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Hey Guys,

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.

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!

10 2

Comments (46)

  • GetOnTop's picture

    Soooo this led to an offer how? I get that you got a 50% response rate, that's great, but I'm assuming they didn't just reply saying, "Hi XXXX, I like your initiative, here's a job offer!"

  • swagon's picture

    Count Drachma wrote:
    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.

    yo mane, this aspect of networking into IB is hotly debated, and I think the issue will never be settled. but most peeps done told me don't attach it, and to take the advice approach and steer clear of hinting at recruiting, at least at first. gucci.

  • Count Drachma's picture

    As I said, networking got me to the next steps in the process... an interview. Not sure if you would like me to go over how to dial the phone and talk to someone. Also not sure if you want me to go over each interview question and my answers.

    So to answer your question. This led to an offer by my contacts liking me, seeing my drive, and finding out I'm a sociable smart kid. I then was referred for an interview. Then a superday. Then an offer. Didn't think I needed to walk through the interview process.

    The point of my post was to provide new monkeys with an idea on how to begin their networking. This worked for me, and I hope it works for others.

  • GetOnTop's picture

    Count Drachma wrote:
    As I said, networking got me to the next steps in the process... an interview.

    No, you didn't say that in your post. You said:

    Count Drachma wrote:
    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

    Lol, I'm just busting your balls man there's no need to get pissy. Clearly you asked them what kind of skills the company was looking for, how you could optimize your resume for their recruiting, firm-specific stuff that would help you in the interview, etc., but your post makes it sound like simply using Google to send cold emails landed you a good internship.

  • Rambo's picture

    One other thing I would mention about LinkedIn: It's a lot easier for the person to take note of your message. When you send it to their work e-mail, it might get lost among the hundreds of others of messages. For LinkedIn, however, your message might be the only one in their inbox.

    Good job on the 50% response rate. I noticed it too that my LinkedIn response rate is exponentially higher than me e-mail response rate.

  • Fanz's picture

    Good article. I recently lost my job and have been struggling in the tough market.

  • JDimon's picture
  • hot1590's picture

    When I cold emailed as a sophomore, I was straight up front and attached my resume. Within 40 emails and 20% response rate I got an internship at a boutique. FYI, I go to a semi target, 3.7 gpa. Now, when I asked people for an advice on cold-emailing, those who haven't done it told me to ask for an informational interview first. On the other hand, those who had success with this told me to just ask for it and send your resume. I guess this wouldn't have worked if my gpa was low/my school name wasn't as reputable, which could mean your cold-emailing content really comes down to how competent you are.
    In conclusion, congrats.

  • KKS's picture

    Nice post. I am doing the same right now. Did you ever find any contacts whose e-mail address does not match the format on WSO? I keep running into this.

  • Count Drachma's picture

    Some firms include middle initials which kind of screws everything up. Additionally, older employees that were at a bank or firm for a long time might have an old email from a pre-merger. This happened to me for JPM.

    If that happens, I would re-search on WSO or simply used Linkedin and ask that they reply to my note to my email address. That would force them to use their email to send me one.

  • blindthoht's picture

    Great post and congrats!
    Thanks for your share of the story. On the other hand, it's amazing what you can get when you combine motivation and Google.

    couldn't let go of my pair of aces...

  • Powa23's picture

    Thank you, that was super informative. I admit I could have been using Linkedin better. The ability to search up alumni through one resource is just spectacular!

  • Mr. Hansen's picture

    Nice post. I've also became an advocate of attaching a resume with the initial contact email. It's easy for a person to ignore your email, but if they see your resume and realize you're legit and worth their time, they might help you out.

  • Anacott_CEO's picture

    I don't think this warrants a long post, this isn't a difficult concept whatsoever, but congrats.

  • Oscar_chow's picture

    Thanks that email format is helpful, although it says I have to be a premium member on Linkedin to message people I don't know, lame! I was going to ask, do you think it's worth mentioning I have secured an internship with a BB firm this summer in the email, perhaps to add more credit to myself?

  • In reply to Anacott_CEO
    GetOnTop's picture

    Anacott_CEO wrote:
    I don't think this warrants a long post, this isn't a difficult concept whatsoever, but congrats.

