LinkedIn Brings Back “Related Skills”, Other Insights Into Big Data


skills - Copy

Remember the Skills pages on LinkedIn? They went away in 2013. Many professionals who are in search for Talent liked the Skill pages while they were up. The pages listed “related skills”, helped to navigate unfamiliar terminology and suggested a variety of keywords to use.

At this time, apparently, LinkedIn is expanding its Topic pages. Topics include Universities, Companies, Industries – and now, Skills as well! You can find the Topic directories here.

The “skill” topic pages’ URLs simply have the format <skill-name> – as an example,

The layout and content for these pages is still under development. (I’ve been waiting for it to settle before writing this post, but it continues to evolve…) However, one thing is clear – these pages include related skills (or related topics). As an example, the Javascript page lists AJAX, jQuery, Node.js and more as related skills.

At this time, we can see two formats for the pages – randomly depending on the skill name, being logged in or not, and the viewer’s location. I have my vote for the first format because it clearly shows the (other) skills most common among the members with the given skill. In addition, it also lists “related topics”. Very cool!

…Will LinkedIn Developers read this blog?…

The first format choice (preferred, more informative, but may not last):


The second format may have a nicer graphical presentation but it has less interesting content. It does show related topics – at the bottom of the page:


What the final format for these new skill pages is going to be, the future will show. But we can already use the pages to explore terminology and find alternative keywords, just as we used to with the old Skill pages.

The topic pages are worth exploring; they do provide many additional good insights into the LinkedIn Big Data. If you find other interesting aspect, please share in the comments.

…and here’s a trick Sourcing question: where and when did I take the photo above?

Large Free Resume Database Hidden In Plain Sight

images (2)

It didn’t use to be some years ago, but now searching for online resumes on Google is a bit of a pain. We need to use advanced operators (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) and add keywords. Then, we need to exclude job posts (-job -jobs -careers …). Need to exclude resume samples and templates (-sample -example…). Even then, the results will be populated by partial resumes and search pages from the sites that will try to sell us access to their resume collections. We can narrow the search down by specifying the format (filetype:PDF OR filetype:Doc…), but if we do so, we’ll be missing the resumes shared in online document storage sites… Not easy!

However, there’s a free resume database, easy to search, that few know about. It is quietly built and populated by hundreds of records daily.

Here’s (an amazing, unexpected) resume search example; before you read further, just go ahead and try it!

resume “risk management” consultant “”

Note that I didn’t use any advanced Boolean operators and didn’t need to exclude tons of “false positives” such as job posts and resume templates.

This search is very broad; to find target resumes we would need to narrow it down or filter the results. But the results are almost all resumes.

Here’s what the search screen looks like:



The secret of easily finding resumes is that I used Google Image Search instead of the Google web search.

Believe it or not, that’s all there is to it.

Here are a couple more examples, for your surprise and enjoyment:

For this type of sourcing to be more on target, we can narrow the results down… by color. Let’s look at the black-and-white results only:

resume SaaS B2B account executive

Here’s what this search looks like:



Narrow the search down to JPEG files only, for even better precision:

resume iOS SDK gmail 408

(408 is one of the San Francisco Bay Area phone codes).

So why does the image search work so well to find resumes? The reason behind it is a top business network’s acquisition of a document storage site. The Social Network encourages its members to add resumes to their profiles using the storage site. While the Network doesn’t give Recruiters any way to search within those resumes (either free or paid) – Google does. We just need to switch to the Image search on Google vs. the general Web search. These documents are ranked quite high in Google search, so we’ll find many.

I would be glad to connect – please check out my profile on the Social Network.


When Searching in English Outperforms Searching in Boolean



Hello and welcome back to my blog posts. Hope many of you had a nice summer vacation! I took a break in posting blogs and giving webinars in the last few weeks for long weekends in the mountains and also working on a big Sourcing Project that I will write about soon.

This post is the “Back to School” sort, explaining how to source simply yet efficiently.

For those who shy away from using advanced search syntax AND for those who may be “overusing” it:

Let’s explore “Plain English” search and the cases when it produces better results than advanced Boolean search.

