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Investment Banking
February 6, 2024

5 Proven Tips How To Network For Investment Banking Job

Networking has always played a crucial role in the world of investment banking roles and management consulting. The industry itself is built on solid relationships and trust, and networking is the key to building these connections. Networking can help you to learn from seasoned professionals and get referrals, recommendations, and opportunities that may not be publicly advertised.

What is Networking in Investment Banking?

Networking in investment banking is like weaving a web of strategic relationships with bankers & industry professionals. In an industry that thrives on personal connections and trust, this process is crucial. It involves a myriad of activities - from rubbing shoulders at industry events to reaching out through cold emails or calls, and even leveraging online platforms to forge connections.

General Investment Banking Recruiting Process

The networking process of finding or submitting a resume are very similar to the ones in most cases and follows a structured path, whether you’ve just graduated or you come from a top university.

  1. It typically begins with an application stage, where candidates submit their CVs and cover letters for review. Some banks may also require an online numeracy or reasoning test to win interviews and offers.
  2. Upon passing the initial screening, candidates are then invited for a series of interviews which could include phone or video interviews followed by face-to-face interviews, often with a mix of HR representatives and banking professionals. These interviews test a blend of technical and behavioural skills, and may include case studies or model-building exercises to gauge a candidate's analytical abilities.
  3. The final stage often involves a 'Superday' or assessment centre where a small group of potential hires are brought in for a day of interviews, networking, and tasks that simulate the day-to-day work in investment banking.
  4. Successful candidates at this stage are then extended job offers. It's worth noting that networking can significantly aid in this process, providing insider insights and potential recommendations that can set candidates apart.

5 Proven Networking Journey Tips

Here are five tips to help you kickstart your networking journey without and build a strong foundation for future success.

investment banking networking

#1: Attend industry events & conferences

Attending industry events and conferences presents a golden opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and seasoned professionals in the investment banking sector. These gatherings are fertile ground for gaining industry insights, acquiring knowledge about cutting-edge trends, and, most importantly, establishing meaningful relations with key players in the field.

Don't shy away from initiating conversations and be prepared to present your ideas concisely and engagingly. Remember, people appreciate genuine interest and curiosity, so ask meaningful questions to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the field. Lastly, always follow up with the connections you've made; a simple email expressing your gratitude for the conversation can make a lasting impression.

How to Find Events?

Finding industry events requires a keen eye and a proactive approach.

=> Industry Publications: Keep a close eye on industry publications and newsletters. These often provide information regarding upcoming events, conferences, and seminars.

=> Professional Associations: Many professional associations related to investment banking and finance organise regular events and conferences. Examples include the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute and the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

=> LinkedIn and Other Social Media Platforms: LinkedIn can be a treasure trove of information about industry events. Follow various investment banking groups and influencers to stay updated about upcoming gatherings. Twitter and Facebook are also useful platforms for this purpose.

=> Networking Platforms: Websites like Meetup and Eventbrite often list industry-specific gatherings, workshops, and discussions.

=> Alumni Networks: Don't forget your school or university alumni network, which can be a great source of event information.

#2: Cold Email with Thoughtful Questions

Cold emailing to ask directly can be a highly effective networking tool if done correctly. It is a way to introduce yourself to professionals in the field and express your interest in their work.

1. Do Your Research: Understand the professional's background and expertise. Use this knowledge to ask insightful questions relevant to their field.

2. Keep it Brief: Respect their time. Brief, concise emails are more likely to be read and responded to.

3. Personalize Email: Generic emails often end up in the trash. Tailoring your email to the recipient's expertise or interests can make it stand out.

4. Ask Thoughtful Questions: Demonstrate your interest and knowledge in the field by asking pertinent questions. This shows you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in learning from them.

