The LinkedIn Search Function – Tips on Finding Exactly Who You Need to Find
People search is one of the most important features of LinkedIn. You can use it to find new connections, search for jobs, get clients, or recruit employees. The search function puts this booming social media site’s more than 135 million users right at your fingertips. Here’s how you can make the best of this function to find exactly who you need.
LinkedIn offers an ‘Advanced Search’ option. You’ll find the link right next to the regular search bar. You should always use advanced search because it lets you set the exact parameters you need. You don’t just have to enter a generic keyword or phrase and get a jumble of mixed results.
For example, if you’re searching for people who work for a certain company now, just searching the company’s name will turn up anyone who mentions the company anywhere in their profile. They could be a past employee or someone who uses the company’s product. Advanced search lets you find only those who work for the company currently.
The search function lets you use Boolean terms to refine your search. These include:
AND – To include two or more terms and only those profiles that have them
OR – For searches where there are multiple keywords used for the same thing
NOT – To exclude profiles that contain a certain word
Parenthesis – For an exact phrase rather than just words
When you get your search results, there are a number of ways to sort them. By default the site sorts everything by relevance. You can choose to sort results by relationship, recommendations, connections, or any combination of the above. This helps you filter your results so that you only find those that you want.
When looking at the results, there are also two different viewing options, one of which gives you more information at a glance. They also show you ‘In Common,’ which are connections or groups that you share with the person.
Other Search Features
LinkedIn’s search function lets you save searches so that you can refer back to them later. With a basic account you can save up to three searches. If you upgrade your membership, each level gives you more searches to use.
You can also choose to get reminders by email whenever a new profile matches your search. When someone signs up and their profile contains what you’re looking for, you’ll be notified. It will also let you know when someone changes their profile to match your needs.
The search function isn’t just for finding people. You can also use it to look for companies, groups, answers, and jobs. All of these offer the same options for advanced searches.
How to Get the Best Results
The best way to get relevant, useful results quickly is to know exactly what you want beforehand. Picture your ideal prospect, employee, employer or client. Get an idea of what information from their profile will tell you that they’re the one you’re looking for. If you can refine your search with the perfect search terms, you’ll save yourself a lot of time.