Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Taking the Deer out of the Headlights

So  you get all gussied up for the career fair, or networking event, or even a general event where you think networking might happen. And then—you freeze, choke up, go silent, don’t even blink your eyes, because you’re scared.

Here’s a blog entry with a set of templates—what to say in various situations that might come up; how to avoid showing how ill-at-ease you are. For instance, you’ll find one-liners on how to start a conversation, ways to leverage the awkwardness everybody is feeling (volunteer to be the sign-in greeter!), and how to wrap up a conversation.

Yes, this is a little like an article offering you “pick-up lines” for a bar. But it does give you some food for thought, ideas you can develop with your own individual flair, or even material to carry on a 3x5 file card in your pocket for a quick review if you feel like you’re in over your head.

And for 50 extra bonus points: how to cultivate stuff to talk about. Or, in this blog post’s title, “how to become fascinating.” If all you have to talk about is your GPA and your creations on Minecraft—well, that’s not going to win you any networking awards. Here are things you can do if you’re feeling… well, unfascinating. It’s also a good checklist of things you may actually be doing now that might make good discussion topics!

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