Github Recruiting: Retrieve profiles with emails

Alright, so I am back in 2012, close to a year after I wrote my first blog post Github Recruiting. Since then, I have been researching the topic a little more on my free time, now that I am no longer actively engaging in headhunting. That brings me to this blog post today. I would like to share with you some advanced, yet simple skills to add to your recruiting arsenal, when it comes to using Github. This will explain the usage of Google to retrieve Github profiles with e-mails. 


So right now there is no way that I know of to search Github for profiles that specifically have e-mails attached to them. I think that would be counter productive for users on their site if that was the case. It would be too easy for lazy recruiters to get ahold of and spam users. With that being said, we can still outsource this challenge to Google search for the solution, by using a boolean string.

The term “Boolean,” often encountered when doing searches on the Web, refers to a system of logical thought developed by the English mathematician and computer pioneer, George Boole (1815-64). In Boolean searching, an “and” operator between two words or other values (for example, “pear AND apple”) means one is searching for documents containing both of the words or values, not just one of them. -“what is boolean?” by searchCIO

The above definition does a decent job explaining the basis of boolean. However, “AND” as an operator is elementary. We will be using operators such as “site:” and “*” to tell google to  retrieve specific results.

Since I want to keep a theme in my “github recruiting” series (authorization purposes), I decided to tailor my search to find something closely related to Lorenzo Pasani aka Zeelot3k. I used him as an example last year.

A year ago, when I was actively working with Lorenzo to try and get him into, he was accepted officially into the Kohana Organization as an open source developer to extend and enhance the core framework. Please do not be frightened by the term “Kohana”. It is simply a PHP5 framework. If we wanted to, we could simply use PHP as a search term. But we wouldn’t find Lorenzo on the first page. This is due to ranking concerns.

Retrieve e-mails:

In the image below, is a google search that I am going to use, and in this image there is five things that I will point out for you. So that way we’re both on the same track.

The above string looks pretty simple right? If it doesn’t now, it will as you continue to read.


This is telling Google to specifically search inside the github site. No exceptions. Also known as X-Raying or to X-Ray in the Sourcing community.

2. kohana

We are telling google that we would like to find profiles that consist of “kohana”. For your experience you are welcome to plug-in other programming languages you may be looking for. Such as C++, Python, PHP, etc. You can also search for two or more by typing Python JavaScript. The space in between these two terms is automatically telling Google to use the “AND” operator. If it makes you feel comfortable at first, go head and put Python AND JavaScript.

3.”email *”

This little phrase is the magic. This is stating to Google to look for a title “email” and find profiles with actual e-mails on the profile by using the * operator. However, it does require you to have a user account, to see e-mails or else it will look like this: {email} 

(thank you Shane Bowen for your assistance)

4. “location * ca”

  • Pay attention to the quotes. You  need these quotes in order to tell Google to search github, logically with the above phrase. Without the quotes, location, *, and ca would be separated, and not get the results you are looking for. Each of them would be considered a term in itself, for Google to search for instead of a phrase.
  • With the word location we are telling the search to pay attention to the “title” structure of the page, location is one of the titles.
  • the * operator is simply telling Google to please search for location ____, CA. CA being California. In this case * is a placeholder for any city in California. If we wanted to be more specific and search for San Francisco, California then it would look like “location San Francisco, CA”

5. “member since *”

This is optional, but it does help. The reason why we are using this is simply because we want to bring in profiles only. Without this phrase, we may get 2-3 results in our list that may not be a profile. “Member Since” is an actual “title” within the title structure of the page and it is specific only to organization & member profiles. The * is simply a placeholder again to represent the variable. In other words, “member since December 28th 2010”

(again, thanks to Shane Bowen advice)



Title Structure:

Thank you to Jennifer Bowen for explaining to me eariler through a comment, in greater detail about “Title Structure.”

Jennifer says

If you right click on a webpage and “View Page Source” you will see a bunch of information at the top that is called the Meta Information. Within that will be a tag. Whatever is in between those tags is what Google sees as the title when you use the intitle: command.

If (in rare instances) a website has not created a title tag then Google determines what the title is and we have no way of knowing. They may use the meta, an tag or simply random text. But this will be rare and most sites will have title tags.