If you have a job description or a long email from someone defining what they want to find – you cannot paste the long description into Google and get the right profiles. (Google is not there yet!) However, if you can describe the information you are looking for in a short sentence, chances are, you will find just what you need using keyword-only search, without X-Raying or any such techniques.

Case 1. Finding definitions and facts

At this time, Google has become smart enough to interpret and answer many short questions. If you have one, you can try searching like this (the question mark is optional):

Sometimes, you can just reduce the question to naming the category you want to learn about – the results may impress you:

Case 2. Finding the sites to explore

You can often find professional sites such as sites for associations and conferences just as quickly; then, collect their member and attendee directories if they provide those to outsiders – which is sometimes the case. Here are example searches:

Case 3. Name three objects (such as company names) to find more “like” them. As an example, name three competing companies to find more:

Case 4. Find email lists by naming email domains and perhaps adding a few keywords. Examples:

These are just a few of the many ways to find information for sourcing using simple searches.

Join me for the upcoming webinar, where I will present many more techniques and will provide one month of support for everyone who signs up to practice Sourcing in Plain English, “with NO Boolean”.

Searching the Internet? Bookmark This Chart


To help fellow Recruiters, Sourcers, and Researchers in creating Boolean Strings and searching the Internet – here is a basic search operators comparison chart for Google vs. Bing from our Sourcing Guidebook.


Using the correct search syntax is critical for sourcing productivity.

Avoid some common mistakes. Note that AND is not a Google operator (don’t include it); parentheses are ignored on Google (you can use them but it won’t matter); and the asterisk * stands for a word (not a part of a word) on Google.

Want to learn more? Join me for the Intro to Sourcing Webinar to get other helpful tip sheets and charts, materials, and access to one month of support on everything Sourcing.  Dates: August 26 and 27, 2015.

Magically Sourcing Resumes on Slideshare


We’ve recently had a good (and still ongoing) discussion on the Boolean group on How to find LinkedIn profiles that have a resume embedded into the page via I thought it might be useful to summarize the main points.

While Slideshare is now part of LinkedIn, there’s not a whole lot we can do regarding searching for the Slideshare documents attached to LinkedIn profiles, because “Only your 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn can see your SlideShare presentations.”

On the other hand, most Slideshare documents are public, so you can search for them from Google: intitle:resume CPA IL (773 OR 312)

Slideshare has its own search, that is somewhat limited, but can serve as another search option: “Resume”  “CPA” “773” “312”  “IL”

Here is an interesting twist on X-Raying Slideshare. The documents on Slideshare are represented as images, with text “transcripts” at the bottom of the pages. Based on that knowledge, we can X-Ray for images on Google and get nice visual previews of the search results:

(image search) intitle:resume CPA IL (773 OR 312) – this is what the search results look like:



For those who don’t like using advanced Google search operators, here is a Custom Search Engine to search for Resumes on Slideshare – just add your keywords: public link

To get up to 1,000 results, use this CSE (just enter your keywords):

For those who are looking for people in Academia or in Europe – the ones who name their professional bios “CVs” – here’s another Search Engine:

Texting While Sourcing – By @Arron_Daniels

Author: Arron Daniels

Disclaimer: These views are Arron’s and not necessarily mine, but I think it’s a great topic to discuss. Big thanks to Arron for offering the post and also for recently holding one of the most engaged Bi-weekly Chats on the Sourcer’s Network.


(photo credit)

I had the privilege of co-moderating Boolean Strings Network’s  Bi-Weekly People Sourcing Chat last week. Our chats can vary from tools, best tips/tricks, hacks, etc., but last week we spoke quite a bit regarding texting. There were many members who did not use texting as part of their communication with prospective candidates, and some who used it for follow up.  The biggest point of contention was the use of text messaging if there was no response from initial phone calls, or as cold texting as a first attempt.

I am a fan of texting at any point in the conversation, but it all depends on the user and their comfort level.  I wanted to share a few points of why I believe texting is relevant and how you can use it in your outreach process.

