengths as a [position] with [organization/ company] where I can make a real impact on residents serving as a mentor and someone who can listen to their concerns. (Call to action)

Components

Use a job title, organization, or field of interest when developing your personal pitch. Examples of questions to consider:

Personal
  • What is important for people to know about me right away?
  • Where am I in my professional or academic career?
  • Where would I like to be?
  • What are my goals?
Passion
  • What are my interests or passions?
  • What do I get excited about?
  • What motivates me?
  • What makes me want to get up in the morning?
  • What am I eager to learn more about?
Past Experience
  • What experiences have I had in the past that are important to me?
  • What have I learned about myself?
  • What have I learned about certain professions or academic fields?
  • Where have I started to develop expertise?
Portable Skills
  • What skills have I gained that I feel are part of my strengths?
  • What activities do I engage in on a regular basis?
  • What skills have I developed that I feel confident in using?
Call to Action
  • What next steps would I like to happen?
  • Why am I interested in this company/role/industry? 

Sample Outreach Plan

  1. Ask if now is still a good time.
  2. Tell them you are researching careers, and that you know that talking with people in a variety of fields is the best way to find out what the jobs are actually like.
  3. Say you are looking for names and people who might know of professionals in the [INDUSTRY] doing [KIND OF WORK]. Ask contacts to suggest additional people to connect with.
  4. When you are given a contact name, send a note saying that you appreciated the referral. If they could not think of anyone to refer you to, your note could say that you appreciate their help and that you will contact them again in case they think of someone who has the kind of experience, job, career or contacts you need.