Introduction To YOU!
By: Donalyn Leskosek Spisak


What's your introduction? How do you introduce you? This may sound like a silly question. It's not. It's a very serious question. It may be the most important question you ask yourself in beginning your interview process. If you're not just beginning the interview process but have never pondered this question, you should back up and think about it. The single most important thing you need to determine is who you need to be-what parts of you you wish to dwell on in this introduction phase of your job search. The most important thing you need people to know is who you are. The most important thing you need to know is how to avoid giving people the wrong impression of who you are based upon fragmented information or misunderstood first impressions.

Most of the time we begin by introducing ourselves focusing on our past-the parts of our past employment history we feel defines us. This may or may not be a good idea. Sometimes the things we are most proud of are not the things a potential employer may be seeking. We really need to develop a needs analysis projection for each and every type of position we may be applying for. Focus on the needs of each potential company separately.

The first type of introduction we need to focus on is the general introduction--used when placed in a situation where our audience is yet unknown. In this case, we really need to be brief and concise initially. That is until we get a feel for how and if this individual can be helpful in our job search. Every one we meet is a potential gold mine of new networking relationships. The average person knows approximately 250 people-this of course, includes casual acquaintances, work affiliates and close personal friends. If we were to simply introduce ourselves to two new networking friends each week, it would constitute access to 500 new individuals helping to find us employment weekly or 2000 monthly.

In a general introduction, we should try to keep the emphasis on the audience. For instance, It's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Smith. What company are you currently affiliated with? Perhaps you can continue with, how is XYZ Company doing in the midst of this so-called recession? Has the trend in downsizing locally impacted you at all? How long have you been with XYZ Company? What would you say is the reason for your personal success in your position? We need to address each individual as a prospect. Maybe ask if the company is currently in a hiring mode. If your new acquaintance holds a position of direct power in the hiring of new employees for a specific department or is somehow related to the Human Resources or Personnel Departments, don't hesitate to ask for the opportunity to interview for a specific position. Prior to that, you should always ascertain which particular positions are currently open and available for hire to candidates outside the company.

Sooner or later the conversation will get around to you. Keeping someone occupied with talk about themselves can only last so long. It does help you to become acquainted with corporate culture and beliefs somewhat prior to actually pitching yourself and your particular strengths for your chosen field of interest. The easiest way to insure good results is to have done your homework and looked into the buzz words indigenous to that particular field. Even if you come from the same field you wish to interview for, you will need to use specific terminology to let them know you are indeed at the level they need you to be in regard to the specific field of interest.

If this individual is not a direct decision maker, ask for a referral to that person or persons. So many times we meet people who have every intention to help us but the urge goes away once you have turned the corner because he/she has moved on to what is important in their immediate lives. It's for this reason you may wish to keep a few introduction notes available to use immediately. This isn't a new idea. It was used decades ago, prior to the computer age. Simply have a note card put together which introduces you and your intended position within the company and ask them to sign it. For instance it may say-Mr. Jones, please accept this note as formal introduction to Mr. Smith who would make a wonderful addition to our team. Have them sign it. Whala, you can now take your introduction card and your resume and walk into an office with more confidence than if you had a formal letter of reference from previous employers. The letters of recommendation are expected, but this approach is not. Remember, this will only get you in the door. Once in the door, you should have your professional portfolio ready to present to show you are truly the person to compete with for this position.

I've heard some say they feel it in poor taste to use acquaintances to get into a new position-these people have all been gainfully employed at the time they made the statement. Asking a friend or acquaintance for a helping hand while seeking a new position is just plain common sense. Friends and acquaintances have a sincere desire to see us succeed. A friend inside a company is even better as they know the culture and the necessary criteria for entering the employ because they work there.

Your formal introduction is to be used when you know you will be with a group of networking professionals, at a career fair or at a preset meeting through invitation from a friend or business acquaintance. This is your opportunity to wow them with the moments in your past which bring the skills and areas of expertise to the table which they seek in a new employee. This is your moment to shine and talk about your achievements and accomplishments-again make certain you chose and describe these moments in relationship to what you see yourself doing for their company in the near future.

Work on your general and formal introductions with care. Work on commercial which gives enough details to make people want to know more-enough to make them wish to interview you at length. Then, present your portfolio and blow them away with your style of always being prepared and on top of the pile-the person to compete with. Introduce yourself with pride.

Donalyn Leskosek Spisak-Feature Writer for Infinity Broadcasting. For help writing your resume or your professional portfolio contact Donalyn Leskosek Spisak at 724-831-0549.

Author "How to Write Your Professional Portfolio", "What You Need to Know About JobSearching" & "Keeping Track of your Interview".

Owner of three websites and president of Recruitshop located at http://www.recruitshop.com. Also See http://www.pharmaceuticalsalesprep.com.