    Better delete this post...someone is pretty liberal with their use of monkey shit in this thread if you question this guy's genius hahahaha

  • Count Drachma's picture

    FYI - wasn't me GetOnTop.

  • Gunther's picture

    Thanks Drachma. This was very helpful.

    This might seem simple, but not the the newcomers to this site and networking. So Thank you.

  • Ricqles's picture

    this was what i did back in the days...some people have it way easier but dedication pays off

  • Mr.Mathie's picture

    Nice post. Certainly reminded to keep a solid linkedin profile and to spread the usefulness of it.

    Mr.Mathie | Ideas are nothing without execution - Jeux de Commerce Central

  • In reply to swagon
    Johnny Ringo's picture

    swagon wrote:
    Count Drachma wrote:
    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.

    yo mane, this aspect of networking into IB is hotly debated, and I think the issue will never be settled. but most peeps done told me don't attach it, and to take the advice approach and steer clear of hinting at recruiting, at least at first. gucci.

    Was that even english? How does one "done told me"

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • SlikRick's picture

    Used the same tactics to secure my current Boutique Consulting Firm offer. Definitely utilize LinkedIn as much as possible, before it gets "priced-in" and every hipster gets the idea. The previous user that mentioned Sales is spot on. Except instead of needing to close multiple sales, you only need to close one, so be patient. Some things:

    1. If you sign up for an account, you get some useful tools. Your profile shows everyone who has checked out your page, including the Bankers/Consultants you've researched. You also get 3 InMails, which are more effective than email, and if it garners no response, LinkedIn "refunds" the InMail. No risk.

    2. Attaching the resume works both ways. I'd say you should attach it, just because it let's the person know what you're up to. This is especially true if you're cold-emailing an HR person for "advice."

  • tyrets's picture

    This is a great post and shuld be used as a good guideline for prospective recruits. I'm going to add my two cents on the attach resume thing.

    I view it as this: attach the resume and ask for what you want, diplomatically. Don't cold email someone and ask for a job, but I don't think asking for their help is out of the question. I would much rather receive a more agressive-type email from a kid who wants something than a timid email - even if I have no f*cking clue who they were. You're going to be selling something in your career - show the skills you'll need to utilize to get what you want. It carries over exponentially - just be aware of what's rude and inappropriate and what is proactive.

  • Probabilitypossibility's picture

    50% response rate? you must have an impressive resume

    I used to be indecisive, now I'm just not sure.

  • monkey in suit's picture

    great post man...Linkedin is a great way to find contacts

  • Chazz Reinhold's picture

    Did any of you guys pay to send unlimited InMails?

    Damn you Rodger!

    My WSO Blog

  • In reply to Chazz Reinhold
    rothyman's picture

    SynergyWeek wrote:
    Did any of you guys pay to send unlimited InMails?

    I'm pretty sure theres no option for unlimited. 50 or 75 is the max.

  • mhurricane's picture

    In.

    The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

  • MonyetProboscis's picture

    Thanks for the post and congrats!

    What advice would you have on the timing of when you contact your insiders?

    Would it be better to talk to them before submitting your application to their bank, so it's not too late to make tweaks they suggest? Or better to do it after submitting the application, this way they can just make a referral to HR (if they like you) and you'd already be on their database?

  • hopesanddreams's picture

    Sorry to bump an old thread but when sending out your networking emails what did you put in the subject?

  • In reply to hopesanddreams
    JimmyDnFFX's picture

    I've run into mixed results with LinkedIn. I have had more individuals add me to the network than write back from InMails. However, I've gotten some good results, which translates into, folks who have responded, offered advice, offered contact information, etc. The issues I'm running into are - creating a balance in keeping my network going without annoying my contacts and folks who add me to their network but don't respond to the email or inquiry with anything specific. I realize it's partly a numbers thing and partly miscellaneous reasons for "no response." I guess the biggest hurdle is finding out how to maintain your contacts without annoying them but making sure you continue to build the relationship. I mean, these folks are virtual strangers, even if they are alumni. Any suggestions?

    "Now go get your f'n shinebox!"

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    The Auto Show

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    I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG

  • Something Creative's picture

    "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

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    "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less."

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