How To Find A Job Candidate’s Email Address

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If the candidate’s email address is out there on the web (it almost certainly is), you’ll find it using these 4 simple tricks.

Stylized at sign and question mark
Illustration: Christian De Pape

Got a name for a potential candidate, but no contact info? They haven’t accepted your LinkedIn connection request yet? They don’t pay attention to direct messages on Twitter? They’re likely to reject or ignore InMails? Not necessarily a problem.

Here are four simple tricks to help you dig up the candidate’s (or anyone’s!) email address:

Trick 1: Pick the easy pickings

Don’t miss the obvious: check the person’s LinkedIn profile. Even if they haven’t accepted your connection request yet, you might find it in their publicly-visible bio. Many LinkedIn users offer a brief statement indicating “how to contact me,” typically an email address.

I do – at least with my work email:

Screenshot of Christian De Pape’s LinkedIn bio, which includes his email address.

If the person owns a website, perform a WHOIS lookup. Often, this will turn up contact details – email address, phone number, mailing address – for the registered owner of the domain.

Bingo! You‘ve found my personal email address:

Screenshot of a WHOIS lookup displaying the registered domain owner of christiandepape.com

Trick 2: Take a good guess

Professional Email

If you know the person’s full name, and you know the company they work at, you’ve got a good chance of finding their professional email address. Most companies format addresses following one of these common formats:

  • FirstnameLastname@company.com
  • Firstname.Lastname@company.com
  • FirstinitialLastname@company.com
  • Firstname@company.com

To determine the correct format, search for the company’s web domain on Email Format, a free search tool:

Screenshot of Email Format’s email-format validation tool

You might also Google the potential email address, to see if it appears anywhere on the web. While it might not show up in the first few search listings, you might find it hidden on an obscure, lower-ranking page. Or often, it will appear in the company’s internal PDF documents that they don’t realize have been indexed by Google.

Personal Email

Reaching out to a potential candidate must often be done with some discretion, though – particularly if the person is already employed. That means seeking out a personal email address, which can often be more challenging to find.

There are many different email providers out there, but Gmail is especially popular with 1 billion active users at the start of 2016.

Try Googling: Firstname Lastname @gmail.com

Of course, you can also try: Firstname Lastname @yahoo.com, or Firstname Lastname @ outlook.com

No luck? Try Googling Firstname Lastname email filetype:pdf. This tells Google you’re searching for a PDF document. You know, like resumes, portfolios, employee directories, contact lists …

You found me:

An advanced Google search displaying only PDF documents

Trick 3: Validate

If you’ve narrowed the potential email addresses down to a few, test them out in a tool like Email Checker, VerifyEmailAddress.org, or Email Hunter’s Verifier tool.

Nope, that ain’t my address:

Screenshot of the Email Checker email address validation tool

Trick 4: Try out sourcing tools

Of course, if you’re regularly sniffing out candidate contact information, there are plenty of browser-based sourcing tools – free ones – that can help you. Some of the Recruiting Social team’s current favorites:

  • Prophet, a free Google Chrome extension by RecruitingBlogs
  • Rapportive, a Chrome extension which displays LinkedIn profiles directly in Gmail
  • Aevy, a freemium Chrome extension that offers “a simple way to search, find and get in touch with people.”
  • Hiretual, another freemium Chrome extension that helps make sourcing candidate information faster.

But free tools become paid tools. They get bought, sold, changed, or even shut down. And new ones are always cropping up. It’s a fast-changing space. SourceCon and RecruitingTools are good resources for sourcing tool information and news.

So, no more excuses. Get out there, dig up your candidate’s email address, and send them your message already!

Christian De Pape, Recruiting Social’s Head of Marketing and Content

About the author

Christian De Pape is Head of Marketing and Content at Recruiting Social. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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