How to: Search LinkedIn Groups that you are not a member of (on a FREE account)

During last week’s webinar on LinkedIn essential updates for recruiters, Johnny demonstrated how to search LinkedIn groups that you’re not a member of. Since you need to be a member of a group to analyse its members properly, here’s a quick trick with a bit of URL manipulation to help you search for people based on the group they’re in.

Some LinkedIn groups are closed groups (particularly to recruiters), but often they’re a talent pool teeming with qualified potential candidates, so here’s a step by step guide to searching LinkedIn groups you’re not a member of for that perfect person.

This feature (searching groups you’re not a member of) is only available on very expensive LinkedIn accounts, so this is quite a worthwhile exercise! Note – filtering by groups you are a member of is actually unavailable in a business account, but IS available on free accounts, for some odd reason!

Step 1:

In a free LinkedIn account, search for the type of person you’re looking for, for example a civil engineer.

Step 2:

Now, open up another blank tab (if you’re using Chrome open an Incognito window, or in Firefox a window in Private Browsing mode – this is so that you can have two LinkedIn windows open at once and not have them influencing actions in each other) and go to LinkedIn again, and look for groups that contain Civil engineers.

Find the desired group (for the purposes of example, I’ve used the Civil Engineers Central group, which I know is an open group), and click in to it. Now, look at the address bar of your browser and copy the entire URL, like this:

LI-Group-URL-copypaste

And paste in to your TextEdit or Notepad blank page like this (I’ve highlighted the Group ID part of the URL):

LinkedIn-group-member-filterStep 3:

Next, go back in to your search in your normal browser window and scroll down along the left margin till you see Groups, and expand this option out and filter your search by one of those groups that you are a member of.

Then, look at the address bar and the URL, and copy and paste the entire URL in to your Notepad or TextEdit document underneath the URL you’ve pasted already from step 2, like this:

Then, find the Group ID of that group you’ve filtered by and substitute it with the Group ID of the group you’re not a member of that you want to search. You’ll find it towards the end (it’s a rather large string of jumbled letters, numbers and nonsense) flanked by a letter in Capitals and a % sign.

Now, copy and paste that whole newly-edited string in to the address bar and search again. You’ll find that your filters along the left will now show you filtering by the group you’re not a member of! Done! Happy hunting!

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