Networking strategy post undegrad?

I noticed when I was a student I got way more responses to my networking emails. Now, as a full time analyst looking to lateral, I'm networking the same way (cold emailing alumni) but am not getting any traction what so ever. How does or should my networking strategy shift now that I am in the industry / post undergrad ?

Comments (8)

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
2mo 

Bump. Would also like to know.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
2mo 

Development to REPE. Would like to move to a generalist shop that focuses on debt, equity, public securities, distressed debt, LP equity for development, etc. Basically, somewhere with a flexible mandate. I'm on the front end acquisitions process of development right now. I don't deal with development management really.

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Most Helpful
2mo 
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the shoutout anon A1. My thoughts on this....

- Student emails/LinkedIn messages etc. will get TONS of feedback as everyone remembers back to how difficult it was and most people want to help. Plus, and this may surprise you.... people get wayyyy less of these requests than you think. So, it's almost exciting in a way (especially if from a fellow future alum). Sure, it can be burdensome to take calls and exchange emails, but honestly it is far more rewarding/interesting than a lot of the bullshit everyone does in a work day. 

- Once you have a "job" you are instantly at risk of being labeled or assumed to be a "cold caller" trying to sell something, and really doesn't matter where you work or what you do. SO... one strategy for networking post grad is to use your alumni email (I think almost all schools have this) or just use gmail/whatever. This will generally knock down the "sales" approach fears and make it easier to get your true intention out. I think a lot of young people get wayyyy to impressed with their "firm" email and think that the firm name and your signature block will impress.... it really won't. The personal email is wayy better, and will probably get more response.

- (this one is relevant and actually a killer move for students, but less practical for them)... Now that you have a job, up your game via in-person networking and affinity groups/organizations.. Go to events like NAIOP/ULI or whatever is relevant, meet and exchange cards, then follow up on the "job" stuff. If you can join these groups, you get full access to the member database which usually includes emails! So you can email as "NAIOP connection" or whatever, this is similar to the power of alumni but more relevant tbh. 

- Add on to the above... get active in these organizations! Don't just show-up, volunteer and run for leadership. That ups your "social capital" and presents you as a leader and someone worth talking to. Membership and Programming committees are the best for this, but even event volunteer will get you meeting tons. This just costs your time! Added bonus, if you get elected/selected as "committee chair" or even an "officer" this can become "leadership experience" on a resume (I've no shit heard stories of people who got hired as firm decided stuff like this "counts" in a candidate fulfilling a listed requirement of prior leadership exp.). This is also ridiculous easy... they usually have to beg people to serve. Warning... if you do this, do a good job, if you are a flake and do shit job... you could actually hurt your industry rep! Do a good job... and yes it will very much help!  

The rest of my ideas really apply to students or post-grads, but nonetheless apply to the OP's situation

- A side note on LinkedIn messages.... not sure if this is universal... I get TONS... they are almost always sales if not out outright spam. I think the quality and use of LinkedIn messages has gone to shit. Better off emailing (and maybe backup/alternate with LinkedIn). Google search to find emails, or just connect with them on LinkedIn and get it. I realize this makes it a bit harder, but that is the idea!

- Be persistent... if you don't get a response, 5 days later, re-email (maybe even just forward the first) and just say... Checking back in case you missed this (or something to that effect). I'll sometimes get emails like this that I legit want and plan on responding to, but if it comes in when I'm traveling or just really busy, I'll put in my mental reminder file (which means its forgot by next day). Thus, the reminder/follow-up sometimes creates an "oh shit I forgot to respond" pressure and I fire back a response in minutes. I would probably try this once or twice after an initial contact, then give up and move on. Side note, people are less likely to be busy Monday or Friday (like especially for travel), so maybe send on those days, may make no difference, but worth testing. 

- Consider the world and their firm's "status".... I add this given the current market conditions... If a firm is facing challenges, and the person is concerned about not making bonuses or payouts or even layoffs, they may not be so excited to talk to any one about career stuff. Really hard for an outsider to know this (I mean worth a google search), and it might be why the OP is experiencing this today. I've had the experience of trying to contact someone and get no-response to only hear they got let go or the firm imploded or had issues months later, this is always a possibility, but today a much higher one. 

- Relates to the last point but separate.... keep in mind that you are not "bothering" a person about asking about job ops at their firm. Recruiting/hiring sucks, so any good/interested lead is very welcome. Don't apologize for "wasting their time" or do any of those bitch out statements, you have the right to contact people. Act confidently and like you are important, this is critical to actually get a good internal recommendation if worthy and I think ups chance of getting a response. BUT... do realize, a firm with active needs (like of analysts in the OP's case) will likely respond to you every time, one that anticipates needing someone like you will do so more frequently... and one that has no needs and might do layoffs (like in the above point), may just not respond at all. Clearly, a person can respond on a personal level regardless of firm needs, but it's totally a factor. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
2mo 

- Student emails/LinkedIn messages etc. will get TONS of feedback as everyone remembers back to how difficult it was and most people want to help. Plus, and this may surprise you.... people get wayyyy less of these requests than you think. So, it's almost exciting in a way (especially if from a fellow future alum). Sure, it can be burdensome to take calls and exchange emails, but honestly it is far more rewarding/interesting than a lot of the bullshit everyone does in a work day. 

how many emails do you get from students a month

2mo 
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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