Note to People Networking - Don't Copy & Paste Emails

Friendly piece of advice - if you're sending out networking emails, please don't copy and paste them word for word with the only thing that is different being who the email is addressed to, especially if this is after some event and not an out of the blue cold email. I was in my VP's office and noticed they got an email from the same person I just got one from. We compared the messages and other than our names they were word for word identical.

Find literally anything to personalize and your response rate will increase significantly. In this case my VP and I both spoke at a networking event for an hour and a half so the fact that the person who sent the email wasn't able to find anything personal to put in their email was a huge turn off. Straight to my deleted folder.

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Comments (34)

Jul 25, 2017

What about if you were referred to two different people by the same person and you have never met them before? I pretty much have done that in two situations and haven't heard back from some of them yet. However there isn't really much you can personalize if it was a referral.

Jul 30, 2017

It can be as simple as throwing in "I would love to hear about your experiences as a(n) [analyst / associate / VP / etc.] in the [Industrials / Healthcare / Consumer / etc.] group. Hopefully the person who referred you would say why they think those people would be helpful such as "[x] also went to a liberal arts school" or some other thing you can draw on as well.

Jul 26, 2017

Look them up. See where they went to school or what their history was. Comment on it.

Jul 25, 2017

Isn't that creepy though

Best Response
Jul 26, 2017

Nope. People expect it. I once got told off by some douchebag for not knowing he and I were in the same fraternity, even though that clearly wasn't on his linked in or company website profile and only able to be found if you went to the last section of some obscure part of the company website with expanded executive bios. To him, I "didn't do my homework."

Networking is a lot like dating, but it's still business. You need to do your homework and come prepared. Plus it's just dumb if you don't capitalize on a similarity you have.

Examples of similarities:

  1. You both started in the same industry. Now he's in another, similar industry and you want to make the same transition. Now you have a shared background. Now he can mentor you. People like that shit.
  2. You were in the same fraternity. Short of the example above, this one has helped me more times than I can count. Take that, parents who just thought the only point was booze and sluts.
  3. Down here in the south, college football matters a lot, so you can almost always comment on where the person went to school. There's a good chance you either went to the same school, or are rivals, or recently played each other, or whatever. I'm sure you can do this on some level with Ivy League schools too - "Our tea is vastly superior to your tea" or "Our crew team out-coxed your crew team" or "my dad is richer than your dad" or some shit.
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Jul 26, 2017
CRE:

some obscure part of the company website with expanded executive bios. To him, I "didn't do my homework."

you should always google the person's name and company to see if they have a bio

Jul 26, 2017
bluj:

you should always google the person's name and company to see if they have a bio

No shit. The company had multiple bios on the website in different places.

The point of that story was not me seeking advice, it was telling the other poster that people expect you to do your homework - aka what you just repeated back at me - and that contrary to the other poster thinking it's "creepy," in fact, people often expect you to go beyond/deeper than simple "homework" and want you to get incredibly in depth beforehand.

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Jul 26, 2017

If it's on their LinkedIn or corporate profile, it's fair game and shows you're making an effort to connect with the individual.

Jul 25, 2017

Also pretty easy to tell when the body of the email is one font and size, and the name is a totally different font and size... I mean dang, at least copy and paste into Notepad first to remove formatting.

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Jul 25, 2017

Commenting just to reiterate OP's point. I do not respond to form cold emails, even from students at my alma mater. Unfortunately I would estimate 80%+ of cold emails fall in this category and get ignored.

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Jul 25, 2017

I think there are two distinctly different scenarios here: cold emails and follow-up emails after a meeting. I think copying and pasting cold emails is perfectly acceptable, but completely agree regarding personalizing emails sent as a follow-up after a meeting, networking event, etc. I personally would not care if I were in your shoes in your story, but I realize I am in the minority here.

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Jul 25, 2017

Copy pasta cold email where you're making a request of a complete stranger seems pretty odd to me. I'm not a social savant but this is like social dynamics 101.

Literally comment on my alma mater, my work history, the oddball internship I did after my sophmore year, hometown, the game last night, the weather last weekend, your favorite bar/restaurant in the city where I live. Contrived, yes, but at least it shows you spent more than 10 seconds composing your message.

