LinkedIn Search Results Unblurring Tool

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If you have hit the new Commercial Use Limit on Search on LinkedIn, your search results screen will look like this – the first few results are shown and the rest are blurred:



Amazingly, the “commercial” search limit affects even the search for your first level connections!

(If you have a basic or a job seeker account and are doing lots of searching, but don’t see the limit, it may be that your account has not been “upgraded” yet. In this case you won’t see the full profiles for the 3rd level connections either.)

Here’s how to un-blur the hidden profiles – and see this instead (!):



Step-By-Step Instructions for the Unblurring Tool

  1. View the HTML source code for the search results page and save it in a text file.
  2. In the saved file, replace-all this text: “isBlurred”:true, for nothing (i.e. remove all occurrences of the text).
  3. Save the file on your HD with an HTML extension (for example, name it results.html).
  4. That’s it; just view the file.

To find out all about many other tips and ways to take advantage of LinkedIn for Sourcing and Recruiting, sign up for the upcoming Maximize ROI on LinkedIn – Webinar Thu Feb 12, 2015 (Note the new date! Seating is limited).

Well-Hidden Secret: LIR “Hiring Manager”

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If at least one of your colleagues has access to LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR), you can take advantage of that for sourcing and searching. Team members and collaborators can re-use another member’s LIR subscription and perform unlimited searches – without breaking any rules. The key is to use the little-known “Hiring Manager” add-on functionality. Let me show you how.

I have access to LIR, but was not aware of the “Hiring Manager” feature, until one day, unexpectedly, my log-in screen looked like this:


It turns out that someone had mistakenly shared a profile with me for review:


From the screen, as you can see (on the left), I (the “hiring manager”) could view the usage statistics for LIR (quite interesting regarding this company’s use of InMails). I also got access to all the templates that team has created (Attention LinkedIn Developers: please hide the templates; they shouldn’t be visible to a “hiring manager”.)

That picked my interest. LinkedIn seems to have somewhat forgotten about the Hiring Manager add-on. The help documentation is imprecise and has broken links. I have spent some time exploring, using my own LIR access; let me share what this feature is capable of.

A LIR subscriber can not only share a single profile with a “hiring manager” (less interesting for Sourcing) but also a Project (more interesting, since each Project can contain up to 2,000 profiles). As I start typing letters into the “share with” box, it prompts the names of the people to share the project with.


(Be careful here! Don’t accidentally share your projects with a stranger.)

Once a project is shared, the “hiring manager” member gets a link in her account to LinkedIn Recruiter, just like subscribers do:


Now, she can search within the project – with no “commercial” limits on searches – and with extra filters, compared to a basic account!


Specifically, this search dialog offers the premium filter “years of experience”; searching by years of graduation, unavailable in personal accounts; and shows all the candidate management performed on the LIR side, such as “sources”, tagging, and activity.

This feature is certainly useful, not just for running potential candidates’ profiles by real hiring managers, but for anyone on your team, who can participate in sourcing this way, without signing up for a LIR account. The shared projects don’t have to contain carefully selected lists of candidates either – they can be rough, approximate searches, or imports via the Talent Pipeline.

Bottom line: your team member with a LIR access can save large sets of profiles in projects; then another team member with a basic account can do useful ground work searching and filtering.

To find out all about this and many other ways to take advantage of LinkedIn for Sourcing and Recruiting, sign up for the upcoming Maximize ROI on LinkedIn – Webinar Thu Feb 12, 2015 (Note the new date! Seating is limited).

Maximize ROI on LinkedIn – Webinar Thu Feb 12, 2015 (NEW DATE!)

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LinkedIn is the No. 1 Social Network used by Recruiters and Sourcers around the world, with no competition in sight. It may seem that, with the major new restrictions on searching and on InMails, you have to go for a premium account or even get Recruiter seats for everyone on your team. The decisions are yours; I am going to help to make them by providing extensive information on working around the new restrictions and taking full advantage of the “big data” on LinkedIn.

Join the webinar for a complete guide to lifting LinkedIn limitations and maximizing your ROI.

