How to find contact information
There is no perfect solution of how to find people’s contact information. The following are a number of options to try.
Directly message on LinkedIn. Keeping track of people's’ careers is hard, so someone you already know may be doing something you’re interested in learning about. If you’re already connected to them, great! You can directly message them.
Check contact information icon on LinkedIn. Whether or not you’re connected, you can also check the contact information icon (right of their profile picture). They may have listed their email address, company website, or personal website. If only one of the latter two are listed, there’s more on those in option 4.
Mutual connections. Search the person’s connections to see if you have any mutual connections. Do you have a friend in common that you could ask to introduce you? People are more willing to respond if there’s a mutual connection and someone to introduce you to them.
Google the person. Search for a contact page on their personal website or look at their company’s website to see if their email is posted. Google their name in quotes and their organization name. You can also find company email structures and just plug in the contact’s name into it. For example, if all of the company emails are Firstname.Lastname@dundermifflin.com, then you can guess that Michael Scott’s email would be Michael.Scott@dundermifflin.com
Public social media pages. Especially if they own a business or use social media to promote themselves, many people often respond to direct messages. Alumni have DMed people on Instagram and gotten responses!
LinkedIn groups. Join a group that they are in and message them for free.
Scroll down to their interests and click “See All.”
Click the “groups” header (note some contacts are not members of any groups).
Click a group that you’d also like to join.
Once you are approved in that group (some are automatic), click into the group.
Search within the group for the contact.
Hover your cursor over the name of the contact.
Click “Message” when the pop-up appears.
You can now message them for free on LinkedIn!
Email hunting services. Email hunting services like hunter.io. Will search for emails for you.
Pipl. Search for people on the deep web. You’ll see their social media accounts and other websites where information is posted about them.
Connect with them on LinkedIn.
Quickly introduce yourself and why you are interested in them.
Wait and cross your fingers that they accept (but don’t hold your breath).
Join LinkedIn Premium to message anyone within Linkedin. You can get the first month free, but after that you’ll have to pay, so be willing to pay or set a reminder on your calendar to cancel after the free month is over.
Writing outreach emails
The subject line is important. Include how you are connected or what you have in common. People are busy and quickly scan their inbox for what’s important. Generic subject lines won’t catch their attention.
Questions About Medicine
Hoping to Connect
Friend of Sekani Carter Interested in Medicine
Eastside Alum Interested in Social Justice Career Paths
Sac State Student with Questions about Athletic Training
Use “Hello” or “Dear” not “Hi” or “Hey.”
Use their first name, not their last name. There is no need for honorifics. Exceptions are Dr., Reverend, Professor, Judge, which you follow with their last name
First sentence (maybe a second sentence too)
Write how you align/connect with them.
The more you have in common with them, the more they will feel connected to you and guilty if they don’t help you.
Focus on them. Write why you are interested in them (their role, their organization, their career path). What made you want to message them.
You can also add a second sentence to show support and establish ethos.
Example of finding an alum from your school who has a career path and hobby that are similar to yours:
I was very excited to see you on LinkedIn because I am a 2nd year at UC Merced and am interested in going into biochemistry research as a career. I also play basketball and saw that it was a passion of yours as well.
As a black woman interested in the legal field, I was excited to find your profile on LinkedIn.
Example of reaching out to someone who was recommended to you:
My mentor, Lisa Carter, recommended that I reach out to you because I am interested in a career in web design and she said that you would be an excellent person to talk to. My two favorite classes are computer science and art and I became interested in web design as a career path when I recently created a website for my father’s landscaping business.
Establish the purpose (that you want a conversation) and the subject (what are you hoping to learn about and your goals for the conversation).
Ask for what you want- a conversation.
I am still learning about different career options in public health and was wondering if you had 20 minutes to talk to me about your career and knowledge about the sector.
I am exploring what it would take to build a career as a physical therapist and was hoping to have a conversation with you about your experiences in school and in your career.
Offer how to communicate.
In Person: If you are in the area, have reliable transportation and the time, meeting in person is always better
Phone: If you are not near them or do not have the option to meet in person, ask for a phone call. Ask for 20 minutes. 20 minutes seems fairly small and easy to fit inot their week. However, most adults block their calendars throughout the day in 30 minute blocks. So if you ask for 20, often times you’ll still get close to 30 minutes.
Both: You can also offer both options.
Provide your availability
Offer many options over the next few weeks.
Don’t offer only one option because they might not be available during that time.
I have class from 8-5 during the week, but I am free to talk on the phone on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-3:30 and every day after 5.
I noticed that you live in Oakland. I am in Oakland every weekend and would love to meet up in person for 20-30 minutes, or if it’s easier, we could talk on the phone. I am free Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 - 5 or every day after 5:15.
Your cell phone number
Looking for even more tips on outreach emails? Read Adam Grant’s article 6 Ways to Get Me To Email You Back
After you send it
Put in your calendar a week from now, a reminder to re-email the person (if they don’t respond).
Gmail has a Nudge option that you can turn on, prompting you to follow up with someone if you don’t receive a response.
Reply to the original email.
Example of a reminder email:
I’m following up in regards to my last email about setting up a time to talk about criminal justice reform. I know that you are very busy, but I would really love to speak to you if you have 15 minutes. I am free most days after 3. I hope to hear from you.
Thank you in advance,
Make sure the original email is included.
Q: What if they don’t respond after a reminder email?
A: You can try one more time if you are really interested, but after a second reminder email, it’s time to stop.