Networking meetings can be a highly effective way to find new job opportunities and build valuable connections, but how do you ensure you'll get an answer to your networking emails? Your email should be polite and professional, outlining your background, relevant experience, and why you want to meet.
How to Write a Networking Letter Requesting a Meeting
Provide some context as to what you're hoping to get out of the meeting, but you shouldn't say outright that your intention is to expand your network and discover job opportunities. That much is assumed. Instead, frame the letter as a request for a learning experience or a chance to gain insight from a respected mentor. Additionally, if it's not clearly obvious to the recipient, be sure to include how you met or received his or her contact information.
Close with an expression of gratitude and also a date as to when you will follow up. Remember that a mentor or a networking contact isn't necessarily obliged to meet you, so be sure to communicate that you're flexible and willing to meet at your contact's convenience.
Here is a networking letter example you can tweak to suit the contact you are emailing.
Networking Letter Example
11222 Happy Lane
Sunshine, Utah 33333
P: (333) 444-7777
Mr. Vance Dorza, President
Edgie Marketing, LLC
4545 South Main Street
Rainwater, MO 76777
Dear Mr. Dorza,
Our paths first crossed several years ago when you spoke to my marketing class at the University of Mid Nebraska. At that time, you challenged each of us to make a difference in the world and told us of your early struggles to not only obtain a degree but also launch your company.
Since that time, I've followed the rapid growth of your cutting-edge marketing firm. This past year I read that Edgie had been awarded an Addy for the innovative marketing campaign you created for WarmStone Creamery.
Your advice to find an internship in my senior year was invaluable to me. Upon graduation, my mentor at that firm introduced me to ACB Multimedia. For the past three years, I have worked in all facets of marketing: internet, multimedia, and print. I would now like to explore where my education and experience would be of the greatest value to a firm located in the St. Louis area.
I do remember you telling us you would always be happy to answer questions, so I kept your business card. I will contact your secretary in a few days to arrange a meeting at your convenience. I will gladly clear my schedule for whenever you are available. I look forward to seeing you again and gaining your insight into my career path.
Thanks so much for the great advice you gave me while at college, which has shaped my career so far.
Signature (hard copy letter)
If you're comfortable and confident on the phone, conducting a cold call campaign to ask for a networking meeting can be a very effective strategy. Very few people are willing to call strangers and ask for a networking meeting, but it is much harder to ignore someone who is live on the phone with you than it is to forget to respond to an email.