Cold calling etiquette


I’m currently taking a gap year (unexpected personal issues) and well I’m trying to get work experience in an investment banking firm. Having no family contacts and little experience as a pre-uni student, I feel that my only option left is to cold call as many banks as possible. I’ve created quite a long list of smaller boutiques (doubt i’d get any experience in a large BB) and after having a search on LinkedIn and came across a senior member of Rothschild.

Anyway…I was just doing a bit of searching on Facebook and typed in his name and its the same person. I don’t have a direct phone number for him, so would a private message on Facebook just be going a bit too far in terms of cold calling and almost stalkerish?

Otherwise does anyone else have any tips on how to speak directly to someone other than Human resources?





Hey there,

Good initiative. Best approach would be to email the person first and ask if you can have a brief chat over the phone. My advice would be to get in contact with people that lie within the Senior Associate - Director levels of the hierarchy, MDs and Heads of groups may are less likely to give you time, unless the company is very very small, having said that it wouldn’t hurt to try.


  • My approach is normally to ask for some time on the phone for a chat to ask some questions with regards to their line of business or the firm they work for.
  • A more direct approach may work as well, asking if they offer ad-hoc/off-cycle internships.
  • Make the email brief.

1st paragraph

  • Introduce yourself, very briefly
    2nd paragraph
  • Express your reasoning behind getting in contact
    3rd paragraph
  • Say thanks for reading and close it out

Email should not be anymore than literally 100 words… less is more…


  • Do not send 1000 generic emails to people within in the same firm during a short time period, it will look unprofessional and annoy someone, and you are more likely to make a bad name for yourself.
  • Do not make the emails too long
  • Do not send an email off that you haven’t checked with forensic attention to detail

If you are lucky enough to get a response from somebody, then…

Calling Etiquette

  • Very dependent on how the conversation starts flowing

The approach I tend to use…

  • I try to build conversation around their business area and ask “intelligent” questions, that show I have a good understanding and keen interest in their line of business
  • After having hopefully impressed them with good questions, I then ask them about junior opportunities/internship opportunities.

I would advise against straight up cold calling through switchboard, unless you are super confident and know exactly what you want to say. The email approach ensures their complicity and reduces the likelihood of you pissing anyone off and making a name for yourself…

I would avoid trying to get in contact via Facebook.

If its of any use I could PM some examples of emails I have sent…

Hope this helps


Thanks for such a great response! If you could pm me some examples of the emails that you have sent that would soo appreciated.
I think I’ll try your email approach. How much success have you had in doing so?


Hey Rafu, how successful was this? Rafu


Hey Rafu,
Was this a success with Rothschild?