Cold Email Templates

Here are a few templates that could be adapted as a way to network via cold initial emails:

1. Reaching out for advice or insight

Subject: Seeking Your Insight on [Industry Topic]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I am [Your Name], a [Your Position] at [Your Company or University]. Recently, I came across your insightful work on [Topic]. I'm particularly intrigued by your perspective on [Specific Aspect], and I would love to learn more about it.

I am currently exploring this area and would greatly appreciate any insights you might be able to share regarding [Specific Question].

Thank you for considering my request. I understand how busy you must be and I am grateful for any time you can spare.

Kind regards,

2. Conduct informational interviews

Subject: Request for Informational Interview from [Your University] Student

Dear [Recipient's Name],

My name is [Your Name] and I am a [Your Position/Title] at [Your University/Company]. I am extremely interested in [Industry] and I am hoping to learn more about it from an experienced professional like yourself.

Would you be available for a brief informational interview at a time that suits you best? This could be over a cup of coffee, over the phone, or even via email, whichever you prefer.

I understand you have a busy schedule, so please know that any time you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for considering my request.

Best regards,

Best Email Checkers

Before you would inquire directly about internships or jobs, candidates will need to spend extensive time researching and verifying email addresses. Make a positive impression through a well-crafted email to the right contact group heads.

  1. Hunter: An excellent tool to verify emails for deliverability. It checks whether the email address exists with the email server.
  2. ZeroBounce: Provides a detailed report of the email list, including the email's status, sub-status, and whether it's a toxic or catch-all domain.
  3. Aside from verifying the email list, it also removes duplicates, providing a clean list to work with.
  4. NeverBounce: Uses 20+ steps to check the validity of emails and ensures your emails don't bounce back.
  5. Validemail: Not just verifies but also offers to cleanse your email list, removing the invalid and risky email addresses.
cold call

#3: Cold Call to Ask Directly for Internships or Jobs

Cold calling, although sometimes daunting, can be a very direct and efficient way to ask for internships or opportunities. Doing so not only shows initiative but also demonstrates a proactive and determined attitude, which can leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

1. Preparation is Key: Before making the call, ensure you are well-versed with the company's operations, current projects, and the role you are interested in. This will allow you to speak confidently and ask relevant questions.

2. Introduce Yourself Clearly: Start the call by introducing yourself, stating your intentions, and explaining why you are interested in the company.

3. Respectful of Their Time: Ask if it's a good time to talk. If it isn't, ask when would be a convenient time to call back.

4. Get to the Point Quickly: Be concise and clear about your intentions. If you are looking for internships or job positions, state so early in the call.

5. End on a Positive Note: Regardless of the outcome, thank the person for their time. If appropriate, ask about the next steps or if there is anyone else you should speak with.

How to Find Contacts?

Finding the right contacts is crucial when cold-calling for job opportunities or internships.

=> LinkedIn: This professional networking site is a gold mine for finding potential contacts. Use the search feature to find people who work in companies you're interested in. You can also join relevant groups to expand your network.

=> Company Websites: Most companies have a 'Meet the Team' or 'About Us' section on their websites where you can find key employees.

=> Networking Events: Attend industry-specific events, job fairs, or webinars. These can be great opportunities to meet industry professionals and make valuable connections.

=> Industry Directories: These can be a valuable source of contacts, especially in specific industries. Make sure you're looking at reputable and up-to-date directories.

=> School's Alumni Networks: Reach out to your university or college's alumni network. Alumni are often willing to help fellow alumni get a foot in the door.

#4: Utilize Online Platforms & Social Media

In the digital age, online platforms and social media have become instrumental in job hunting and networking. They offer numerous opportunities to connect with industry professionals, target school or other brand, engage with companies, and stay updated on job vacancies.

1. LinkedIn: Update your profile regularly to reflect your latest skills and experiences. Participate in discussions, publish articles, and follow companies to increase your visibility. LinkedIn's job board also lists numerous opportunities across industries.

2. X: Follow industry leaders, participate in discussions using relevant hashtags, and share industry-related content. You can also use X to research companies and their culture.

