Have you ever tried to contact someone but were not sure if you had the email address right? You guessed “First Name dot Last Name at Company Name dot com”. You sent the email…it did not bounce back but you got no response. There are ways to find email addresses sometimes but other times, you just have to guess.
above is the introduction to some putatively helpful advice on figuring out the email address for someone you are trying to reach. 60secondmarketer.com pulled the information from another blog dedicated to "using social media in the job search." I think the author is more interested in filling the idle hours for job searchers than helping them be more efficient.
since it's a blog dedicated to job searching, let's assume the goal is to make a contact with someone you do not know at a company where you wish to work. a cold contact. how un-social. so - you guess what the address might be and save it as a contact in gmail. then you use linkedin's "find contacts" feature to search your gmail for linkedin users. if your target is on linkedin and has that particular email addy registered, their name will appear in the results. name not there? try again with another email variant. be creative, and the fun can last for hours. and bonus - your gmail contact list grows too!
what if the target individual has not used the appropriate linkedin settings screen to enter other email addresses they use (or used)? (hint: it's under settings, personal, email addresses) you can try variants until you're pulling your hair out to no avail.
how about instead using social media in the job search? you have the person's name. so enter the name in people search. is it a common name like joe smith? the recent enhancements to people search let you filter to a granular level, so you're still likely to find the right person.are they on linkedin at all? if yes, you're golden. linkedin tells you who connects you. reach out to that person and you're no longer the friendless job hunter - you're a big bad networking force of nature and a skilled social media user.
if no, try twitter and facebook for common acquaintances. thanks to facebook's recent privacy changes, people's facebook friends are right out there for everyone to see (here's how to fix that, btw).
can't find any common acquaintances on other channels? go to the company website and find an email address for someone there. that will give you the formatting info you need without the trial and error of the suggested approach. no email addresses on the site? suck it up and call the company main line. tell the person who answers that the email you sent to joe smith bounced and you need to get his address. if she won't play, you don't want to work there anyway...