Investment Banking Networking

Tips And Strategies For Networking Your Way Into Investment Banking Interviews and Job Offers

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What Is Investment Banking Networking?

Investment banking networking is defined as:

“The process of finding, contacting, and speaking with investment banking professionals to build relationships, gain knowledge, and eventually win interviews and job offers via those relationships.”

The value of networking is to build personal connections to augment your resume and skills.  By doing so, you tip the odds in your favour and increase your chances of landing the internship or job offer you want.

The “Informational Interview” Networking Strategy

Investment banking informational interviews are also known as “investment banking coffee chats” or “investment banking networking events,” but the purpose is always the same: to get to know bankers before recruiting, and to use your relationships to win interviews.

Ideally, you should commence your informational interview strategy 3 to 6 months in advance of recruiting.  

Below we outline how to set up informational interviews via email, phone or LinkedIn. 

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Networking Using Cold Emailing Strategies

While it may be easy to dismiss cold emailing as “spam”, many readers of M&I have achieved success with this strategy. 

A great example of cold emailing, with email templates included, can be found here:

You can also find several proven and effective Investment Banking Networking Email Best Practices here, including downloadable email networking templates (DOCX.)

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Networking Using Cold Calling

Cold calling is the other main channel to reaching potential targets in the industry.  

While we see cold calling as a secondary (and more challenging) strategy to cold email, many of our readers have used the telephone to great effect, so it can’t be dismissed.

  1. Get a list of banks or bankers in your area with their names and contact information.
  2. Plan your pitch and figure out what you’re going to tell them.
  3. Place the call and be prepared to respond to their objections.
  4. Afterward, follow-up at least once a week until they tell you to stop calling.
  5. Meanwhile, continue to contact and follow-up with other firms on your list.

We unpack these steps further in our article on Calling Your Way Into Investment Banking. The best reader story about the cold-calling process is in this interview:

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Top 6 Networking Mistakes

Some future investment bankers try their hand at networking, but then complain that “networking doesn’t work in investment banking”. 

This is clearly not the case, as we have documented dozens if not hundreds of success stories from customers of this site. 

The problem is that many people make mistakes that destroy their chances of success. The top 6 mistakes are:

  1. Trying too hard to impress – it’s better to show some vulnerability and ask for help with overcoming your weaknesses. 
  2. Using the wrong channels – email is best, phone is good, but only for boutiques. 
  3. Writing emails that are too long or too general – use proven email templates like these.
  4. Not following up – Investment bankers are busy. You need to follow up, gently yet persistently. 
  5. Asking bad or awkward questions – such as how much money bankers earn or how many hours they work.
  6. Not asking directly for what you want – you must be proactive and make direct requests if you want to get results. 

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Investment Banking Networking Toolkit

Investment banking has become a highly-competitive and sought-after field, and nothing happens until you “get your foot in the door”. 

Networking is one of the key strategies for landing banking interviews, and over the years we have developed a comprehensive toolkit for making your networking journey as effective as possible.

It’s called the Investment Banking Networking Toolkit, and it’s available via our sister site Breaking Into Wall Street.

Because many customers use their new-found networking chops to land interviews, many people choose to invest in the Networking Toolkit and Interview Guide Bundle, saving $50 in the process.

You could try to work this out yourself, or you could follow a proven process and system for getting the job in investment banking that you desire.

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