Learn how to:

  1. Run unlimited number of searches on LinkedIn.
  • Show extra profiles found in search, even after you hit the “commercial limit”
  • Utilize lesser-known alternative search functionality
  • Use LinkedIn Google X-Ray and an array of Custom Search Engines (that I will provide) to run any number of searches you want
  1. Overcome the new restrictive InMail policy.
  • Learn about tools and techniques to find the contact information for LinkedIn members
  • Send InMails and messages that don’t count against your quota
  1. See anyone’s LinkedIn profile – even for those out of your network – using a “hack” that works for 100% of LinkedIn member profiles. (By signing for the webinar, you promise to keep this a secret and not to disclose it publicly.)

Who Should Attend:

The webinar is a must-attend for anyone who uses LinkedIn to search for and reach out to qualified professionals. It is going to be useful and applicable for users with any level of account, from basic to LinkedIn Recruiter.

Increase your ROI on LinkedIn – sign up for the webinar NOW. This webinar will likely be sold out.

  • Date: Thursday February 12, 2015
  • Time: 9 AM PST / noon EST
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Price: $99 <<< this is where you submit the webinar payment
  • Included: the slides, a video-recording, a tip sheet with custom search engines, and one month of support (for anyone who signs up, whether you attend the webinar “live” or not).

Seating is limited.

Note: after you have completed the payment, we’ll email you the link to access the webinar and all the materials, within 24 hours.




13+ Tools: Profiles from Emails, Emails from Profiles

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Finding someone’s email address, starting from a social profile (such as a LinkedIn profile), and finding social profiles, starting from an email address, are two kinds of top-requested productivity tools for Sourcers, Recruiters, Sales Professionals, and Social Media Marketers these days, for many good reasons, such as the new rigid limitations for both searching for professionals and for sending InMails on LinkedIn.

Here are some tools in each of the two categories.

Profiles from Emails:

  1. Rapportive: shows a LinkedIn profile and, possibly, your “degree of connectedness” on LinkedIn, some connections in common, and a link to connect. It shows the Twitter handle too, but only if it’s attached to the person’s LinkedIn profile.
  2. Rapporto was a “hacked” version of Rapportive and a temporary fix for losing the previous Rapportive functionality, but, it seems, it has stopped working altogether.
  3. Vibe shows social profiles when you hover over an email address anywhere on a page.
  4. Fullcontact for Gmail (Beta) operates in your Gmail contacts. It shows social profiles and other information about the person and company.
  5. Sidekick by Hubspot is for tracking email; also shows social profiles and information about the person and company. It has a Gmail and a MS Outlook versions.
  6. Outlook Social Connector shows Facebook, LinkedIn, and XING profiles and the latest updates. It has been unreliable (for me) lately in getting information from LinkedIn.
  7. Nimble (free trial) is a teaser, since it offers to load whole large lists in a variety of formats. It does look up some social profiles – but only when you view the profile in question – not for the list in batch.
  8. finds some social profiles from an email address in Gmail Inbox only (it doesn’t work in a “compose” window), as part of its functionality.

As you probably know – some social networks offer look-ups of profiles, starting with an email address, as well:

  1. Just paste the email address into the Facebook search box and into Google-Plus search box to identify the profile registered with the address.
  2. In Gmail, see the “connected” profile for any contact – automatically.
  3. Connect Twitter with a Gmail account, to cross-reference email addresses (this only works if your Gmail has under a couple hundred entries or so).
  4. …Alas, all of the integrating with social accounts functionality in the LinkedIn Contacts has been broken for several months now. It just doesn’t work. (How frustrating!)

Emails from Profiles:

  1. If you use one of the above tools, you can try email permutations with the hopes to uncover the correct email address.
  2. Prophet: Starting with a social profile on Facebook, Twitter, or a profile on “the large social network based out of Mountain View”, it shows other social data and can try to guess and verify email addresses.
  3. Connectifier has stopped working for me some time ago, but some colleagues can still access its database on  trial basis.
  4. Connect6 PeopleDiscovery shows social data and now charges $1 to find an email address.
  5. 360social shows email addresses for some people.

