How to thank people you've networked with?

I was wondering if anyone could please provide any insight on how I can go about thanking people I've networked with and who have helped me along the way after I get an offer and accept. (I've read many networking posts here, but most seem to focus on the before the offer part.) These are people I've had phone calls with, and emailed them about updates along my recruiting process. I really want to keep in contact with these people, but am not sure how.

Obviously, I will shoot out thank you emails. For the analysts/associates, I was thinking of asking them out to grab coffee? But what is the appropriate way to thank an ED/MD? Is an email enough? Can I ask for a phone call a few months down the line just to catch up and learn more about the job?

Thanks everyone in advance!

Edit: Sorry, just wanted to clarify my situation. I got the offer, accepted the offer, and have about 4 ED's to thank because they actually pulled for me. I really want to send handwritten notes, but only have their building address and don't know how mail works at a BB.

Comments (19)

Oct 1, 2017

Just send them a (physical/handwritten) thank you card if you want to put in extra effort

"Can I ask for a phone call a few months down the line just to catch up and learn more about the job?"

Not sure I understand why you'd do this - haven't you already spoken with them about the job?

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Oct 3, 2017

Thanks! How does sending a physical card actually work? I don't have their address, just the address of the building they work in.
Also, if in one group, I spoke to 3 ED's and 5 analysts, wouldn't it be a bit much to send all of them physical cards? I also don't think the ED's know that I've spoken to other ED's in the group and I don't want it to be awkward either.

Oct 3, 2017

Does their email signature not have more detailed address?

If you don't want to send 8 cards then just don't send any. Not a huge deal especially if you already thanked them via email after chatting.

Oct 6, 2017

If you don't want to write the notes, once you start working with the EDs (assuming you're in the same building, guessing good ol 383) shoot their admin an email some time around lunch or later in the afternoon and see when they're free. Run up and introduce yourself and thank them.

That, I guarantee, will make a good impression - and I don't think it's overboard as long as you're not interrupting their day.

Oct 3, 2017

These are nice gestures but really not necessary. If you want, just shoot people an email after you've accepted an offer letting them know where you'll be interning and thanking them for the help along the way.

Chances are most people won't remember you much a few months after you've spoken anyways. And again, the offer of coffee is nice but most analysts don't really want to squeeze something like this in. Perhaps a different story if you guys really clicked, but generally it's more of a hassle, especially if you're interning elsewhere.

Also keep in mind that talking to prospective applicants just comes with the territory. It's certainly nice of them to take the time, but it's really not that big a deal. Wouldn't overthink this.

Oct 3, 2017

Thank you cards, buy them beers, etc. I've gone back and sent gifts to people over the years. Networking is about the personal touch. People help you initially and then as you develop they can become clients, partners and referral sources. Never stop developing your network.

Oct 3, 2017

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"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Oct 4, 2017

It's almost Christmas, take them a cookie tray at the holidays if they were really helpful or if they're someone you want to be able to reach out to in the future. I did this years ago and it worked wonders. One guy who was older but had a very illustrious career definitely didn't recognize me in person but once he put two and two together I was invited back for lunch and greeted as warmly as possible.

Oct 4, 2017

Just to add to all of the stuff said above. Send a card if you can. If not, just call or email and thank them again for the advice/referral. If you really got to know them beyond work related stuff which you should have, you could thank them in a way that relates to his/her interests.

In my case, I had one individual refer me to a few people just to learn more about commercial real estate and even though I haven't landed anything I remembered there's a venue he always goes to for events and I figure with the type of events they have there that he'd like the tickets to the event I passed on to him.

Oct 4, 2017

Slap them with your cock and then give them dap

Oct 4, 2017

At the very least, send an email, especially if it's someone younger or closer to you in age. For someone older or more experienced, a handwritten note is the best way to make a lasting impression. It's very rare to receive one.

I sent a handwritten thank you note to someone (MD level) who helped me get an internship years ago and heard through a mutual acquaintance that they were extremely impressed. I've done it ever since. Definitely a great way to go the extra mile and cement a connection.

Oct 4, 2017

Since you don't have their full addresses, you could actually e-mail them and just ask what it is. I agree that this is the best way to appropriately thank them.

If there is somebody you had a particularly strong connection with, I would give them a call/email every few months just to keep them updated on your progress and say how you're doing. Again, depending on how well you know them, you could always suggest a coffee as well - even if they are too busy, I think the gesture is always nice!

