One very popular item Sourcing Specialists are asked to find are email addresses. I often start my sourcing process with an email search to network within the industry of the position I am staffing. What Boolean String is going to return email addresses?

The most obvious technique would be to include the term “email” within the string. However, this brings very limited results.

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We could try to hit on the email address specifically. Remember, Google does not recognize the @ sign. It also is supposed to support the * only with spaces on either side of the asterisk. However, it appears that some versions of the @ sign are being supported. I did hear that it was being integrated due its use by Twitter.

*@gmail.com | *@*.com | @*.*

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You are going to get some hits on this. However, you are likely to pull a lot of false positives as well.

We can target some specific, popular email addresses in our boolean. This will only be limited by how many root emails you can come up with.

gmail.com | me.com | hotmail.com | yahoo.com site:linkedin.com nashville tennessee mechanical engineer

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This is actually a pretty good strategy if you know the root for a company email. Email Format is a good source for this project. It will also provide you the format of the entire email, ie firstname.lastname@companyroot.com/edu/net. Let’s try out an email for Citibank. Their root is citi.com. Pair it with a site search.

citi.com site:linkedin.com

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This technique is actually giving us pretty good results.

Next, let’s think more about the syntax people would include when writing their email address on a web page. This is actually one of my favorite ways to find contact information. What type of phrase might people use when giving out their email address?? What I have found to be popular: Contact me at, Connect with me, etc. In fact, it is my standard to use “contact me at” in a search when looking for contact information. This is not specific to emails.

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In this example, we did not pull any emails! And it looks like “connect with me” may be somewhat of a dead end.

I want to take this one step further. Some strategies may be better than others depending on what you are trying to accomplish. ¬†Are you looking for a specific person’s email address? Are you looking to network with a company or in a specific location/industry?

If you are building an email list, I suggest using an email grabber. There are many versions FOR FREE. I use Outwit Hub. All you have to do is plug in your boolean and let the software do the work. You can grab the emails and then export them to an Excel spreadsheet for further use.

Here, I have opened Outwit Hub and entered the Google search screen.

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Next, I input my boolean string. I’ll use one from above and press search.

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To see what emails are on the page, I select emails from the upper left hand corner.

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From here, I make sure I am going to collect the information. I then begin to scroll through the pages of results and collect data.

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Once I am happy with the number of results, or I have exhausted the search, I simply press export. Select Excel and save the spreadsheet to the appropriate location.

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Whew…that was quite a bit to cover! As always, regardless of the strategy you use, make sure you pay attention to the results you pull. Tweak your search string to better serve the purpose you are currently sourcing.

Happy Hunting!

 

 

 

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