Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finding Contacts of Almost Anything

Recently I wanted to find phone number of someone who has given his phone number before, but has since switched to another mobile number. I only knew his name and designation, but never seen him. Fortunately, the person worked in the same company as mine. But the problem was there were quite a few number of people with the same name! and I didn't know any other details, designation unfortunately wasn't revealed in the company telephone directory. That's were I realised it can be so difficult to get someone's phone number despite hearing umpteen times Internet has brought the world closer. Frustrated, I just searched for and wow, I found that exact person's public profile with his designation and picture!

Similarly you must be desperately trying to find contact address of some company or person, may be you want to apply for job position that's not advertised, or you are business owner wanting to contact prospects, or whatever reason it is to find addresses. Here's a list of tools and techniques which you can consider to find addresses, telephone number or email address:

Social Media Sites

Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut, MySpace- these are just examples of few social networking websites that I bet most of professionals and individuals alike have started using. Often, you can find at least some basic details like picture, name of the person if you know their name. Just search for " Facebook" and you will find link to profiles. 

LinkedIn attracts many professionals interested in networking. So if you are recruiter trying to do a background check on person, Linked In can reveal host of past job details, network, qualifications in Interviewee own words.

Search Engines

If you know just the name of the person, you can start with it, put that in search box and see what it throws up to you. Depending on a name's popularity you may get multiple people and may have to spend some time checking each person.

Trying to reach someone within a company XYZ?
- Search for "Joined XYZ"
- Search by their designation "CEO XYZ"
- Search like (Firstname OR Lastname) AND "". Search engines also index email ids, so this little trick can get you personal email ids.


There are hundreds of forums on any conceivable topic. You can become a member of those forums and find quite many things you need. Suppose you want to contact someone within a company. Join some popular forum that has discussion on the industry the target company works in. Then you can post message asking for reviews about the company or directly, if someone works in that company.

Just a slight spin on above, if you know or have an idea of where normally a company's people hangout, you can also be at same place and strike conversation.

Ask Friends/ Colleagues

Sometimes, we under estimate what our friends or colleagues can reveal about a company or get you some contacts. Why not start with just asking them whether they know anything about Company XYZ or any contacts within that company?


Reverse Phone Detective: Find out the owner of any phone number or unlisted number.
Search Public Records: just enter name, and get access to many public records- Marriage, Death, Birth, Criminal records, etc

Do you have better way to find phone number, email or address of a person? I will be glad to read your comments.

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