How I used coffee chats to secure my dream job

I graduated with a mediocre 3.0 GPA and no relevant internship experience (spent every summer doing labor work). In my last semester of school I was applying to jobs online and got zero traction from that. I moved to a new city when I graduated and formulated a job hunt plan (with the help of this forum).

In total I sent 200-300 cold emails and went on over 30 coffee chats. I tracked this all in an excel file and I added everyone I had a coffee chat with on LinkedIn, once I had a bigger LinkedIn network and the people I emailed saw mutual connections I had a much higher response rate.

2 months after graduating I secured a job in real estate development, my dream industry (I got lucky - 2 months is very quick). Real estate is extremely network based and networking is the only way I could have broken in with such a mediocre GPA.

I wrote a guide about how I did it, that includes the following:

  • How to track your progress
  • Writing a great cold email (with sample scripts)
  • Preparing questions and conversation topics for your coffee chat
  • Coffee chatting and the importance of having questions
  • Writing a thank you note that leaves a good impression

The guide is almost 5000 words which is overkill but I wanted to share what I did to secure my dream job with coffee chats. Hopefully this will help people that want to use coffee chats to help break into a new industry or find a new job.

Comments (10)

Mar 16, 2019

Thanks for the inspiration man.

I am currently trying to get into institutional trading ( particularly FICC) at a Canadian big 5 bank. I studied political science for my BA and earned a Literature MA after that. Right now I have a back office job in retail banking which isn't glamorous but it gives me plenty of time off to research, study and network.

I will get back to you once I read your guide and give some feedback.

Mar 17, 2019

Thanks for the post. I switched to your email format (I had a similar one) and got a high hit rate...albeit a small sample size, but still.

Mar 17, 2019

The best responses come from referrals from people you meet with (warm introductions) and when you build up a strong LinkedIn network and people search you there and see mutual connections.

Networking has a snowball effect and you often don't see the results immediately!

Mar 18, 2019

Wow, this is one of the top 10 WSO threads of all time

Mar 18, 2019

Thank you very much for writing all this up. I'm about to graduate and was looking for a guide on coffee chats. This is golden.

Mar 19, 2019

Damn, cool story bro but I'm not sure that the coffee chat method is replicable

Mar 19, 2019

can you post a link to your guide? maybe share it from your google drive and post the sharing link?

just google're welcome

Mar 20, 2019

Added to post.

Mar 19, 2019

Love this kind of story. Congrats and keep up the good work!

Mar 20, 2019