Search Outside of a Geo-Area on LinkedIn

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I’d like to share a tip on how to search LinkedIn for the members outside of a certain geographical area.

There are at least two good reasons to search outside of an area:

1. If you search by keywords, with no location specified, you are likely to see the top results from your own area – LinkedIn thinks that finding people who live nearby is a high priority.

To illustrate, here’s an example search from an account, whose owner resides in the San Francisco Bay Area:

my-area-default

If you want to see some profiles outside of your area, with the existing search UI, all you can do is specify each of the other areas and look there; not exactly convenient.

2. If you are a Recruiter and you have exhausted searching in a target area, and now want to look for people who might want to relocate, you would want to search outside of that target area. That’s the second case.

Before LinkedIn switched to the Galene search algorithm, we couldn’t do much about that type of a search. Galene brought in all sorts of changes. One new search feature – that is not described in any documentation, by the way – is that geo-location names and industry names on LinkedIn profiles are now included in the search index. I.e. you can search for “San Francisco Bay Area” or “Auckland, New Zealand” in the keywords and find people from those areas. (Sure enough, there might be “false positives” – members who used these words in the body of their profiles. However, company locations are not included in the search index; so it’s “not too bad”).

With that in mind, it’s quite straightforward to construct a search that will be looking outside of an area; just add NOT <area-name> in the keywords to the search:

outside

So, to address the two search challenges outlined at the beginning of the post: when you are searching without a location specified, you might want to also search excluding your own area, as shown above. If you are a Recruiter, you can search for non-local candidates, who might relocate. Say, you can search for professionals in the US outside of the Greater Chicago Area.

To summarize:

Tip: exclude, using the operator NOT, the full geo-location name in the keywords in a LinkedIn  search, to find members outside of that geo-area.

When you use the tip, look up the way LinkedIn spells out the target area – it’s best to include its exact name in quotes:

…NOT  “Greater New York City Area”

…NOT “Amsterdam Area, Netherlands”

(etc.)

That’s it!

Now – sorry – I have mislead you a little bit. The above is almost true, but not 100% true. Some profiles of the members in a given area will still be found if you exclude the area name in the keywords field. Some of those might be members who spelled out, as the location, their town vs. the standard geo-area name (e.g. “San Francisco, California” vs “San Francisco Bay Area”). Some other profiles are included for no apparent reason. However, those profiles constitute only about .1% (based on the tests I’ve run), so that should not diminish the technique’s usefulness.

LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR) search is different (surprise!) – it firmly excludes everyone in a location if you exclude the location name in the search:

area-name-LIR

(They show a nice Unicorn icon for “no results” in LIR.)

Let me know how the described tip works out for you.

P.S. As a warning, please don’t jump to conclusions, trying to exclude a whole country vs. a LinkedIn-named geo-area; it may not work as well. Galene remains, for the most part, a mystery.