Once you’re convinced that informational interviewing is an important part of your job search, the natural next question is how to get informational interviews. An informational interview starts with reaching out and asking for one, and unless you have a personal connection, reaching out usually starts with finding an email address.
Here are the tools I recommend using to find their email addresses, so you can reach out and make a personal connection before applying:
Tools I’ve personally had positive experiences with:
- ContactOut is a very useful Chrome extension that gives you email addresses for most people when you’re browsing their LinkedIn profile. It will cut you off and try to make you pay after a while, but you can get a lot of use out of it before that happens.
- hunter.io is a bit harder to use well, but doesn’t have the same possibly privacy concerns as some other tools on this list. With a free account, you can check what a company’s email format is from the home page, and then you can use their email verifier to see if your guess has a high chance of being correct.
Tools I haven’t tried yet, but have seen mentioned positively at least 3 times:
- Nymeria is another option – I’m not sure if it starts as free or $9/month, but I’ll be checking this out in the future if I run out of other options. Many of these tools are trying to sell to sales teams or recruiters, so the price is very high after the free trial, but their lowest plan is very affordable.
- Interseller is targeted at sales teams, so they have a weeklong free trial for finding emails, but after that the lowest price is $50/month.
- Rapportive was one of the best tools for finding emails before it was acquired and changed by LinkedIn. Now, you can’t enter email addresses directly, but if you have the plugin installed and enter an address in Gmail, it will populate a picture/data if the email address is known to LinkedIn. So, by addressing a Gmail message to a few guesses in a row, you can try to find an address.
- Mailtester is a free tool for helping confirm your guesses at someone’s email address, but doesn’t help you tell what to guess.
As a final note, the best tools to find contact information change rapidly, so if one of these isn’t working for you, or you find a great alternative of your own, please let me know and I’ll update the list!