Thank you Jennifer for your explanation. That clears up a lot for me when it comes to titles. To the audience: this is extremely beneficial for you, as you gain confidence in sourcing and decide to take your skills outside of Github. Remember to “View Page Source” for an understanding of what terms you would use to search for when using Boolean strings.


So there you have it. One more trick up your sleeve to make you one step closer to a sourcing ninja. I hope that my time spent researching this information will provide value to others reading this. Even if just one person was able to gain something from this and apply it, I would be grateful and fulfilled. Let this knowledge have effect on you, and enhance your abilities for the future. Just make sure you pay attention to who you’re contacting. You don’t want to pull another Groupon Recruiter contacting the creator of rails for a junior Rails role. :)


Groupon Recruiter contacts Rails Creator to fill a Jr. role #fail

This happened seven months ago.

A Groupon Recruiter was roaming through github looking to fill a position without paying close attention to who he was actually contacting. Well he was in for a surpise because he got blasted. Check it out!

Groupon Recruiter to David (dhh)
Hi David,
I came across your profile online and wanted to reach out about Development
Opportunities here at Groupon. The company is growing, and we’re always
looking for folks with solid skills that can make positive contribution to
our continued success. Any chance you’d be open to a quick conversation
about opportunities, or for any possible networking potential? If so, let me
know when you’re free and we can set up a time to chat. Also, if you are
interested, it would be great if you could forward a current resume over
that I can take a look at. I look forward to hearing back from you! Please
let me know if you have any questions.
the above picture was a hilarious meme on dhh’s github post.
Check out his blog post called “Why are technical recruiters so clueless?” It gives some insight into the minds of software engineers when it comes to the topic of recruiters.

Resume Advice for Software Engineers

As a recruiter I have come across a lot of intelligent men and women in the tech industry who are out there attempting to try and land a great job for Yahoo!, Digg,, Pandora and many others. But what they don’t realize is, RESUMES are the first source of concern to these type of companies. It’s the very first thing that they look over to choose whether to proceed to an interview over the phone, or drop your resume into their e-mails trash.

With that being said, I am going to take it as my responsibility to share helpful tips that I have. Being a recruiter who looks over hundreds of resumes a week to fill roles may actually be of some service.


A theme is very important to have in a resume. If you can keep a theme going in the area that you are looking for a role in, your on the right track. For instance if you are looking to do a front-end role then you better have a theme that can support your efforts. We as recruiters need to see a lot of JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, website optimization, and also showing signs staying up-to-date because front-end technologies are constantly changing here on out.


Education can go two ways. Either you have come from a top 10 tech university with a computer science degree,  physics degree or something along these lines.


If you didn’t have the ability to go to a top 10 school of some sort or didn’t go to school at all, we need to see some type of real life experience. We need to see passion.

If your going for a front-end role, maybe you have some open-source code that you have leaked to the public community of developers. Or if your role is that of an SA then you might have started doing some real life experience work at some decent companies and are strong in your ability to perform the job well.

Open Source Code

Here is where I will begin to show you some visualizations of what a good resume can consist of, if you have some open source code.

Here is a friend of mine who I have helped modify his resume. Before I started working with him, his resume was kind of dry, he has a lot of experience and passion for what he does, but his resume did not portray that. It had no links or information about what he has done or what he really enjoyed doing (coding for a hobby and releasing it on

As you can see from the above we added a summery that can show evidence of his passion for coding. We have a github profile link, a efficient and direct statement that expresses his passion and even shows that he stays up-to-date by learning new technologies. This is money!

Down below you can see how many public repositories he has and even how many people are following him. These are subjective as far as numbers go, however, they can still be used to influence someones idea about the candidates capabilities. It’s money!

lorenzos profile

No No’s

General no no’s I can think of are.

  • Please do not put on your resume that you know how to use Microsoft office. I have friends who have sons and daughters who are like 7-8 years of age who know office. Putting this on your resume does you no good what so ever.
  • Please keep your resume to one to three pages. Past that, it gets kind of boring.
  • Keep it simple, keep it direct.
  • “Objectives” this is personal opinion but I think they are pointless. Don’t need them. They waste space.
As of right now I think that’s all I have for now. Remember this is my opinions based on what I have learned and experienced. I hope it carries some value for you as you read it, and that you can use it in the future to land that awesome job you have been wanting!
Good luck, and God bless – sharustar
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