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Reaching out to people on Linkedin as an experienced Hire

Bain BCG Experienced Hire Industry experience Mck RolandBerger
New answer on Sep 03, 2020
3 Answers
6.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Nov 27, 2017

Hi all,

I am an experienced hire (3 years of experience) and actively reaching out to people on Linkedin hoping to get an interal referral to HR. I am wondering how to achieve this without coming off too strong and appearing transactional. I haven't had a lot of success so far particularly with Partners that have told me to apply online because that's how they keep track of their applicants. In fact, I've had slightly more success with consultant levels not higher.

How does something like this sound?

"Hi X, I'm an experienced professional from healthcare very interested in transitioning to management consulting (particularly firm X). I am focused on the X office and would very keen to have a discussion about your experiences and opportunities. Would you be available to have quick call sometime?"

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replied on Nov 27, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Your e-mail is good. Also, you are right - the conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Dec 07, 2017
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

there are a couple of things you could improve in your approach; the main ones are:

  1. You should not target partners, unless you have a very strong personal connection with them. Project Leader/Principal at BCG, Engagement Manager/Associate Principal at McK would be a better target.
  2. You should not send LinkedIn messages – emails are better. There are ways to easily find the emails of everyone on LinkedIn
  3. It sounds you do not have (or at least you are not mentioning in the message) any direct connection with the people you are writing to. It is far better to use experiences in common as a connection element in the message.

The reason why contacting partners would not be ideal is that while the higher is the consultant in the ranking, the higher are the chances the referral will work, the higher is the consultant in the ranking, the lower is the expected response rate from your customized emails. You may want therefore to balance the two effects with middle-upper contacts, unless you directly know a partner or have a strong connection with him/her.

With the correct approach, you should get an average 30% reply rate. If you get less than that, it means there is space for improvements.

I agree with the points mentioned by Vlad; however you could easily find referrals even without attending meetings, following three steps

1. Identify who are the people who could more easily help you

2. Write them a customized cold email

3. Have a call with the consultant, and indirectly ask for a referral

You can find more info at the second message at the following link:

For further clarification, feel free to message me.

Hope this helps,


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Anonymous replied on Sep 03, 2020

Dear A,

I would recommend you to reach out to partners through your internal network, not directly, otherwise your chances are low.

If you need any help with networking or any further advice, feel free to reach out.


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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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