How I got interviewed by top companies like McKinsey, EY, Citi, JPMorgan, KPMG,..
It was in the 3rd semester of my MBA when I started applying for companies. I, simply, had no or little idea about the kind of roles that’d fit my expertise and interest. I started to converse with people on LinkedIn and learn about the kind of work that they do, in their respective roles. It was then I realized that more than the domain or salary, it was about the employer (read mentor) and the project of employment that I should be focussing on.
Neither the companies that came for placements at my institute were of my interest nor did they offer any role that created a sense of motivation for me to apply for them. Either way, I almost knew from the beginning that I’d be on my own in the journey of finding the right employer for me. Applying on open job portals is an exhaustive task and mostly not fruitful even if you think that the role has been created only for you. I, then, started looking for the solution to my problem and got interviewed by Birla (CFO), OYO (CTO office), JP Morgan, EY, Tata, Flixbus, Citi, GlobalLogic (CTO office), PwC, HDFC, TechMahindra, KPMG, Mckinsey, etc. and some Indian and European startups and VC firms.
Think of the process of applying to a position as a project for yourself and follow a methodology; create a plan. I took a short course on product management and followed an approach as if I was a product that needed to be sold to the employers.
Explore the roles available as per your interest and skillset.
Create an ATS friendly 1-pager resume based on the skills and abilities required for the roles that you discovered in step1.
Take a short course on copywriting and create an email template with an attractive subject line.
Create a list of email addresses using specific online tools (like Email address scraping chrome extensions).
Start sending emails to the people on leadership positions (CXOs) than those in the HR department.
Preferably, use your institute’s email address to avoid the chance of entering the spam list of addresses. Install an email tracker on your email client and observe the behavior of the emails (like percentage of emails read, time taken to respond).
Observe each and every word of the responses that you receive and make changes in the content of your email.
Make assumptions of the reader’s psychology, as per the received responses and act cool (and not too thankful) in responding. After getting an initial sentiment of interest, shift the burden of the ‘chat’ to the other side (because why’d they want to lose you?). Another level of ‘playing it cool’ may include using the first names and being choosy for the interview slots; all it with the balanced sentiment of words (never be rude). The tone/mood of your content can be checked by tools like Grammarly. – This step can be avoided in normal conditions and can be explored further if you want to play the god mode.
Iterate and repeat.
Some of the tools that may help fetching email addresses include:
Either you will be directed to someone who may figure out an open position fit for you and start the process of your evaluation, in which case you’ll have the upper hand of being ‘forwarded’ by someone in leadership (or influential) position.
Your email will simply be forwarded to the HR department, in which case the concerned person may feel obliged to respond to you. This will be helpful if you have a specific position in mind. It will still be better than applying on job portals.
Your profile will be considered for a position that was never advertised but was there in the process of consideration by the company/ management.
Time and day of the email matters. Monday and Friday are the ‘lazy days’. As per my observations, Tuesdays get the most emails opened compared to any other day of the week. I prefer to send my emails after 9:15 am and before 11 am.
A position might be created for you as per your excellence and leadership experience. This was an important case for me because I had a lot of leadership and co-curricular achievements in my profile.
You will be criticized for sending cold emails and not knowing what you want in your life, though you secretly know that this is a part of your big strategy. A humble turnaround to this would be to present yourself as enthusiastic but helpless and may follow an ask for mentorship by the one who criticized you.
Figure out how you’ll make someone to click on your email by simply reading your subject line.
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.
Do not hesitate on writing to the CXOs but make sure not to waste anyone’s time.
Ask the right questions.
Send emails on Tuesdays, in the early half of the day.
Put something on the table, then negotiate.
Be simple and straightforward.
Hit me on LinkedIn and I’ll try to help, provided you ask the right questions and have done basic research already.