How to Reach out to people on LinkedIn

(Non-target trying to network his way into IB)

If I haven't 'connected' with someone on LinkedIn, is there a way to send them a message?

If I haven't met an alumnus of my (non-target) school, is it likely that I would be able to succeed in trying to 'connect' with them on LinkedIn?

My school does NOT allow undergraduates to use the alumni database (an incredible blow to networking efforts), so I need to find alternate ways of contacting alumni.

Thank you all for your time; I appreciate the advice.

Comments (18)

Apr 28, 2015 - 11:55pm

One way to message someone who's not a connection is to get a premium account (LinkedIn offers a one-month free trial). Then you can send anyone InMails. Keep in mind there's a limited number of InMails you can send depending on the type of premium account.

Apr 29, 2015 - 1:11am
  1. I definitely agree with previous posts that they would accept your invitation if you did send them a request. I think that being at a non-target would also increase the likelihood of them accepting.

  2. Does your school have an alumni group on LinkedIn? A lot of schools set this up to help students and alumni connect. If two people are members of the same group you are able to send them messages without having connected with them.

Apr 29, 2015 - 12:47pm

Definitely personalize the message that is sent when you send an invitation request. A custom message mentioning who you are / why you are interested in them is more powerful than the default "I'd like to add you to my network."

Apr 29, 2015 - 1:27pm

Nontarget who got the offer I accepted through a Linkedin networking contact... Send the invite with a personalized message such as below... Linkedin limits the characters on invites (copy/paste of actual message where someone responded):

I am a student at Uni and currently a [some intern] at [some job]. I noticed that you recently moved to bank (or some other reason like "noticed you are in the healthcare technology group" or "have been with Goldman for the last 7 years") and would be interested in learning more about your career should you have a moment to connect over the phone.

Then after they accept, you can send them a longer(ish) Linkedin message like you would any cold email. Keep those short too... like 4-5 sentences being a little more specific on why you reached out to them while suggesting a time to talk on the phone/grab coffee.

Seemed to work better than cold emails outright... like 40% reply after people accepted the request... probably a 50% acceptance rate on invites...

Apr 30, 2015 - 4:54am

Just make sure you don't spam people who are only tangentially related to you. I keep requests from people just because 'we went to the same uni'...yeah and so did another 40 000 each year. Don't be spammy.

Best Response
Apr 30, 2015 - 4:55am

How to network with people on Linkedin? (Originally Posted: 02/24/2015)

I'm currently a trainee auditor at a Big Four in London but really want to get into IB/PE/ER after I get my chartered accountancy qualification.

One of the things I've heard recommended a lot is to network with people in the industry I'm interested in. I have some connections from my university who have gone on to IB but I've also got some random connections on Linkedin, one of whom is for example an MD at a bank (no idea why this guy added me).

In any case I wanted to ask for advice:

1) What would be the best way of approaching someone like I describe above? I'm thinking of just sending a brief message saying hi and asking what kind of skills/experience he's looking for from someone of my background looking to go into an Analyst 1/2/3 role- does that sound good?

2) For people who are not my connections on Linkedin (but perhaps 2nd or 3rd connections), who would be the best to approach (say who work in a company I'm interested in) and how should I go about it? I'm thinking in-house recruiters are probably a good shot for asking some questions from, but is there anyone else?


  • 2
Apr 30, 2015 - 4:56am

that's speed networking, not real networking, unless you're likely to interact with these people in the future in a scenario other than you trying to get a job (read: money) from him or his influence.

Apr 30, 2015 - 4:57am

For those already connected with you ask them for a coffee. shit chat for 30min - make them like you. then at the end drop that you'd be interested in working for / with them.

For 2nd / 3rd connections here's what I did:
1. take name off LinkedIn
2. cold email the guy asking for coffee / call
3. same shit chat as above

Hope helps

The way Ah see it, is that it took a revolution f a bihllion people for your darn short to work out!
Apr 30, 2015 - 4:58am

Make sure you look at the amount of connections they have. If they have one or two hundred, they probably aren't into random people connecting with them or sending them messages. 500+? You should be ok, but be careful. Also, as info, if you don't want people knowing that you are looking at their profile, you need to adjust your settings. You can set it up so that it just says that someone viewed their profile, and doesn't include your info. I have mine set that way so that I can view the credentials of current employees in a role that I am applying for with a company. That way I can see how qualified I might be in that role, and what kind of fit it might be.

"Decide what to be and go be it." - The Avett Brothers
Apr 30, 2015 - 4:59am

How to Properly Network Through LinkedIn (Originally Posted: 02/22/2014)

Although this topic has been covered before, I feel as if a lot of the information on the site is a little outdated. I recently decided to start really using LinkedIn, and I'm trying to get a feel for the basics of networking on the site. I wanted to ask my fellow monkeys the best way to reach out to people properly on LinkedIn.

Is it weird to just send an alumni/fraternity member a random invitation to connect? And if not, what is the ideal thing to say in the message? Should the approach be similar to that of a cold email here?

Thoughts? All of your input is appreciated.

Apr 30, 2015 - 5:01am

How to Contact Someone on Linkedin About a Job? (Originally Posted: 12/27/2013)

I haven't been very active on Linkedin until now. There is an investment analyst position opening in my home town, which is extremely rare as it is a medium size city in the Midwest. I'd really like to get it as I would prefer to be closer to my family. I went to the same school as the PM originally but transferred after a few years. I'd like to contact him about the position but am not sure how to approach it. How do you guys initially reach out to someone?

Apr 30, 2015 - 5:03am

At the end of the day, you have to contact the guy. Linkedin or guessing his email based on the convention used. In my opinion, you shouldn't worry too much about how to contact the person and just do it. Worry about what you are going to say if he responds.

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