Need some tips and resources to search on LinkedIn? LinkedIn has a powerful search engine to look for people, services, jobs, groups, posts, courses, products, schools, events, companies, hashtags, and more.
To do a search on LinkedIn, you can also do a Boolean search that aligns with your specific criteria, using the words AND, OR, or NOT in caps.
What’s a Boolean search?
Boolean search is a form of logic developed by George Boole, a 19th-century mathematician, philosopher, and logician. Boolean search is not just for LinkedIn but can be used on the Internet.
- AND: Use this operator to narrow your search by requiring both keywords to be present in the search results.
- OR: Use this operator to broaden your search by including either of the specified keywords in the search results.
- NOT: Use this operator to exclude specific keywords from your search results.
Utilize quotation marks for exact phrases: If you want to find an exact phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, “Project Manager” will only return results that include the exact phrase “Project Manager” rather than individual occurrences of “project” and “manager” separately.
Incorporate parentheses for complex queries: If you have multiple search criteria or want to combine different operators, you can use parentheses to create more complex queries. For example, “(Marketing OR Sales) AND Manager” will return results that include either “Marketing” or “Sales” along with “Manager.”
Additional search filters: LinkedIn provides several search filters to narrow your results further. These filters include Connections, Connections of, Followers of, Locations, Talks About, Current Company, Past Company, School, Industry, Profile Language, Open to, Service categories, and Keywords including first name, last name, title, company, and school. You can access these filters by clicking the “All Filters” option on the search results page.
Refine your search on LinkedIn iteratively: Boolean searches on LinkedIn often require an iterative approach. Start with broader searches and then gradually refine them based on the results. Modify your keywords, operators, and filters until you find the most relevant results.
You can also search on Google for someone on LinkedIn, especially since LinkedIn limits searches for those with a basic account. The monthly people search usage resets on the first of each month.
For specific instructions and examples, refer to my previous article, Stellar Boolean Search Tips for Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs.
If you want to be found on LinkedIn, you have to optimize your profile with the right keywords that people would use to search for someone like you. LinkedIn is a database, so use the words in the database. If a keyword pops into your head, it might not be the best choice. A synonym of the keyword might provide better traction.
By following these steps and leveraging LinkedIn’s advanced search capabilities, you can effectively perform Boolean searches to find professionals, job postings, and relevant content tailored to your needs.
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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 currently 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.