Before the internet, finding a contact name of someone inside a company required a lot of work. Today, there are tools you can use to simplify the sleuthing process and find people inside a company you would like to work for!
[UPDATED January 2018]
Of course, LinkedIn is the go-to tool for finding people.
Basic and Advanced Search
From the top search menu, type in the name of the person or company you want to search. You may want to start with company search to see who you know inside the company first. Those are your strongest allies.
Look over to the right and you’ll see the options to refine your search criteria by first name, last name, company (past or present), job title, industry, location, and school. Note this easy way to search for connections of a specific person. You can also search for people by level of connection (1st, 2nd, 3rd).
Who would have thought that a simple Google search might uncover someone’s email address. Well, it’s worth a try! Just type in the person’s name and the word email and see what shows up!
You’re thinking “but Facebook isn’t professional.” We all know this. But when push comes to shove, who are the people most willing to help? Your friends and family. So try searching Facebook to find names of people you want to connect with. Then ask a friend for an intro via email. Because you can. You will see the people with mutual connections first, but don’t overlook the option to search “Find all people named…” at the bottom.
Twitter, as you may know, is my favorite network! It is open and I’ve said before, people using Twitter are generally pretty open to networking, otherwise, they wouldn’t be there. There are at least two options for searching for people on Twitter.
First, use the search box. Note: look down below to see the option to “Search for all people for Sally”
If this doesn’t work, you can try the Twitter’s Advanced Search (it isn’t easy to find it, so I linked it there for you). For best results, enter the person’s name in the “this exact phrase” box. If or when you find someone, send them a tweet which may look like this: “Would love to talk with you about XYZ company @Sally S”
Google Plus is another open network! Many people with Gmail accounts will have a minimal Google Plus account.
No email Address, No Problem
So if I ever hear you say, “I don’t know anyone inside a company” again, I’m going to scream! Find them, ask for an introduction via email and call them! Voila, you’re connected!