The Recruiter's Guide to Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Tool

The Recruiter's Guide to Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Tool

Siofra Pratt
Posted by Siofra Pratt,
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linkedin advanced search

On most LinkedIn accounts, the above image is what you’ll see when you click the ‘Advanced’ search button next to the top search bar on LinkedIn’s homepage. It includes lots of the different filters, each with different headings, and each with a different purpose. Today, we’re taking you through each one of the main filters from the ‘Basic’ account and explaining what they do and how you can use each of them most effectively:

Keywords Field

linkedin advanced search

What does it do?

The ‘Keywords’ field searches for keywords everywhere on someone’s LinkedIn profile, and by that we mean that LinkedIn will search a user’s entire profile for any words you type into this field. For example, if you search this field for the keyword ‘recruitment’, it may appear in their job title, it may be in their employer name, it could be in their skills, it could be under subjects they completed in university, it might be in their reference quotes – literally anywhere on their profile. As such, performing a ‘Keywords’ field search is the broadest type of search you can conduct on LinkedIn.

Best use of this field

This field is really good to use when you’re not sure where someone might have placed the keywords you’re looking for on their profile. As such, it is the best field to use when searching for a potential candidate’s skills (e.g. ‘javascript’ or ‘agile’), work history (e.g. descriptive terms like ‘leading a team’ or ‘managing a team’), certifications (e.g ‘Social Talent Black Belt Certificate’), or languages. For example, if you are looking for a candidate with javascript and agile skills, the Boolean string you would enter into this field may look something like this:

(javascript OR “java script” OR js OR ecmascript) (agile OR dsdm OR scrum OR kanbcn OR bdd OR tdd)

*NOTE: The ‘Keywords’ field does not allow you to search for a LinkedIn user’s employment or education dates. You need a premium account to use those filters. So, for example, you cannot search use the ‘Keyword’ field to ascertain whether someone graduated in 2015 or finished a job in 2015, unless they have that information written in free text somewhere else on their profile.

Title Field

linkedin advanced search

What does it do?

The ‘Title’ field searches for keywords contained within the LinkedIn user’s stated job titles (current and past).

Best use of this field

The ‘Title’ field is best used to narrow down your search and give you more focus. However, the more words you insert here, the less candidates you will find. So, you need to be mindful to only insert the most relevant generic words and their synonyms here. Think about it; while someone’s entire LinkedIn profile may contain thousands of words, their job title will normally only contain between 2 and 4 words – which are usually the most important words relating to what they do. For example, if you are looking for a UI Developer, the Boolean string you would enter into this field may look something like this:

(ui OR “front end” OR “user interface” OR ux) (developer OR dev OR programmer OR devops OR develop OR developing)

We also recommend refining your search further by selecting the ‘current’ title option or ‘past’ title option depending on which is more relevant to your search.

Company Field

linkedin advanced search

What does it do?

The ‘Company’ field searches for keywords contained within a LinkedIn user’s employer name or keywords in a company’s name. In other words, this field is not just for entering specific company names which many recruiters think it is.

Best use of this field

This field is great if you want to target the employees of a specific group of companies or companies that contain a certain keyword. For example, if you’re trying to find a candidate in the FMCG sector you may want to specifically target people working in a company whose name contains keywords like ‘Food’, ‘Foods’ or ‘Bakery’. In which case, the Boolean string you would enter into this field may look something like this:

(food OR foods OR bakery)

We also recommend refining your search further by selecting the ‘current’ option or ‘past’ option depending on which is more relevant to your search.

[cta-blog]

School Field

linkedin advanced search

What does it do?

Also known as the ‘Education’ field, the ‘School’ field searches for keywords contained within the education section of a LinkedIn user’s profile. This might include things like the name of the user’s degree, the name of the university they attended, grades they received, awards they received, the location of their university, the subjects they studied  – or anything typically contained within the education section of a user’s profile.

Best use of this field

This field is excellent if you need or want to target candidates with a specific level of education. For example, if you needed to find a candidate who holds a 3rd level degree or higher, the Boolean string you would enter into this field may look something like this:

(degree OR bachelors OR bachelor OR ba OR “b.a.” OR master OR masters OR phd)

Location Field

linkedin advanced search

What does it do?

The ‘Location’ field(s) searches the location section of a LinkedIn user’s profile. There are two ‘Location’ fields to choose from when it comes to using advanced search on LinkedIn:

1. Traditional Location Search

The traditional field (which you can find on the left under the ‘School’ field) only lets you select one country at a time in which to search for candidates e.g. United States or United Kingdom. And while this is very broad, the traditional location field also gives you the option to narrow down your location search in your country of choice by using postal/zip codes (if postal/zip codes are supported in that country.) If you use a postal/zip code to narrow your search within that country, this location field also gives you the option to state how far from the postal code you are willing to accept search results from e.g. 10 miles (15km) from the postal code up to 100 miles (160km) from the postal code.

2. Second Location Field 

The second location field (contained on the homepage of advanced search) lets you search by country and within that country, specific counties and cities. It also allows you to add multiple locations to your search e.g. if you wanted to you could search for candidates in all 28 EU countries.

Best use of this field

If you search within a small location radius when trying to find suitable candidates, use the traditional location field to search by postal/zip code. Or if you want to search for candidates in multiple locations or search for candidates within a specific city or county within a country use the second location field.

 

So, there you have it folks – a full breakdown of each of the basic search filters on LinkedIn and the best ways to use them. What are you waiting for? Get on there and find your next candidate!

 

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