Oct 4, 2017

I also meant to mention that I got my current REPE gig after5 years of staying in touch with a networking contact who tried to help me near the end of undergrad. Emailing them updates and asking for "career advice" is definitely a great way to go. Keep them in the loop about interviews, etc as well. He was not one of the people I took a cookie tray to because he wasn't local and that is obviously a limiting factor with that strategy.

Oct 5, 2017

Replied at the comment level rather than thread, my mistake.

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Oct 4, 2017

The reaction is totally gender-based. If you're a guy dealing with guys a simple "thanks for the help, drinks on me" will suffice no matter the hierarchy level. If you're a guy dealing with a woman, coffee. You don't want to come off like you're trying to hit on her. On the other hand, if you're a woman, a neutral "thanks for the help, I greatly appreciate it, and if there's ever anything I can do for you..." is the most appropriate email to both genders, at any level. Getting too chummy like incessant phone calls, Xmas cards, etc. is overdoing it unless you're frequently hanging out/talking with the person.

As far as staying in touch, follow the protocol above, wait several weeks to a month, and you're clear to drop a line. Again, don't bombard them with attention, and don't demand addresses for Christ's sake. The more neutral/lightly casual the relations are the better.

Best Response
Oct 5, 2017

The people saying that it isn't something you need or have to do is correct, but they're also missing an easy and hugely positive way to develop real relationships.

Obviously if you're the stereotypical kid on this forum somewhere on the spectrum and out here mouthbreathing your way through informational interviews, this is going to sound confusing to do correctly and also be way out of character for you in the recipient's eyes, so your mileage may vary.

I'll paste something I wrote in another thread:

APAE:

Don't be afraid to bring your own personality. You don't have to be stuck talking only about the weather, sports, or vacation plans for your whole two-year stint. It's okay to bring more of your authentic self to the office. Be personable, ask real questions about the people you work with, and listen when they talk. Human moments in this industry are few and far between, and if you're the guy who becomes known for bringing them, that will serve you well. People will smile genuinely when they see you, you'll develop deeper relationships with the people who manage you, and as your career progresses and you see certain people far less frequently as you change roles, the warmth of your relationship won't fade like it does for the people who simply clock in and clock out day after day.

How does that apply here? It means you stand a lot to gain by being someone who stands out as sincerely interested in other people beyond the typical transactional nature of the recruiting process. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Giving gifts is not a sign of weakness at all, to whoever above wrote something to that effect. Generating goodwill through sincere acts of kindness and demonstration of appreciation is rare.

Whether it's a handwritten card, an invitation to a sports game with you (if you talked about a particular team), an expensive coffee table book on some niche topic or interest you discussed, cookies you baked during the holidays (better delivered in person, not through the mail), or just a hardcover book with a personal note about why you enjoyed it and thought of them for it ... you can go really far with something that costs you less than $100.

In short, you don't have to do it, but you want to. Just like if you're in a relationship; there's a whole bunch of stuff not mandatory for a satisfactory relationship with a significant other that feels taken care of well enough, but if you go the extra yard (it's not even a mile), the heavens open up and music starts playing.

I have literally gotten non-auction deals thanks to people older than me who I have really strong relationships with. I've seen early stage rounds from founders who are carving out friends and family allocation in a major round with a marquee venture investor, been invited to the ridiculous vacations you can imagine only exist in the family office world, and had more of those one-of-a-kind final dinner at an amazing restaurant before it closes / front row at the pre-opening of a new show people are already raving about / field or court passes for pro and college sports games type experiences that no amount of money could let a random guy off the street into. Relationships matter, and you build them with time and tokens of appreciation.

@OP, as a college student your budget is going to be limited. You don't have to go over the top. You absolutely can send a handwritten note. Just write it in the following format, it will get to them:

[First Last]
[Firm Name]
[Street Address], [Floor Number] (cool to omit if you don't know)
[City], [State], [ZIP]

You also absolutely can email them during the spring and ask to catch up. Tell them how excited you are for the opportunity and how you'd appreciate a quick call.

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Oct 6, 2017

Thanks so much for your responses everyone! I've decided to send handwritten notes to the more senior level people (they are all women and so am I), and email to the more junior people asking for coffee vaguely some time in the future so no pressure.

I'm just wondering how I would go about mailing the handwritten cards when I just know their name and the building they work in? Is it really okay to email them for their address?

Oct 6, 2017
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