3. Facebook: Join industry-specific groups, participate in discussions, and follow company pages. Utilize the 'Jobs' feature to find opportunities in your field. You can also use Facebook to stay updated on industry news.

Non-Target Networking Toolkit

Networking in the realm of investment banking is a critical aspect of paving your way into this highly competitive industry. It is essential to gather the right set of tools that can assist you in making valuable connections.

=> Business Cards: While we operate in a digital world, a tangible business card can still make a lasting impression. Ensure the card is professional and contains essential contact details.

=> Elevator Pitch: Prepare a compelling and concise personal narrative. This 30-second speech should effectively communicate your background, skills, and career aspirations in the investment field.

=> LinkedIn Premium: Upgrade your account to a Premium. This gives you access to advanced search filters, allows you to view who's viewed your profile, and provides additional insights into jobs and companies.

=> Bloomberg Terminal: Although costly, a Bloomberg Terminal subscription provides a wealth of real-time financial market data and news, making it an excellent tool for understanding the sector and starting relevant conversations.

=> Wall Street Oasis (WSO): This online platform is a must for anyone interested in investment. With industry-specific resources, career advice, and a dynamic community, it's a great place to learn and network.

investment banking job

#5: Build Relationships with Mentors and Industry Professionals

Building relationships with mentors and industry professionals is a crucial step in establishing your presence in the investment banking sector. Not only does it provide opportunities for learning from those with more experience, but it also opens doors to potential job prospects.

=> Mentors: Look for individuals who are well-established in the industry, possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, and are willing to guide you. They could be your professors, alumni from your university, or senior colleagues. A good mentor can provide valuable insights into the workings of the industry and offer advice on career progression.

=> Industry Professionals: Try to connect with people working at different levels within investment banking. Attend industry networking events, join online forums and discussion groups, and engage with relevant content on LinkedIn to catch their attention. Establishing a rapport with these individuals could lead to get the referrals they need and long-lasting professional relationships.

5 Most Common Investment Banking Networking Mistakes

Most people underestimate the power of networking and end up making common mistakes that hinder their chances of building meaningful connections.

1. Follow-ups: Networking doesn't stop after the initial conversation. If you don't follow up after making a new connection, you risk losing the opportunity to build a deeper relationship.

2. Offer Value: Networking is a two-way street. If you're always asking for help without offering something in return, people may be less inclined to assist you. Always try to offer value in networking situations, whether it's your expertise, advice, or connections.

3. Preparation: Often, individuals approach networking events unprepared and without having done enough homework about the people they're likely to meet or the companies they represent. This lack of preparation can lead to unproductive conversations and missed opportunities.

4. Overselling: Another common mistake is the tendency to oversell oneself or one's abilities. Remember, networking is about building genuine connections and relationships, not just about selling yourself.

5. Failing to Listen: Networking is not just about talking about yourself; it's equally, if not more, about listening to others. Failing to listen to others can come across as self-centered and uninterested.

How to acquire an investment banking job?

If you need to find a job asap, the following tips might help:

=> Recruit: Connect with recruiters and head-hunters who specialize in the finance industry. They have inside knowledge and can help match you with suitable job opportunities.

=> Internships: Many investment banks offer internships for students or recent graduates. This is a great way to gain experience and potentially secure a full-time job offer.

=> Networking: Attend networking events, join professional organizations, and reach out to contacts within the industry. This can help you build relationships and learn about job openings.

