Unleash LinkedIn Search Capabilities

My objective in this article is to provide you with insights on one of the hidden advanced searching tools in LinkedIn which is very effective in helping you narrow your LinkedIn search for people, companies, jobs, articles, groups, etc.

This tool is called Boolean Search and what it does is that it allows you to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to make your search results more specific to what you are looking for. I will elaborate below the use of each of these operators below with examples:

  • AND: the AND operator basically allows you to use a combination of two or more words that must all be mentioned in each of the search results. Below is an example where you are trying to find people who have experience in Java and ASP programming languages and at the same time they must currently or previously worked for Google and Microsoft.

LinkedIn Search 1

  • OR: the OR operator as you can guess allows you to list a number of words where at least one of which must be mentioned in each of the search results. In the below example, I am trying to find all recruitment related job posts and as such I listed all recruitment related words which I could think of using the OR operator.

LinkedIn Search 2

  • NOT: this is one of the very useful operators which allows you to exclude from the search results the ones that include certain words which you need to mention following the NOT operator. The below example illustrates how to find people who are currently at a Director position while excluding all current junior positions (Executives).

LinkedIn Search 3

  • Quotes: the quotes are used in order to combine two or more words and consider them as one (e.g. “human resources”, “united states of amercia”, etc.).
  • Parentheses: the parentheses need to be used when you are trying to use a complicated combination of above operators and the parentheses will basically determine which operator will have first priority over the other.

The below image illustrates the usage of a combination of these operators which will find any job post with the title Director or Senior Manager and which includes Accounting and either financial or finance anywhere in the job post.

LinkedIn Search 4

Always remember when you are using Boolean Search to use uppercase letters for the Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT). If you use lowercase letters (and, or, not) the output of the search result will be completely different.

Also note that you can use Boolean operators in any of the search text fields in the search tool.

LinkedIn Search 5

You may want to also refer to the below helpful guideline from LinkedIn on the Boolean Search tool (http://talent.linkedin.com/assets/Product-Pages/Training/TipSheet-BooleanSearching.pdf)

Hope this article was beneficial in supporting you to conduct more effective search exercises.

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