Talk about yourself

When you talk about yourself, the listener learns what you think is important for them to know. The four tasks below affect your ability to talk about yourself confidently and we encourage focus on each.

  • introducing yourself
  • articulating what you like and are good at
  • communicating what you are looking for
  • explaining why you align with an opportunity
  • Introducing Yourself
    You’re consistently asked to introduce yourself, or “tell me about yourself?” especially at the beginning of semesters and in career-related settings. Many people automatically respond with their name, hometown/country of origin, and program of study. Using this standard structure may leave you and the listener feeling unsatisfied and important pieces of who you are unshared. Use the actions below to begin developing introductions that are unique to you.
    Talk about yourself 2+2 tasks diagram
    This online workshop is a great place to start learning how to introduce yourself. It was created specifically for you and is less than 20 minutes. In it, you learn the value of thinking about what you want to say before introducing yourself, hear from student experience and see two practical exercises to get you started.Exercises:• 8:28 – Clarify Your Quadrants
    • 13:32 Learning the Language of Fields, Organizations, and Roles

    📈 Prepare

    It’s time to get to work on what to include in your introduction, remembering it is dynamic, and ever-changing based on factors including your growing experiences, the listener, and the environment.

    ✅ Use some or all of the 4 exercises below to brainstorm and explore what you may want to share in your introduction.

    Skills quadrant worksheet to reflect on, and name, what you like and are good at
    One sentence headline worksheet building upon the skills quadrant to succinctly describe what you like and are good at
    Fit stories developed using Steve Dalton’s model (1:00 timestamp for explanation & example of mode) that help a listener know why you’ve made certain choices and what you’ve learned
    • “3 Things List, a dynamic list of three things you’re currently working on and would want to share that can be incorporated quickly for impromptu conversations.

    ✅ Review some examples of thoughtfully created introductions (like these) to gain inspiration.

    ✅ Utilize both actions above to give your listeners an effective and lasting impression by offering stories and examples that are:

    1. Clear – organized, easy to understand, and included relevant information
    2. Concise – provided the right details without distracting information
    3. Differentiating – precise, genuine, and distinct from others

    🖐 Practice

    Now that you have an idea about what you want to share, it’s time for practice before you’re in the “real situation. Remember that introducing yourself is not a speech, it’s an opportunity for you to tell your stories and engage the listener. Often engaging the listener means you include items about yourself that would interest them based on the research you’ve done prior to meeting, or commonalities you are finding in the conversation.

    ✅ Use your phone to record audio or video of your introduction and playback to notice improvements that could be made.

    ✅ Practice your introduction with a friend or teammate who knows you well. Ask them: What stood out to you from my introduction? Was it clear, concise, differentiating?

    ✅ Connect with a career coach or a communication consultant for practice and feedback.

    📚Additional Materials

    8 Secrets to Make a Great First Impression on Anyone | The Muse
    How to Make a Great First Impression | HBR
    Fun Facts About Yourself | Career Contessa

  • Articulating What You Like & Are Good At

    This is a really important task to skillfully talk to people and helps you share focused information about yourself. Think about it. If you can’t articulate what you like or you’re good at, how could a recruiter or hiring manager understand what role you might thrive in within their organization? Get ready to be reflective, observant, and curious about yourself!

    ✅ Work through one or more of the exercises below to explore what you like and are good at. After you’ve finished, write down emerging patterns about what you like and are good at. What patterns resonate with you?

    Skills quadrant. This exercise is recommended at least 3 times on our site because we find it that impactful for students. Work through it considering all areas of your life, not just your student or professional life.
    Engage your friends, family, and teammates. Ask them when they have seen you thrive in the past. Or utilize the 3 questions used in this LinkedIn Learning video: 1) What words would you use to describe the work I do, 2) After a conversation with me, what three words describe the experience, 3) what can you count on me for.
    Strengths Finders. If you’ve taken the CliftonStrengths Assessment, review your results for your top strengths, reading the descriptions of each theme in detail to see how it describes “what you naturally do best.”
    Compliment Inventory. Review your memory and write down compliments you have received. Review what you’ve written to notice any patterns.

    Talk to a coach to translate any of your observations, notes, questions, ideas, and uncertainty into your introduction and your search plan.

    📚Additional Materials

    How to Answer “What I’m Good At” | Indeed
    4 Ways to Figure Out What You’re Good At | The Muse
    Wondering What You’re Good At? | Betterup

  • Communicating What you Are Looking For

    Communicating what you are looking for means you have the language you need to communicate fields, organizations, and roles of interest, and connect with your conversation partner. Here is a sample of what this could look like from the online workshop where the topic was briefly introduced at the 13:32 timestamp.

    3 columns with examples of field, organization, and role.

    ✅ Recreate the image above using your own ideas and clarifying information to understand the possible opportunities part of this site. View the categories in the lower boxes of each column as prompts for filling in the upper boxes. If you struggle with this task, please set up an appointment with a career coach or contact a reference librarian for help!

  • Explaining Why You Align with an Opportunity

    Once you have a specific opportunity in mind, you’ll want to explain how you align with the opportunity. To do this, we encourage you to use the categories of strength, motivation, and environment [connect to other places in DCH] to map how you align well with the field, organization, role, and potentially other factors.

    Use this worksheet to identify the ways in which your strengths, motivation, and environment align with a specific field, organization, and role.

    ✅ Connect with a career coach to practice explaining your alignment with an opportunity, whether as a practice interview or in preparation for another type of interaction like an informational interview.

    📚Additional Materials

    Explaining Alignment from Perspective of Interview Question | The Muse
    Ways Professionals Know if a Job Aligns with Values | Forbes

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