Networking is one of the most important things of breaking into finance. The best networkers often find themselves with the most interviews and most opportunities to land their dream job. Don’t worry though, with a little guidance, anybody can learn the art of networking and get their foot in the door.
“The best networkers often find themselves with the most opportunities to land their dream job”
Networking is arguably the most nuanced items to learn when interviewing at investment banks or finance firms. Learn more from the links below. They often go more in-depth on certain aspects and provide more examples of outreach emails and tactics. The information we provide below is really specific and advice you won’t often find anywhere else. It also gets you started on the right path to eventually get that internship or job.
1. Utilize All Of Your Connections And Channels
When you are trying to find a job or internship, don’t be ashamed to reach out to people you may not have talked to in a while. You are trying to get the internship or job of your dreams; don’t be shy about connecting with someone you haven’t talked to in some time, no matter how awkward it might feel.
This also means using all of your channels to find people to talk to including:
- College alumni network
- LinkedIn connections
- College groups or off-campus extracurricular activities
- Upperclassman and high school connections
- Family and friends
- Firm events on and off campus including coffee chats and group sessions
- College career center
- Job fairs
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Cold Email
The chance of you knowing somebody at a specific firm or specific group is highly unlikely. Finding a connection becomes even tougher if you attend a college that doesn’t normally place at certain banks or firms. Because of this, don’t be afraid to reach out to somebody through LinkedIn or a cold email. You may not know them or have any form of mutual connections, but that’s okay! Let the person know that you are interested in learning about X or firm Y and would really appreciate talking to him/her. People are generally willing to talk to candidates who are curious and appreciative.
3. Consider Investing In LinkedIn Premium
LinkedIn is a great resource to find analysts and associates to reach out to at specific firms and groups. Thankfully, nearly every person has a LinkedIn. Premium gets you the added functionality of unlimited search which is extremely helpful. You can even pay for Linkedin Mail which allows you to message people that you may want to speak with.
4. Keep An Excel Tracker
In your quest to get an internship or full time job, you may reach out to dozens of people at different firms, groups, and cities. Keep a simple excel spreadsheet with each contact at each firm. Write down information such as, what you talked about, data you talked, any interesting tidbits about the person, and potential next steps. This will help you stay organized and make sure you don’t miss any deadlines or further actions. A tracker will also help you recall names when you do have a phone interview or superday — you can mention to the group that you spoke with x analyst or y associate.
5. Don’t Worry About Not Receiving A Response
People working are really busy and sometimes just don’t have the time to respond. Do not be put down if you don’t get a response — it is completely normal. These people are not ignoring you, they probably just havent gotten around to responding. If you don’t get a response, wait about a week before replying to your original message. Say something along the lines of “Hi Jack, just wanted to follow-up and see if you had some time to chat? Really appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule!”
6. Maintain Your Expectations
Don’t expect to receive an offer right at the end of your initial phone call or coffee chat. The goal with any networking outreach is to hopefully just an initial interview or learn some useful information. Networking isn’t also a get out of jail free card for not preparing for technical and fit questions. An analyst might help you get a superday, but that doesn;t mean that the analyst will help you get an offer. At each level, candidates are evaluated on a level playing field, and there usually are multiple people weighing in on each person.