Containing over 722 million members, professional networking service LinkedIn is extremely popular around the world. It has proved itself to be a valuable tool for the modern job hunter, with three people being hired on the site every minute.
IB Insider brings you a step-by-step guide on how to use LinkedIn to advance your career – whether that is by landing an IB internship, getting a job in private equity, or simply exploring the wealth of professional opportunities that the platform has to offer.
1. Make your profile stand out
Although LinkedIn falls under the category of social media, it’s important to remember that it’s a professional site. You can use your profile to expand on your CV, showcasing relevant experience, skills and interests.
The addition of the Featured section on your profile is an opportunity to highlight any LinkedIn posts, links to websites, or any documents you would like potential employers to see.
This year LinkedIn added the #OpenToWork feature, which you can add to your profile and enables either recruiters or your entire network to see that you are available for hire. It’s best to specify your preferred roles and location, so that recruiters will see your profile in their searches for candidates.
2. Take inspiration from those around you
Ever wonder what your classmates from that first finance class are doing? Or what your fellow interns are up to nowadays?
LinkedIn is the perfect place to keep up to date with your professional network, and maintaining these valuable relationships can be as easy as inviting someone to connect or leaving a comment under an update.
Use your connections as inspiration to help you to discover your dream role.
3. Contact the right people
If you’ve found the company you want to work for, but aren’t sure how to get your foot in the door, LinkedIn can connect you to the people in the know. Utilising contacts is a great way to get into a company, as referrals are five times more effective than all other sources when it comes to hiring.
One of LinkedIn’s key features is being able to see where alumni from your school or university work. Once you’ve added your education history to your profile, when you look up a company’s LinkedIn page, you’ll be able to see how many people from your school, college or university currently work there.
Use this information and reach out to alumni – you’ll be surprised at how responsive they are.
4. Get to know the company
“Why do you want to work for our company?” is one of the most common interview questions, so it’s important to have a good answer at the ready. HR is always on the lookout for people who show real enthusiasm, and a great way to demonstrate your interest is by showcasing knowledge of the latest updates from the company.
Follow their LinkedIn page to stay on top of anything new that might be discussed in an interview, as well as any new opportunities that may come up. Goldman Sachs’ profile, for example, is regularly updated with a wide range of content for you to look through.
5. Stay up to date with investment banking
Another crucial part of successful applications is extensive industry knowledge. LinkedIn allows you to follow hashtags such as #investmentbanking and #finance, which is an easy and effective way to stay up to date with industry news items.
There are also several groups for financial professionals and aspiring investment bankers that you can join. Finance Club is one of the largest LinkedIn groups, having amassed over 1.3 million members, making it a great place to gain industry insights and to expand your network.
Alternatively, LinkedIn has a job search feature, through which you can filter your job hunt and apply directly for roles as soon as they’re posted.
Remember that LinkedIn might not be the biggest professional social networking website in your country – perhaps it’s Xing, perhaps it’s Maimai.
Nonetheless, utilising your network of contacts and researching companies are vital skills for aspiring investment bankers. Whichever platform you use, make the most of what it has to offer!
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