In the digital age, LinkedIn has emerged as a critical tool for professionals and B2B companies seeking to expand their networks, research people or companies, and uncover new opportunities.
On Linkedin you can search for people of course, but you can use boolean search to find companies, posts, groups, jobs, events and more.
1. Introduction to Boolean Operators
Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search.
At the heart of most search engines is Boolean logic.
So if you want to search for information online or people on linkedin more effectively, you should know how to do a Boolean Search.
Here are ways to use Boolean logic and searches on LinkedIn:
To target exact phrases, users should enclose the phrase in straight quotation marks.
Example: project manager or business analyst will yield profiles containing that specific phrase.
Use OR to broaden your search.
Example: sales OR marketing OR advertising will display profiles containing any of these terms.
This operator includes all keywords linked with AND in a search. It will reduce your search results.
Example: typing accountant AND finance AND CPA filters results to profiles containing all these terms.
To exclude certain terms, use NOT.
For example, developer NOT manager helps filter out manager profiles from developer searches.
Another example: president NOT assistant will exclude all the executive assistants or assistants to presidents from search results
What for: For complex searches, combine these operators with parentheses.
For instance, engineer NOT (civil OR chemical) will show profiles of engineers, excluding civil and chemical engineers.
2: Where can use Boolean Operators on Linkedin:
The Linkedin’s Search bar, of course.
- Using the search bar will search for anything on linkedin with your keywords across people, companies, groups, posts, etc
- Linkedin will propose you to select the category to display search results about what you are looking for
People’s profile AND job title
- Use the Search bar to enter a keyword you want to find across people’s profiles. For example: “luxury shoes” OR “designer shoes”
- Use the Job title:
- Click the “People” category
- Click “All Filters” on the right to open the side panel with all the filters 🤩
- Scroll all the way down, to find the “job title” field
- Enter your boolean search. For example: (Head OR Director) AND Marketing
Same as before, you can use advanced boolean searches to find all relevant posts including variations of relevant keywords
You can also combine boolean searches on the posts and the author’s job titles.
For example: you are only interested in posts containing the words “solar OR renewable” and posted by people who have director AND CSR in their job title
Searching Jobs on Linkedin
There is only one search field for jobs on Linkedin and it will search the title and the job description.
Using boolean search will ensure you can have all relevant jobs in one search and save time.
You can also combine your boolean search with all the filters Linkedin offers and turn that search into a job alert.
You can receive alerts on a daily or weekly basis through email, app notifications, or both.
3: Important things to know when searching on Linkedin
While Boolean search is powerful, it's crucial to use it correctly to avoid common pitfalls. Here are some best practices:
- When handling searches, the overall order to precedence is:
- Quotes [""]
- Parentheses [()]
- Use Capital Letters for Operators: Always capitalize AND, OR, NOT for the search algorithm to recognize them as operators.
- Avoid Overcomplicating Searches: Start with simple queries and gradually add more operators as needed.
- Stay Away from Unsupported Operators: LinkedIn does not support wildcard "*" searches and the + and - operators.
- Avoid Overloaded Searches: LinkedIn will show you a “No results found” if your boolean search expression is too long. Needless to say, Linkedin does not want to give away too much value for free when they also sell Linkedin Recruiter to recrutiers and Sales Navigator to sellers.
4: Now you get it!
Boolean search is not just a tool for recruiters. Business leaders, sales people, job seekers, and anyone looking to build a powerful network or use Linkedin more productively can leverage boolean search to find relevant results faster.
Here are few examples on ways you can turn searches into business, networking or career opportunities
- Search prospects in your 2nd degree network (you know people in common who can introduce you): job title + search field + industry + 2nd degree
- Search candidates (job title + search field + industry + 2nd degree)
- Search people who worked at one of your competitors
- Search decision makers (job titles) who worked with or at a company that makes them more likely to consider you
- Connect with employees at dream job companies (or past employees who can share info)
- Search peers in your industry who have something in common with you in their profile: job title + industry + location + general search: same hobby or interest
- Discover relevant content for ideas or curation
- Monitor content posted by people in your target industry or competitors or customers
- Monitor content mentionning your brand or your competitors
- Create an alert on very specific job you can apply or use as trigger to reach out to the recruiting team or hiring manager
- Monitor companies who are hiring specific roles who might be your target buyer persona
There is so much more…
With more than a billion members, millions of jobs and posts, the better you become at search, the more likely you will find what you search, avoid the noise, distractions and wasting time.
Hope you will have FOUND this article useful 🙂