How to network ?

networking
New answer on Feb 03, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 03, 2021

Hi,

I am trying to network but I am still wondering what kind of messages I should send.

* Does anyone have an example of emails or messages to get a phone call with a consultant or to get a referral directly please?

* Should I ask directly for a referral ?

* And if I send an email, should I attach my Resume and my cover letter?

Thanks

(edited)

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Clara
Expert
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replied on Feb 03, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

You could write a PhD about how to effective network, and probably won´t cover it all since it also depends on the cultural septup, your personality, timings...

However, some thoughts here thata are general truths:

  1. Try to network with the network of your network ;)
    1. It´s not a trick, basically, try to have someone in common with the person you are tryng to connect to, who can make you an intro
  2. Find points you have in common with them (e.g., school, background, etc.)
  3. Don´t ask for a referral upfront - try to have a good and enriching conversation and let them know how you could be a good fit for the org. The referral would come as a natural consequence after
  4. Choose the right timing! Write messages on Fridays, never Mondays!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad
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replied on Feb 03, 2021
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

How to get a referral?

1) Leverage your network - find current MBB employees in your network and ask them for a mock interview. Ask them how to increase your chances of getting in, and most probably, they'll help with a referral

2) Ask your MBA classmates - MBBs have on-campus recruiters in top schools, and your ex-MBB classmates can refer you to them

3) Reaching out to partners in your field of expertise - If you are an experienced hire, I suggest talking to partners in your industry. You can find them on Linkedin or at various events. Ask them for a short call, describe your background, and ask if you'll be a good fit. Chances are high they'll forward your resume further

4) Case championships and company events - several times a year, various offices conduct case competitions or group case sessions in which you can participate. If you demonstrate distinctive performance, you'll be invited directly to the interview and skip the line.

5) Participate in the events, send Thank You notes, ask for a chat. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Send a Thank You Note after the event asking for a mock interview

6) Cold reach out on Linkedin - try to find consultants with whom you have something in common - School, Previous Job, industry, etc. Ask for a coffee chat to get career advice or ask if they know someone who can give a mock interview. I would not recommend cold calling partners since they are less likely to respond.

Best

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Antonello
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replied on Feb 03, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I would engage consultants with a background similar to yours (same university/city/past company/...) and ask for a referral only after a call

Best,
Antonello

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Ian
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updated an answer on Feb 03, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

a) Reach out to people in your network

b) Reach out to people once removed from your network

c) Reach out to people with a similar background to you (i.e. same alma mater, same historically underrepresented demographic i.e. gender, orientation, ethnicity, etc., same career switch, etc.)

d) Tailor a message to them specifically both showing interest in them and their journey and demonstrating that you have done your research and could be a valuable hire

e) Play "tag" across calls you get so that you can work your way towards the company/office/role you want

f) Never directly ask for a referral, but "hint" at needing one (this is nuanced and important...happy to talk through wording)

Shoot me a message and I'm happy to support you in this (provide templates, guide on interactions, etc. etc.)

(edited)

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Denis
Expert
replied on Feb 03, 2021
Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | Ex-Bain 5 yrs| MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews
  • Do not send standardized templates to people - consulting is a people's business - you need to invest the effort to look for nice commonalities or interesting topics about those people and craft strong messages
  • Goal should be to get people on the phone for 20 min - do NOT give them the impression you dont care about their time but just want a referral. The chemistry has to work - if you do a bad job and just tick off questions from your question list - do not expect any human being to bond with you
  • Get a LinkedIn Premium account - start with very junior people and work your way slowly up - goal: BECOME AN EXPERT ON THE SPECIFIC FIRM AND THE SPECIFIC OFFICE
  • Add'l: Read Keith Ferrazzi - Never Eat Alone (Best networking wook - much better than the overhyped Carnegie book)

Best,
Denis

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Ken
Expert
replied on Feb 03, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

I was definitely encourage against any examples since the best networking emails are ones where the recepient can clearly tell that you have taken the time to tailor the message to the individual (e.g., educational background, professional field, etc.) as opposed to just copy-pasting and sending to everyone and anyone. I would hold out on sending your resume until asked and I would definitely avoid asking directly for a referral before as well as during the call. Instead focus on asking meaingful questions and finding a way to build a genuine connection. The consultant will know why you have reached out (i.e., to ask for a referral) and they will suggest it if they see it as appropriate.

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Gaurav
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

additionally to the suggestions of the other coaches, I'd like to point out:

  • your goal in networking is to schedule a call with a person. The call will be like a fit part of the interview where you'll be able to present yourself, understand whether you'd be a good fit for the company and ask questions about the experience / company / any advice (which indirectly can mean the referral)
  • Consultants don't always have time to check their LinkedIn, so personalized emails are preferred if your target is a referral
  • However, if you're networking in the LI - try to find things you have in common and build your conversation around them. There is a fine line between being intruisive and generally curious, but it's very easy to sense it.
  • Remember that even If now you're networking for your personal interests, some day you might help somebody from your network, too.

Hope it helps! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Cheers,

GB

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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