How to Find a Candidate’s Email Address Easily by Dino Kukić on Nov 28, 2018

When talking about contacting candidates, the first thing that comes to our minds will most likely be LinkedIn. However, in recent years a horde of people have been sharing their bad experiences which is causing the InMail response rates to be quite low due to templated and mass messages the industry is sending. So, typically, very low number of potential candidates will reply your InMails and it’s time to equip yourself with some advanced ways to find email addresses.

How to get an email address from GitHub profile

First things first, sometimes a user might leave their email address open and displayed on their Github profile page. If that’s the case, all you need to do is create an account if you don’t have one, sign in and voila.

However, most of the time, this will not be the case, so that’s when we need to roll up our sleeves and dig in.

1. Go to a user’s profile and find their username. It will be on the left-hand sidebar on the profile page:

finding github email

2. Once you have the username visit the following address:

The bold part is the username that should be changed when looking for someone else’s address.

3. When you visit that URL, all you need to do is press CTRL+F (CMD+F on Mac) and search “email”. Note that there might be multiple different email addresses, but in that case just check the “name” right under it to be sure who it belongs to.

finding email from github result

To make this process bit easier, faster and more comfortable, with this post we are including a Google Sheet template which you can find at the bottom of this article.

Use Contact Out – Chrome extension

Contact Out is probably one of the best tools out there for researching contact details using their LinkedIn profile. Sometimes, it will find only the company email, but you can also get private ones which have a Gmail, Yahoo or any other provider extension. After installing it, follow the next steps:

  1. Visit the LinkedIn profile of the person you’re contacting.
  2. Click on the Contact Out icon
  3. Click on Show to the get the Email addresses it has for this profile
contact out extension

Use Twitter Advanced Search

Occasionally, people might share their email address on their Twitter profiles, but in order to avoid being picked up by random bots, they would avoid using the commonly known and easily searchable email patterns @ and . (dot).

As a substitute, they might use at and dot or [at] and [dot] and to look for these, you can use the advanced search Twitter has. All you need to do is go here and enter the parameters as in the screenshot below.

twitter advanced search

Let’s see the results:

twitter advanced search results

One thing to note with this particular example is that the latest tweet is from 2013 which means that prior to sending, you should check whether the email still exists.

Use Google

Since Google had become a synonym for search, it should also be one of your resorts for finding emails. It takes effort, a little bit of knowledge of Google Search operators, but it’s definitely doable and once you get a good grasp of how they work, you’ll have one important skill more in your toolset.

find email using google search operators

There are few search operators used in this particular search:

  • Apostrophes – The phrase that must be included in search results
  • Brackets – Similar like in math, groups few things and is being checked first
  • AND – Two phrases that have AND in between have to be found together
  • OR – Either of the two

A great guide on Boolean search operators can be found here.

Use other email finding tools

There is a range of tools that are used by other professions such as marketing and sales that focus on finding a person’s email address. And, since the purpose is the same, they can be useful to recruiters as well. These will mostly work with you to find the email address a candidate has on their company domain. In addition, the way most of them work is by visiting all the websites they have in their database and then storing all the emails they find on that journey. Which also means, that, they might work better when searching for emails of people who work in non-technical roles such as marketing since others probably won’t have a need to have their work email displayed publicly. Either way, it’s worth a shot and here are some of the tools you could use:

How to verify the email address prior to outreaching

There is nothing more annoying than sending a well-prepared email in order to get a response from no one else than the Mail Delivery service informing you that the email bounced because it doesn’t exist. Hence, prior to sending it, it’s best to use some of the services that can help you validate the email:

Now, if you prefer to work in the comfort of Google Sheets, we have prepared the tiny tool you can use within this tool to check whether the address is valid or not. The sheet can be found here and, besides checking for the validity, it also helps you generate GitHub links where you can check for the email at scale. To check whether the email is valid, you only need to use the function =CheckEmail and choose the cell which contains the email address of the candidate.

Sales tools in service of recruiting

We can draw a lot of parallels between sales and marketing duties with recruiting. A great deal of tools that those professions use can be used when sourcing candidates as well. One such tool is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It will equip your Gmail with full LinkedIn profile together with other social media links a potential candidate might be using. Except for verifying the validity of the email you can also get better insights into what candidate prefers and how to approach them in order to increase your chances of getting a response.

linkedin sales navigator

When everything else fails…

Now, even with everything written above, one’s address can still be hard to find. This is where you can combine different things you have learned in this article. One tool I’d suggest is the Email Permutator which can help you generate all the variations of one’s email based on their first name, last name and company domain name. Once you do that, all you need to do next is put all the variations in the Google Sheet template above and check which one works.

using spreadsheet to validate permutated emails

From this list, you can see that there’s a whole industry when it comes to finding and validating emails and all of them have their pros and cons. So, what’s the most important here is to find your process and then find the tool that can help you automate and polish that very same process. Another way around, you’ll just be trying to adapt to the tool that doesn’t work for you or your workflow. Been there, done that.

One example would be, if you’re very good at researching and finding personal email addresses then all you need is a good tool that can check whether the emails you have found are still valid.

And one final thought for the end. Being great at finding email addresses is probably one of the most important skills a recruiter can have in the 21st century. After all, this type of communication, although it had many close calls, still remains a relevant communication channel.

Next stop for you would be crafting a good and personalized email that appeals to potential candidates and getting them to the next step.

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