Networking Calls

I've been networking quite a lot, but I struggle with introducing myself and could use your feedback on how to start off the call. I usually start with some small how's your day going type of question and then I start by asking them about their background, have questions ready about their work, and then go into recruiting questions. These sessions are somewhere between 20-30 minutes.

I feel weird by giving a background about myself right away, do I need to do that more? And if so, how? Should I give them my "tell me about yourself" interview answer, or just a 30 second spiel highlighting my school, major, year, extracurriculars, internships, and interests?

With the way I currently handle my calls, professionals are okay with it. But other times, when I ask about their background, I have been asked about myself before they start. For those in the industry, what do you think?

After some reflection, I'm thinking something like this after a small chit-chat:

"Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. I wanted to speak with professionals at ABC in the DEF group and I noticed that you are also a HIG alum. It'd be great to connect and tell you about myself, get to know more about your career path, and experiences at ABC. Does that sound alright?" And then after they say okay, I give my 30 second spiel.

Let me know what you think the best networking calls with students are like. Thanks!

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Comments (6)

Most Helpful
Sep 26, 2021 - 1:59am
  • start off call by asking if now is still a good time to chat
  • I'd then say something along the lines of "if it's helpful, I'd love to give you some background on myself so you know who you're speaking with, and then get the opportunity to hear about your background and experiences etc". Everyone always said yes that's super helpful.

My .02 is that it's super important to give your background. Appear more personable rather than some stranger asking them questions about their career. Use some sort of hybrid/shortened elevator pitch when introducing yourself.

Good luck!

Sep 26, 2021 - 2:01am

Absolutely agree on both points. As for your background, it's phenomenal interview practice.

It also lets the other person understand your perspective, since they likely don't have your resume in front of them.

You want to build a relationship with these calls, not just check the box, and to do so you have to both give and take information. 

Also, take some time to plan the call out. Get a pen and paper and write out your top 3 questions and top 3 things you want them to take away. Too often we hop on the phone and get conversational without a plan. 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Sep 26, 2021 - 4:41am

Thank you both so much, that was incredibly helpful! @Five Star Man, regarding your background, do you recommend giving a whole background like in an interview then? Wondering what you mean by interview practice is all.

Also, what ways do you usually recommend closing a call? Asking for a connection, resume push, etc. or just saying thanks for your time? 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Sep 26, 2021 - 6:06am

Depends on how the call goes and how close the connection is. If it goes well I usually ask if there's anyone else in the group I could speak to. Never explicitly ask them to push your resume forward unless they offer or they're a close connection. If they don't seem really into it you can just say thanks for your time, then send a follow up and possibly ask for a referral in the future. It's all situational and try to read the room. 

At the end of the day they know exactly what you want and in my experience they will offer to help if they like you, but if you're not sure try asking leading questions like "would you have any advice on the process" or whatever. 

Sep 28, 2021 - 1:57am

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