Sign up for the Tools webinar coming up on Thursday January 29, 2015, to hear all about these tools, with a detailed side-by-side comparison, as well as 50+ other tools!





Never Stop Searching LinkedIn

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Due to the just-introduced Commercial Use Limit on Search, many LinkedIn members are hitting the search quota for the month in the first day or two of January 2015 – and have to wait another month to search again. LinkedIn didn’t say how many searches are “too many”; the experience shows it’s around sixty searches for one month.

I find limiting the search for unpaid accounts reasonable. It’s not new; a number of commercial search system have similar limitations.

If you are struggling with the new limits on searching and are not ready to go with a paid account yet:

1) There are a number of ways to search that are not counted in the monthly quota. These ways are no substitute for the advanced member search, but can be quite useful. This includes:

2) Naturally, Googling for LinkedIn profiles (“X-Raying”) remains unlimited!

Use this Custom Search Engine to X-Ray LinkedIn:

(I have updated the Search Engine URL to provide up to 1,000 results.) Here are some example uses:


Want to search like a Pro? Don’t miss the Advanced Sourcing DOUBLE-Webinar next Tuesday and Wednesday Jan 13/14. The seats are going fast!

How to Always Show Dates in Google Search Results

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Would you like to see the dates of the search results on Google? By all means, it’s a useful piece of information.

If you narrow a Google search to (any) date range, using the drop-down selection for the date range, the dates are shown. You can then also choose to sort by date if you wanted, to see the most recent results first.


When a date range is selected, the Google search URL is changed to reflect this.

Now, here’s how to always see the dates for the results. Search for something first, then add this to the search URL & press Enter: &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1/1/0

This is what it will look like:


The starting date, that I set up this way (“1/1/0″), is w-a-a-a-y in the past. :) Now, each search result promptly displays the date. You can try this search here: filetype:pdf member list healthcare association

If you use Chrome, you can make Google search to automatically show the dates. In Chrome, set up the default search engine to Google and add the above magical piece of the URL &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1/1/0 to it.


Then, for any search started in the address bar and any search of a selection will have the dates displayed. (You can also add other URL tweaks to the default search – for example, add &filter=0 to see “the omitted” results.)

You can still jump on tomorrow’s Google-Based Sourcing Practice Session to experience this and many other techniques with us interactively.


Work Around New LinkedIn InMail Policy in 2015

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In a few days from now LinkedIn is switching to taking away the InMail points for those InMails that were not answered. There has been lots of negative reaction to the change, and rightly so. Sure, if an InMail is spam, the recipient may not answer it. But the opposite is not true: if someone doesn’t answer the InMail, it doesn’t mean that the InMail is spam: we know how busy everyone is; and it’s quite common not to answer if there’s no interest. Due to the change in the InMail policy, even those of us with expensive LinkedIn Recruiter accounts will not have enough InMails for the “normal” volume of messaging potential candidates.

There’s a lot of complaints from paid users, posted online; this includes two posts on our group: 1) Who else got the notice that on 1/1/15 LI is NOT going to credit unanswered InMails… and 2) I just completed one of Irina’s EXCELLENT webinars … – with a total of 70+comments from the upset LinkedIn customers.

It’s too bad that the service has changed to the worse, but LinkedIn still remains “the” place to source. As a database of professional profiles it still has no competition anywhere near.

Clearly, we would now benefit from knowing how to find members’ email addresses, phone numbers, or ways to message them elsewhere, even more than before. I plan to write some posts about these techniques.

In this post, I’d like to describe a suggestion for LinkedIn Recruiter users on how to alleviate the change of InMail policy. Here it is:

Use Talent Pipeline; populate your LinkedIn Recruiter account with as many external records as possible.

With the “import candidates” function in the Talent Pipeline you can add email addresses to many profiles at a time – up to 5K profiles per upload of an excel file. (When importing, you can use tags to classify the records, to help with future sourcing; or use “projects”, but then you will be limited to 2K records at a time.)

