How To Do a Boolean Search on LinkedIn

Happy National Small Business Week! Wouldn’t you love to support local small businesses? What if they were so small you didn’t know they even existed because they have no storefront? How about using a Boolean search?

What if they worked virtually from home? Freelanced? Were a solopreneur? What if you REALLY needed their services?

Wait! There is LinkedIn and it’s an amazing database and treasure trove of information!

If these small business owners used the right keywords to be found and you were looking for them by using the same keywords, this could lead to a matchy matchy and a win win!

In order to tap into the LinkedIn database, you can do a Boolean search using the words (in caps) AND, OR, or NOT along with the keywords. George Boole was a 19th century logician, mathematician, and philosopher who developed this form of logic, so it is a tool that can now be used in modern times for searches on the Internet, including LinkedIn.

Here are a few examples:

“Graphic designer” AND “Website”

“Graphic Designer” AND “Website Developer”

Website AND Developer OR Designer

Website AND Host NOT Designer

The bottom line is you need to use keywords in your profile in order to be found. In a previous article, I shared that you can embellish job titles on LinkedIn with keywords. Keywords in your headline are the MOST CRITICAL! 

Just think of what people are going to type into Google – certainly not your exact title and company name because they don’t even know you exist. They are going to type in keywords of what they are looking for.

You really need to research these keywords before you publish. For example, when you click on the Jobs tab and enter Project Manager and Greater Philadelphia area, you get about 3000 jobs. But, if you change it to be Project Management, you get about 9000 jobs.

So logic suggests that you would be much better off using the keywords that are the most popular. Have fun researching your keywords on LinkedIn and note that you will also find similarities with keywords in Google Trends.



Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career development and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management.

Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn™ profiles, Lynne is writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn™ for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love, along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.