Before you text…

  • Understand your target– A smart sourcer once told me, “For us (sourcers), candidates are our currency. It doesn’t matter how we initiate conversation, as long as the message is clear, respectful of the person, and we know what we’re talking about…”  When you text someone, do your research. Once you get an opportunity to speak to this individual, it makes the conversation go a little smoother.
    • Know the role – Understand a “day in the life” as best you can to include a basic understanding of the technology/skill you are going to eventually ask this person about
    • Know “who” they are – Publications, white papers, college/certifications, awards, and anything else that can distinguish you from other recruiters/sourcers
  • Don’t blather- No one likes a rude, uninteresting, or long winded message. Test your messages with co-workers or professionals that you know in the same business as your target candidates.

Text with care…

  • Leave an impactful message- Don’t beat your prospective candidates into submission with a “apply here” link or even worse, sending the job description (even by text) when they don’t know who you are or they never asked for it. Here is an example I used in our chat:


  • Get to the point- Let them know who you are, what you want, and something to garner their interest. You’re not writing a book; you are getting them to call you/schedule a time to call you.

Texting isn’t for everyone…

There are still recruiters and sourcers out there who will not embrace texting either out of comfort or their candidate market doesn’t align with texting (and in some places outside of the United States it’s illegal). If you haven’t tried texting because you think it’s “spammy” or impersonal, I have a few questions for you.

Have you given it an honest try?

  • Texting one or two people without result is not an honest try. Build it into your outreach methods and track time to response and response rate

What’s the difference?

  • What is the difference between an impactful message in an unsolicited email versus an unsolicited text message?  Response rate.  Depending on the article/study you read, they will differ, but text messages are consistently in the 90%+ open rate while emails (on a successful campaign) are anywhere from 60%-75%

Are you texting from your phone?

  • Texting from a phone (personal or company) is a pain. This is a chief complaint I get from non-texters. Why jam your fingers into a tiny screen when you have the ability to send messages from Google Voice (great Chrome extension for Google Voice)?

Texting isn’t a revolution for everyone, but it can be a new beginning if it’s uncharted territory. Give texting a try and comment below on what text platforms you use and your thoughts about texting prospective candidates.

Be sure to tune into next week’s chat on July 23, 2015, 11:00 am EST where @Megan Calimbas will be the moderator.  Happy Sourcing!

Sourcing on Facebook, Twitter, and Google-Plus: New Webinar!


As Sourcers and Recruiters, we face increasing costs for searching and messaging on the dedicated professional networks and decreasing performance on job boards. It’s time to review the sourcing capabilities of the “other” major Social Networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Google-Plus. These Social Networks do not identify as the designated sites to recruit professionals, yet they contain huge volumes of professional information and provide incredibly easy ways to message target professionals.

Join the webinar to get up-to-date on the searching and messaging tools Twitter, Facebook, and Google-Plus offer. Learn how to take advantage of the recently changed software features and the new tools . We’ll provide comprehensive coverage of Sourcing tips and strategies for each of the three networks, to help you decide what percentage of your time to spend on each one for the optimized ROI and which tools would serve you the best.

The webinar will cover many hands-on sourcing tips, including accessing the Facebook Graph search (that is “officially” gone); searching the  Twitter’s Firehose; X-Raying Google-Plus and other sites based on semantic markup; emailing Facebook members without using the messaging system; using new Twitter messaging and retweeting capabilities. Additionally, we’ll go over social lookup tools that locate professionals on these networks, get additional data on their professional skills, and make the initial messages highly relevant and initial calls – warmer.

The webinar registration is now open. Dates: Lecture – Tuesday, July 21st, 2015; optional Practice – Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015. Hurry! Seating is limited.

Searching for Persons on the Internet Using Semantic Markup


Since search engines index all sorts of pages, finding the pages only with profiles of people is a challenging task.

Our usual way to find profiles only is:

  1. Narrow down the search to a site that has profiles (X-Ray).
  2. Add some keywords common to all profiles and rarely found on other pages (often in the titles or URLs of the profiles), and then add other keywords.

Sometimes this results in long and awkward search strings, that may bring up some false positives as well.