=> Online Applications: Keep an eye on job postings on company websites and other job search platforms. Tailor your application materials to showcase your relevant skills and experience.

network for investment job

Top Recruit Agencies in the US

  1. Robert Half: Renowned for their extensive network and industry knowledge, Robert Half specializes in recruitment across various sectors, including finance and accounting.
  2. IBsherpa: Specialized recruit services that cater to investment banking and management consulting. Their clients have secured positions at prominent banks and top-tier consulting firms, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey & Co., Bain & Co., and more.
  3. Russell Reynolds Associates: Known for their executive search services, Russell Reynolds Associates have a strong foothold in the investment sector.
  4. Spencer Stuart: Operating in 30 countries, Spencer Stuart is a global executive search and leadership consulting firm known for their proficiency in the financial sector.
  5. Michael Page: Michael Page is a leading professional recruitment consultancy specializing in the recruitment of permanent, contract and temporary positions for the world's top companies, including positions in finance and investment.

FAQ & Referral

Best investment banking networking toolkits!

  • Eventbrite: Attend industry-specific events to meet like-minded professionals and potential mentors. Eventbrite lists numerous business networking events that you can filter based on your interests and location.
  • Meetup: This platform offers opportunities to join groups of professionals with similar career interests. It's a great way to tap into industry-specific communities.
  • Business Cards: Old-fashioned perhaps, but still a powerful tool for making a lasting impression. Ensure your business card design is sleek, professional, and contains all the necessary contact information.
  • Personal Website or Blog: Showcasing your expertise through a personal website or blog can make you stand out in your network, attract potential employers, and demonstrate your commitment to your field.

How does the referral system work?

A referral system in the professional world involves recommending individuals within your network for job opportunities or business partnerships. They are highly valued as they come from reliable sources and often lead to a higher chance of success. Rewards may be offered for successful referrals, incentivizing this system.

Where can I network with investment bankers?

  • Financial Conferences/Events: Attending finance-related conferences can provide opportunities to meet and interact with investment bankers. Look out for events such as the Wall Street Journal's CFO Network Annual Meeting or the Financial Times Global Banking Summit.
  • Local Networking Events: Many cities host local networking events or banking coffee for finance professionals, which can be found on platforms like Eventbrite or Meetup.
  • Alumni Events: Universities often host alumni events allowing you to connect with peers who have moved into full-time investment banking.
  • Industry Associations: Joining associations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) can provide networking opportunities.

How to prepare for an investment banking networking event?

  1. Do Your Homework: Research about the event, the participants, and the topics to be discussed. Gain a solid understanding of current financial trends and news.
  2. Prepare Your Elevator Pitch: Develop a concise, compelling narrative about your background, skills, and career aspirations. The pitch should last no longer than a minute.
  3. Dress Professionally: Make a good impressions is crucial. Dress in business professional attire to get results, unless the event specifies otherwise.
  4. Bring Business Cards: Have a stack of business cards ready. They provide a tangible reminder of your interaction and make it easy for others to get in touch after the event.
  5. Ask Thoughtful Questions: Show genuine interest in the people you meet by asking insightful questions about their work and experiences, ask directly about internships.
  6. Follow-Up: To get a response, send a quick follow-up email or message thanking the person for their time and expressing interest in keeping the conversation going.

What do you talk about when networking investment banking?

When speaking with investment banking professionals, it's important to discuss industry knowledge, finance interests, and market trends. This includes mergers, acquisitions, regulations, and global events' impact on markets. It shows enthusiasm and fosters meaningful conversations with professionals. Inquire about their experiences and perspectives to guide person's career.

Also known as “investment banking coffee chats, setup informational sessions to learn more about the company without sending thousands of resumes. It offers a great time listening and asking questions and try to connect on a personal level.


Always remember to be authentic, persistent, and strategic in your approach. Never underestimate the power of cultivating genuine relationships with others in your industry. The opportunities & investment banking interviews are limitless if you're willing to invest the time and effort. Networking is an ongoing process that demands consistency and dedication - must be proactive and make direct requests.

However, it's important to remember that it's not solely about what others can do for you, but also how you can contribute value to their network. Ask for help with overcoming your weaknesses & find the odds in your favor. You don't have to attend a top university or business school to network successfully, work for bulge brackets or build personal relationships; your genuine interest and efforts will speak for themselves.

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