Whether you are an introvert, extrovert, ambivert, or anything but a recluse or hermit, you typically interact with people in person and/or online. It’s usually called networking!
When meeting people in person for the first time at a business-related meeting or networking event, a typical question is “What do you do?” as in “What do you do for a living?”
After each person takes a turn, you exchange business cards and start the process all over again with someone new with your identity pinned to a job. This question is problematic if you don’t have a job, are underemployed, or you hate your job and plan to be part of The Great Resignation.
Some people may decide to meet again “for coffee” to discuss their synergies, and others will not. It’s now been 20 months since we experienced that life as the norm, but we have all adjusted somehow.
However, life is still not back to normal, by any means. Still, if we want to engage in introductions with new people, we can ask some alternative questions. Questions suggested by David Burkus in his Harvard Business Review article are in 8 Questions to Ask Someone Other Than “What Do You Do?”
- What excites you right now?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What’s the best thing that happened to you this year?
- Where did you grow up?
- What do you do for fun?
- Who is your favorite superstar?
- Is there a charitable cause you support?
- What’s the most important thing I should know about you?
In an article in Buffer by Courtney Seiter, she takes this concept further in 27 Questions to Ask Instead of “What Do You Do?” Read the article to get the list of 27 questions.
If someone says, “Tell me about yourself,” you can respond in a variety of ways with your passion(s), a quote, your philosophy, a funny response, a starter with “I can sum myself up in six words…” or “people who know me best, say that I am …”.
These conversation starters can also be used online for virtual coffees and networking meetings. Aside from verbal introductions, there are other mediums that can be used for introductions and re-introductions.
Introduction on a One-Pager:
In the job seeker world, individuals use a one-pager to introduce themselves, and these are sometimes called a handbill, marketing page, networking page, or something similar. They have target companies listed on them so people can attempt to network their way to their next job. These documents can be printed for in-person meetings or shared digitally for online meetings.
Explanation and example of a one-pager on the FAQ page
Lynne Williams One Pager Created in Word and Saved as a PDF posted on LinkedIn
Introduction on Padlet:
In a couple of my 2020 doctoral classes, my assignment was to introduce myself using Padlet. Although these Padlets need to be updated, perhaps this platform might spark some ideas. (Yes, I know these are very busy, but I had to meet the requirements for my assignments.)
Introduction Video Resume (created by Joe Monzo):
A recent initiative on LinkedIn started by John Espirian is to re-introduce yourself to the LinkedIn community. Followers of this initiative use some standard verbiage starting with “Reset the LinkedIn Room” and hashtag #ResetTheLinkedInRoom to tell people WHO you are, WHAT you do, and WHY people should connect or follow you.
A couple of video examples of re-introductions include:
A carousel example of a re-introduction includes:
As you can see, there are many mediums to introduce or re-introduce yourself, and these are not the only ways to accomplish this task. Have fun and be creative, letting your network know more about you, or about you … again!
Missed the previous article How to Organize Your Job Search & LinkedIn Connections? Read it here.
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