While web pages can have any content, webmasters do have some ways to tell search engines what kinds of objects a web page contains, by adding a special HTML code to the page. In this post, I am not going to dive deep into technical details. I will cover the underlying technology very lightly, explain how to build custom search engines, and share a CSE for Google-Plus Profiles. (Skip the technical parts if you like).


The site has definitions of many objects that search engines will recognize; a “Person” is one of those types. To point to an object of a particular type, a web page needs to have a piece of HTML, naming that object. As an example, a web page can “tell” the search engines that it has a “Person” object.

This code is not visible when we look at the pages. There’s no easy way to search for it using Google or other search engines either. However, Google Custom Search Engines now offer a way to narrow the search down to only pages with a given type of an object. We can take advantage of that.


In the Custom Search Engine setup dialog, point to the site to X-Ray and add the “Person” object as defined by In the screenshot, I have entered Google-Plus as the site to X-Ray for profiles:


If the site supports the “person” markup – that is all we need to do, to create a custom search engine to look for Persons only! Not surprisingly, Google-Plus does support the markup.

Here’s the


Public CSE link:

Here’s an “unofficial” CSE link to get up to 1,000 search results:

I will cover the topic of Sourcing on Google-Plus and other major Social Networks at the upcoming webinar.

Googling for LinkedIn Profiles


This is a refresher on searching for LinkedIn profiles via Google (“X-Raying” LinkedIn) and links to a Custom Search Engine for those who don’t want to write complex Boolean Strings.

LinkedIn has many public pages that Google indexes: profiles, company pages, job posts, and more.

Public member profiles have URLs that include either “/in” or “/pub” after “” – for example, and

To find any pages on LinkedIn, use the search string on Google.
To find public profiles, use OR

To make things slightly complicated, LinkedIn puts “directories” of profiles under “/pub” as well;  for example:

To exclude those directories in the search results and see the public profiles only, use exactly this Boolean String template on Google: OR -pub.dir (add keywords).

To avoid the “/in’s” and “/pub’s” in the search syntax you can use this Google custom search engine:

>>> (just enter the keywords)

To see more search results (up to 1,000), use this variation of the custom search engine:


Top 25 Fake Profiles


In this post, I am sharing some observations about the new (and unusual) public LinkedIn pages in the “Title Directory” and ways to discover them by X-Raying.

Note: To try out some of the following content and access the right links, it’s best to log out of LinkedIn.

The home page has links to various directories:


It includes a Title Directory. If you browse the directory, you will see the “endpoint” pages that look like this: (Don’t forget to log out or use an incognito window – it’s the only way to view the right content). The URLs for these pages start with; the page titles usually say something like “Top 25 (or 24, or 23)  <such-and-such specialists> at <company>”. Some page titles also include location names. What “Top” means in this context is a mystery! We’ll skip investigating that at the moment.

As all public pages, these “/title” pages help to drive traffic to LinkedIn. It’s an SEO (search engine optimization) thing.

Using Google, we can X-Ray the title directory in this fashion: (add keywords). This X-raying capability is not new; we have been able to X-Ray the title directory for several years now.

A few months ago the “title directory” started being populated with pages that sound different from the above example, “benefits-specialist-at-ibm”.

Without going into much detail, I will share some example results that come up in X-Raying the /title directory. Here’s an example using my name and a couple keywords:

“irina shamaeva” sourcing certification

(Somehow, at this point, the results contain “top 25 webmasters”; I have never been a webmaster!)

You can do similar X-Ray searches for your name and other professionals’ names. Add a few keywords, as in the example above, to make sure it’s that professional’s profile that will appear in the results. Let me know what you find!

Then, here are some other searches:

1) (42 pages at the moment)


2) (currently, 265 pages in the results – including the Top 24 What Not Profiles!)

3) is also interesting:


Though I saw some concerns from some members who also noticed the /title pages indexed by Google, I don’t think there are privacy issues related to it. I do know that there are new ways to Source using this relatively new expansion of public LinkedIn pages.

I will teach some related sourcing insights at the upcoming repeat of Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations webinar on July 7th.