Where’s Waldo? Check the White Pages!

What do you do when you have the name of a terrific potential candidate, but lack the necessary information to get in touch with him or her? Why not try a search or two? Online White Pages can often provide telephone number and address information to help you track down that elusive candidate. There are several resources that can assist you. But, before you traverse the United States, there are also a few tips to keep in mind. As with all searches, the more information you enter, the more focused your results will be. Indicating “Chicago” and “Illinois,” for example, will yield fewer returns than searching the entire state of Illinois. Specificity also applies to names. If the person for whom you’re searching is referred to in an article as “Chuck Smith,” chances are he goes by the name “Chuck,” as opposed to “Charles,” but you may need to check the listing for both in telephone directories. AT&T Anywho Info lets you search for people or businesses in a White Pages directory. Entering information in several optional fields, “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Street Name, “City or Zip,” and selecting a state from a scroll menu will return results, provided the telephone number is a published number. Yahoo! People Search includes similar search options. The fields “First Name,” “Last Name,” “City/Town,” and “State.” The only required information in order to search at Yahoo is “Last Name.” The “State” field requires entering the appropriate two-letter abbreviation, should you wish to search by state. Clicking on the word “State” returns a listing of abbreviations for all 50 states. Yahoo also includes an email search where, by entering a first and last name, you may be able to obtain an email address. However, such a search usually requires more information. By clicking on the word “Advanced,” you’ll be provided with additional fields. Completing as many of these as possible will facilitate your search. Switchboard.com’s “Find a Person White Pages” is similar to Yahoo in that the “State” field also requires a two-letter abbreviation, which can be obtained by clicking on the word “State” and viewing a list. In addition to a person’s phone number and address, a search result from Switchboard includes a category called “Email, Maps, and What’s Nearby.” Clicking on this may provide an email address. “People Search” at Bigfoot.com allows you to search “White Pages” and/or “Email” listings. Check one or both boxes, and enter information in the “First Name,” “Last Name,” and “City” fields. A state can be chosen from a scroll menu, which also includes the option “Any State.” As with all search tools, the more specific your entered information, the fewer?and most likely the more appropriate?your returned items. When searching “White Pages” and “Email” simultaneously, separate lists are returned. While the “White Pages” list returns only people with last names spelled exactly as entered, the “Email” list returns variations of the spelling as well. An independent search for an email address does not result in any additional specificity. Although this feature has its drawbacks, it also has advantages. If you’re not certain as to the spelling of someone’s last name, you may still be able to find the person’s email address using Bigfoot. Remember, as with printed directories, online White Pages vary in content. Because each directory can yield different results, it’s advisable to search through more than one when trying to locate information. And, since locating information might mean locating a candidate, paging through White Pages can be time well spent.

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Paula Santonocito is an e-recruitment strategist and columnist for AIRS, the global leader in Internet recruitment training, tools, news and information. AIRS News:www.airsdirectory.com/news/newsletters/ AIRS Training:www.airsdirectory.com/products/training/ AIRS SearchStation:www.airsdirectory.com/products/tools/searchstation/

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