Networking is one of the key factors in the success of most young professionals. Whether it is gaining valuable advice or getting a leg up in the hiring process, networking opens doors and unlocks knowledge that would otherwise be hard to find.
best way to track networking contacts
As you meet contacts in finance and build your network, you will need to track and monitor your relationships with these individuals. It is important not to let a relationship die off, and it is also critical to remember certain key components of conversations of the past.
Attached is a networking template which helps you determine when you need to reach out to contacts and helps keep track of your database better than LinkedIn.
Business Contact List Template Excel
My personal contact list is broken up between "Senior Level", "Junior Level", "Coworkers", "In College", and "Family." It is important to differentiate your contact levels. For one, it is ideal to keep your senior to junior level contacts around 50/50 in order to maintain experienced mature employees whom may retire in the next 10-15 years, and those that will grow with you in your career for the rest of your life.
I created a column in the contact list to break out current company and previous employers. In case at some point in the future you have an interview for a particular company, it is beneficial to be able to track down any contacts you may have which would have an insider's perspective to the company, or very well may be able to reference you to the people hiring.
You will notice in two of the columns, there is a differentiation between "Last contacted" and "Last in contact." The difference between the two is last contacted is the date in which you wrote last, and last in contact is the last time they actually replied to you.
Following Up With Networking Contacts
My general rule of thumb for following up with contacts is to have at least spoken to them in the last 6 months. Some may want it shorter or longer, but that is the way I have it set up right now. The months since last contact column will turn red when the last contact is more than 6 months. This lets me know to email or call them soon.
I hope this helps set up a basic framework for each of your contact lists. Personally, this helps me make sure to stay on top of staying in touch with everyone I know.
Read More About Networking on WSO
- How to network with recruiters (HR)? What's the difference between networking with HR people and networking with bankers?
- How NOT to Network
- How important is networking?
Decided to Pursue a Wall Street Career? Learn How to Network like a Master.
Inside the WSO Finance networking guide, you'll get a comprehensive, all-inclusive roadmap for maximizing your networking efforts (and minimizing embarrassing blunders). This info-rich book is packed with 71 pages of detailed strategies to help you get the most of your networking, including cold emailing templates, questions to ask in interviews, and action steps for success in navigating the Wall Street networking process.