When importing an Excel file in LinkedIn Recruiter, you will see a list like this:


For the members identified by the emails addresses from the uploaded file, we’ll see the green message “LinkedIn profile found” (or the orange “Already in Recruiter” if that email was part of a previous import).

If a LinkedIn member has an attached external record with an email address – which happens as a result of importing external records – then, when sending InMails to that member, you do not use the InMail points; the message is delivered by email:



Mass-InMails in Recruiter will default to emailing those with the email addresses and InMailing the rest.

If you have LOTs of email addresses of your potential candidates uploaded, you can search on LinkedIn and continue using InMail, just as you used to, while not using as many InMail “points”.

How can you get massive volumes of email addresses for your target professional population? Uploading all email addresses from your ATS (or CRM) is a good idea. Depending on what you have access to, use sites that provide lists of emails (,, and are some sites that I use.) Also: search for Excel files with contact info, using Google. Look into professional forums, lists of association members, etc. Create lists of professionals for those companies that have a standard email pattern. Upload all of those lists.

The more records are uploaded using Talent Pipeline, the better. If some of the uploaded email addresses are wrong or outdated, the record will simply not link to a profile, but there’s no harm in that. The activity populating your Recruiter account with email addresses can be spread over time. It  will pay off, as you contact potential candidates, that you find via search on LinkedIn.

I would also like to invite you to sign up for the first webinar in 2015 on Google-Based Sourcing. The webinar offers 3 hours of training (lecture and practice); check it out!





Ten Favorite Tools Shared at Sourcing Chats in 2014

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In 2014, our LinkedIn group – by far, the largest global community of people who are interested in Sourcing – reached 28K Members and the Boolean Strings Ning Network reached 7K members. Thanks to all for participating and sharing great content- and Happy Holidays!

The Bi-Weekly Sourcing Chats on the Ning Network, moderated by Master Sourcer David Galley, have been well attended in 2014 and always had great content, appreciated by all.

The Chats are not archived; the content stays up for about a day after the chat is over. (Of course, members are free to come and chat at any time outside of the “official” hours as well.)

Here are a few favorite free tools shared by the members of the Internet Sourcing Community in the last few sessions of 2014 at the Chats. Have you used these tools?

Email tracking:

Find the technology behind a site/find the webmaster or developer: BuiltWith (Chrome extension)

Social Look-up and Contact Info Search:

Broadlook’s “Contact Capture” as a Chrome Extension (the free part of the Extension): Capture!

Organize Info while Sourcing: Evernote

Access (lots of) public records – search by name, location: Family search.

The next Sourcing Chat is coming up on January 8, 2015; please join and bring your Sourcing questions and your suggestions for cool tools.

Looking to access in-depth coverage of Sourcing tools and methods? Go to our Training Library for single-subject in-depth webinars; sign up for the Sourcing Guidebook susbcription to have access to all topics Sourcing and ongoing support; or check out a “double-webinar” on Google Sourcing  (lecture AND practice) coming up January 6-7, 2015.

Stop Using Boolean OR on Google

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Here is the description of the Boolean operator OR from the Google’s help:

OR: If you want to search for pages that may have just one of several words, include OR (capitalized) between the words. Without the OR, your results would typically show only pages that match both terms.
Example: world cup location 2014 OR 2018

Many researchers routinely use the operator OR trying to control the search outcome by covering “every possibility” (whatever it means in every specific case).  There are certainly good reasons to use the operator OR  – say, when you expect few or no results for a given search, for each word for a list. Arranging these words in an OR statement and running one search instead of multiple (one search for each word) would speed up finding those pages.

Here is an example; each of the Midwestern States is spelled out:

chapter Healthcare Financial Management Association Illinois OR Indiana OR Iowa OR Kansas OR Michigan OR Minnesota OR Missouri OR Nebraska OR “North Dakota” OR Ohio OR “South Dakota” OR Wisconsin

That works fine. However, there days there are fewer cases where OR makes searching  productive, than there used to be. Automatic inclusion of synonyms and the ever-growing number of pages on the Internet are two considerations that may affect the usefulness of OR (I’ll say more on those in another post.)

