Been using this site for a while now and figured it would be beneficial for me to give back a bit. For starters, I thought I would detail my experiences using linkedin and cold emails to land a summer offer.
- 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!