In this new blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.
We know that requesting informational networking meetings can be intimidating, but we also know that preparation can increase your confidence and, more importantly, your chances for success!
As you prepare to reach out to a potential contact, we advise you to consider the following questions:
- What is my personal brand/pitch? How is my experience relevant to my target audience? How can I communicate this in a concise and memorable way?
- What information do I need to know about the contact to be prepared to email/call him or her?
- What do I want from this contact? What is the goal of my conversation?
- What can I offer the contact? (Remember: networking is a two-way street!)
When you are ready to reach out, follow these tips for crafting your email:
- Make it short and concise (i.e., fewer than 150 words).
- Use a detailed, descriptive, and direct subject line.
- Write in a courteous and appreciative tone (and be sure to proofread before hitting Send!).
Consider the following structure:
- Paragraph 1: Start with your connection. Explain who you are (using a version of your pitch that shows your credibility/relevance) and how you obtained the contact’s name and information.
- Paragraph 2: Explain what you want and why you are asking the contact for help. Be as clear and specific as possible, but do not mention jobs.
- Paragraph 3: Offer specific availability, and then thank the contact for his or her time.
Do not get discouraged if you do not receive an immediate response. The person may want to help you but has simply not yet found time to respond to your email. Consider following up with a thoughtful email two to three weeks after your first outreach. (But do not follow up a third time—three times is not a charm with networking!)
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!