In this post I would like to describe a specific case, where you are interested in finding several words from a list on the results pages. For example, you have a list of target companies and are looking for lists of professionals from some of these companies, or are looking for profiles of people who have worked at two or more of the companies. Putting those company names in a long Boolean OR statement on Google will often not be the best way to search in this case.

Try this search, for example, and look at the results:

Bain OR McKinsey OR BCG OR PwC OR Deloitte OR “Oliver Wyman” OR “Cambridge Group” OR Parthenon OR “L.E.K. Consulting” OR “Cornerstone Research” OR “Insight Sourcing Group” OR “Chartis Group” OR “Point B” OR “A.T. Kearney” OR KPMG OR “ClearView Healthcare”

You might hope that the pages with several of these words would rank higher (and this may be the approach for systems, other than Google, that search specifically for profiles). However, Google shows a list of the most important, relevant pages with just one of the words on each page:


Here’s my search advice: To find pages where several words from a list are present, it’s better to stop using the Boolean OR and search for some of the words together.

Let me provide an example to illustrate.

Compare this search (that doesn’t seem to bring up any contact lists high in the search results):

“” OR “” OR “” name email


– with the search, where the same email domains are AND‘ed instead of OR‘ed, i.e. are all included:

“” “” “” intrusion detection

While I have dropped the words email and name from the first search and didn’t even look for anything pointing to lists (and didn’t specify the file types), this search gets very promising results, many of which are lists of professionals with the contact info:


Sure enough, if there was a long list of target companies to try and include, some results will be missing here. But it would be way more productive to search for shorter lists (3 or 4 items, perhaps) out of the long target list together, without the OR. You would want to do this several times, to vary the shorter lists. The results that come up every time are amazing. Additionally, we notice the sites in the search results, that we may want to X-Ray to find more lists.

In conclusion: don’t take me wrong, OR is still useful in many cases. I hope though that you will review the above examples and will search more productively in the cases, such as those described in the post, by dropping the habit of including long OR statements.

If you are interested in reviewing advanced Google searching in application to Sourcing and Research, and get full coverage of the most useful search syntax and the ways it works today, check out the recent webinar “Google-Based Sourcing”.

Custom Search Engines Hack: Get 1,000 Results

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Google’s Custom Search Engines (CSEs) can be useful in many ways. They provide a way to hide advanced search operators from your colleagues who are less technically inclined; they don’t bug advanced researchers with annoying Captchas; and they provide some interesting possibilities beyond those of “regular” Google.

Unfortunately, currently the “official” limit of the number of the search results in a CSE is 100 , with the maximum of 20 results per page. Given that CSE’s have their own ways to pick the results from Google’s index (if you have played creating and testing CSE’s you’d know what I am talking about), these numbers seem too limiting for any serious research.

Hooray! I have discovered a “hack”, that allows to get up to 1,000 search results, up to 100 per page in CSEs, that I am about to share. The way to do this is to use an old web interface that has been abandoned (and is not documented any longer, which makes it slightly challenging figuring out how to customize its look and feel). I do hope it stays on!

Let me get straight to the point. A standard public link to a CSE looks like this:

The highlighted piece takes us to a CSE, hosted by Google; the long string after cx= is the unique CSE ID. The above is a public link to a CSE that I created, Document Finder (Storage) that looks for documents stored in a number of sites such as scibd, slideshare, etc.

Try this search, for example

employee directory

– and get 100 results, which is the maximum.

Now, if you use a different URL template, the CSE takes you to a different User Interface – and it’s there that you get many more results – up to 1,000!

The alternative URL looks like this:…

The trick I discovered is to use this different Google-based URL, with the word “custom”. Now, try this:

employee directory

Currently, this search provides 1,000 results. That is quite unusual even for the regular Google these days! Here is what it looks like (there are some very interesting results this search provides by the way):


If you’d like to get existing CSEs to work this way: use the above format. Additionally, add &num=100 to set the number of results per page to 100; &filter=0 to see “all” results. You can even search by a date range or verbatim.

Check out my collection of Custom Search Engines here on the blog. I will adjust the links shortly there as well.