Searching for a job can be a full time job. I’ve heard this more than once since I’ve started my job search. One of the best ways to get an in at a company is to befriend a developer that already works there. You can research companies online, find your target company, and search LinkedIn for developers that work there. Then what? Well, you have to find their email address and try to connect.
The Standard Way
How I’ve done this up to date, is with a combination of two Chrome extensions: Hunter and Rapportive. Hunter allows you to search any domain and the search results will include many email addresses of the folks that work there. If your target isn’t on the list, no worries – we can see the email format that is used by the company from the search results. Now we can use Rapportive in Gmail to ensure we have the right email address.
Let’s say our target company Apple, the results from Hunter may look something like this:
If our target is Steve Wozniack, our results from Hunter did not give us what we were looking for. But wait! We can see the format Apple uses and make an educated guess. When composing an email in Gmail, we’ll try firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient, and most of the time Rapportive will let us know if it’s a valid email address. We should see something like this on the right hand side of Gmail.
Success! We know the email address is valid! Now we can craft a nice email, ship it off, and wait eagerly for a response. The problem is, I haven’t had much luck with this approach. I’ve sent so many emails out to developers with not much of a response. Enter the sneaky way…
The Sneaky Way
After discussing my job hunt with a seasoned developer the other night at a meetup, he showed me a sneaky way to find another dev’s email address. The only caveat being, they must contribute to open source. My lack of success might be attributed to the fact that I have been emailing company email accounts. The aforementioned seasoned dev told me – better luck will come if you can find their personal email address.
This method all revolves around Github. You can either look up their company on github or google github + the dev’s name. The latter way will ensure you are going to get your target’s email address. Once you’ve found the dev’s account, find a repository they worked on. Make sure it’s not a repo they forked or you’ll wind up with many other email addresses (and not necessarily the email you wanted). Now you’re going to clone the repo, copy it, and head over to your terminal and type ‘git clone ‘. ‘cd’ into the project and type ‘git log’. This should bring up all the email addresses that have committed to the repo.
In my case, however, this just showed me the dev’s names and the commits they made to the repo. Supposedly, there was something wrong with the formatting. Luckily, my new friend gave me a line of code that did the trick.
git log --all --format='%cN %Cgreen<%cE>%Creset' | sort -u
After running this in the terminal, all of the email addresses from the commits to the repo were displayed! Usually, this technique will give us their personal email addresses and we can send unsolicited emails all we want! Evil laugh…
Now to get people to respond. It was said to go as high up as you can in your target company. If there is a CTO – go for them. If not, try a Director of Engineering or a maybe Senior Dev. Keep your email short and sweet. It should only take the recipient 20 seconds or less to read. Include a very brief introduction, a small compliment (I really liked your blog post on such and such), and an ‘ask’ (can I buy you a coffee this week?). If they agree, keep the coffee meeting under 30 minutes and don’t keep them too long – people are busy! Don’t even mention a job. Treat the meeting like you’re making a new friend. If all goes well, they will bring up the topic of a job opening!
Have you had success with this or another technique? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear about it. If you’re out there in the scary world of job hunting, hopefully this technique will help you! Until next time…Cheers:)