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How to use LinkedIn to get interviews and land offers

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation
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Most students will make one of two mistakes when job-hunting:

1. They won't use LinkedIn whatsoever

2. They will use LinkedIn incorrectly

The following is a great article by a student who managed to get into a major IBank (GS/MS/JPM) from a "semi-target" school through very targeted and effective use of LinkedIn. I've added some additional comments and perspectives about what he did right, what he could have improved, and what not to do when using LinkedIn to get an interview.

Thanks to Wallstreetoasis (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/how-i-used-linkedin-to-get-interviews-and-land-offers)

A few comments on the article below:

1. Note the time he spent in preparing for this. This process takes time, effort, and organization. Figure out which firms you're targeting and be thorough in your research.

2. He focused on alumni. This makes a lot of sense; alumni are always more willing to help out students from their alma mater

3. He took advantage of LinkedIn groups to find people who might be helpful (and who were probably active on LinkedIn)

4. He included his CV. This is an example of "demonstrating your value" to a consultant/banker. While some will debate whether attaching a CV is right or wrong, an individual who has shown that they have the basic CV to get an interview is exponentially more likely to get positive responses than someone who is a complete unknown. An alternative is to use LinkedIn and a few lines in your e-mail focusing on your core benefits e.g. "I'm a McGill Engineering student with a 3.6 GPA and previous work experience in Finance". if they're interested, they'll click on your LinkedIn and view your profile.

5. He kept it short. The longer your e-mail is, the less likely it is to get read in full!

6. He used the e-mail as a segue into an 'informational interview', which can then turn into a recommendation once they've met you and (presumably) liked you.

The only comment I would add to this is to, whenever possible, personalize your message. Even if it requires narrowing down your list of people to reach out to, a personal touch is always appreciated and will go a long way.

To give a simple example, a girl recently reached out to me on LinkedIn with good qualifications and a professional, well-written note. But she didn't mention anything remotely personal to me - McGill, Oliver Wyman, The MCN, or anything else that was personally or professionally relevant. That told me that she was sending out mass mailings to consultants, and as a result I didn't see the point in taking the time to help her, when she didn't take the time to personalize her message.

Full article:

"Coming from a semi-target undergrad b-school, I had my hands full. Nonetheless, it all worked out for the best and I'll be at a top tier BB (GS/MS/JPM) this summer for IBD.

- I first decided to set aside a huge chunk of time to look up possible contacts.
- Hours upon hours I searched the web/linkedin/google/etc

Where to begin...

Create an excel sheet / access table / word document and start writing down every bank, consulting firm, investment firm you know of or wouldn't mind working for. I wrote down most BB and MM banks since IBD was target. After your list is complete, I went through my list and would type "School Name + Firm Name + LinkedIn" into google. Coming from a semi-target I would only get a handful or so people, which was manageable. I would then change my college to my high school in the search (or hometown, etc). I would open each person's page and figure out if they were relevant to my job search and if we had any "small world" type connections to talk about if we ever spoke. I kept track of everyone and eventually had a list of 200 hundred people at 50 or so banks. If you feel uncomfortable about these individuals seeing that you viewed their profile make yourself invisible in the settings or disable cookies and if you click on the linkedin in google you will not be signed in.

Also, I joined as many relevant groups on linkedin as I could, and would spend the time to go through the entire members list.

With my list complete, I used WSO to find the correct email formats for these people and after finding each individuals email, I began my cold emailing. I created a very generic email that all I needed to do was change the firm's name and the division I was interested in (IBD/S&T/PE/IM/Consulting/etc/). For example...

Dear Mr./Mrs. XXXXXXX (even if they graduated last year - always show respect),

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is XXXXXXX, a junior finance major at XXXXX and have developed an interest in XXXXXXXX. I was wondering if you had some time to speak on the phone within the next few weeks to discuss your experiences in XXXXXXX and any suggestions you may have as I approach this year's recruiting season. I have attached my resume for context and look forward to speaking with you soon.

I would sometimes make it a little more customized if they were some BSD, but also made sure to include my resume to show them that I was worth their time.

I received a 50% response rate by people more than willing to help and they usually commented on my resume, which is why I think that it is important to include. Nevertheless, they know what I want so there is no need to hide it. Also don't be discouraged, I would be emailed by MDs weeks later and they would apologize, saying they were traveling and couldn't reply promptly.

Either way, the networking is up to you but I owe my success to networking. Although these individuals were important and could pull weight, they did not contribute for the most part to OCR, which meant it was all on me.

With hard work comes luck!"

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Guest Dec 15, 2017