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Jul 25, 2017

Fair enough. I would certainly lean towards your advice because it seems like I'm in the minority here.

Jul 26, 2017

I copy/pasted cold emails with very minimal differences. Maybe one line change per company and one line change per person. It worked out well for me.

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Jul 30, 2017

Yup, doesn't have to be every word custom tailored, but just making sure you did something.

Jul 31, 2017

Yeah, I tend to do the same. My worst nightmare is that like OP, some people who I emailed work in the same company and will compare.

Jul 25, 2017

For cold emails to alumni, how would you personalize the email more than mentioning that you all attended the same university? Their LinkedIn profiles usually don't provide any information that I could just mention in an email. It would be weird for me to mention something about one of the companies that they previously worked for.

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Jul 25, 2017

^

Jul 25, 2017

also interested in this

Jul 26, 2017

If you find them on LinkedIn then mention the firm their at and have 2-3 email templates to vary so you can avoid being the guy at the other end of the OP's situation because it won't be the exact same wording. If they're at a buy-side shop or Boutique, there is a good shot that they will have a little note about them under "Our Team" on their company's website.

Jul 30, 2017

Apologies for not being clear enough in my OP, but when I say don't copy and paste I meant don't have everything be literally word for word. If you throw in title & firm or what group they're in that can be great. For alumni you can ask a similar question to everyone but I always asked about how they thought their experiences in banking were better / more difficult coming from a liberal arts background - just something that shows you're being thoughtful.

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Jul 25, 2017

So @NuclearPenguins can you or your VP still help me break in?

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Jul 30, 2017

lol +1

Jul 25, 2017

Do u work at Barclays btw

Jul 30, 2017

Nope

Jul 26, 2017

Thanks for sharing the tip!

Jul 26, 2017

Meh I don't know if I fully agree. How about just don't hit up an entire office within the span of an hour?

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Jul 30, 2017

My point is you should demonstrate to the person on the other side that you've put in a basic amount of effort in. I mean don't go overboard and spend 15 minutes looking stuff up on each person, but a quick Linkedin / Google search or just using your alumni website if it's an alum should do the trick.

I guess my perspective is why wouldn't you do this? It's not very much added work at all and your response rates should improve quite a bit.

Jul 26, 2017
NuclearPenguins:

Friendly piece of advice - if you're sending out networking emails, please don't copy and paste them word for word with the only thing that is different being who the email is addressed to, especially if this is after some event and not an out of the blue cold email. I was in my VP's office and noticed they got an email from the same person I just got one from. We compared the messages and other than our names they were word for word identical.

Find literally anything to personalize and your response rate will increase significantly. In this case my VP and I both spoke at a networking event for an hour and a half so the fact that the person who sent the email wasn't able to find anything personal to put in their email was a huge turn off. Straight to my deleted folder.

There's a massive difference between cold emails and follow up emails though. Follow up emails after an event obviously should be shorter and include a reminder of what you talked about and some sort of comment on it.

Cold emails, in my opinion, can be something like 98% copy/paste, though. Changing one line about the person and one line about the company has never done me wrong.

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Jul 30, 2017

Completely agree and maybe I wasn't clear enough. In either case I don't think the only thing that's different should be who the email is addressed to. Simply adding title / group / firm and customizing a bit to demonstrate you put in some effort above the baseline is all.

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Jul 26, 2017

Awesome. Yeah I took it the wrong way at first but went back and read the whole thread and see what you're saying (aka the multiple posts).

In other advice that should seem obvious, make sure you spell the contacts' names correctly and send the emails to the correct person you're addressing them too. When blasting email after email deep into the job hunt rabbit hole, I've messed those up more times than I'd like to admit. You can recover from it every now and then, but most of the time it's over as soon as you hit send haha

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Jul 26, 2017

Did this with a firm I was networking with (O&G in Houston, so for the most part everyone was UT, same frat, same group in the IBD etc.).

Looked like a total Jackass. Still made it to the superday. No offer though.

This is great advice.

Jul 31, 2017

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

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Jul 31, 2017