How to Find the Hidden Person’s Name

booleanstringsUncategorized 37 Comments

If you have a basic LinkedIn account, chances are that you keep running into those “private” and “out-of-network” profiles – as on the screenshot above – with no names, just the titles. We’ve discussed before that one can try and find the hidden name by pasting a sentence or two from the profile into Google with the hopes of finding the public profile of the mysterious person.

This works quite often, but not every time. Search engines may miss pages, miss keywords, and it takes some time for the engines to discover new results. Here is how to find the name of the person – without leaving LinkedIn. This should work for true “private” profiles as well – those that are visible only for LinkedIn members.

Step 1. Click on the nameless search results in LinkedIn and look at the URL; you will see the person’s LinkedIn ID “embedded” in it – it is a number (typically, large – close to 80 mln. for the people who joined recently). Copy the number.

Step 2. Click on this link. You don’t have to send me a message (please do, if you like, of course); the link is here for the purposes of our name discovery: Send me a message on LinkedIn

Step 3. Paste the number you have saved instead of my LinkedIn ID that you will see at the end of this link.

Et voilà…

Comments 37

  1. Nice one Irina,

    I normally just copy and paste the job title line in to google and that then brings up their name and you click that link and see their full profile, but it’s great to have a second way of doing this, in case my normal route fails 🙂

    As always, you’re a star.


  2. Pingback: Private and Out of Network Search Results on LinkedIn

  3. Hi Irina,

    Great suggestion, but is it possible that LinkedIn may have now blocked this?
    If I past the ID number (yours, mine, colleagues, anyones), the pasted text vanishes after hitting the TAB key or clicking in another field, hence I am receiving no result. I have a paid account, so one of my colleagues with a free acount also tried this and achieved the same result. Any thoughts?

  4. Hi Irina

    I know I might now seem foolish, but I have tried this and I get an error message “Please correct the marked field(s) below.” and “Please select at least one connection.”.

    If you provide me an email address I can send you screen shots of each stage, which will show we cannot get it to work here on paid or unpaid accounts – weird… it’s not just me.


  5. Hi Irina,

    This works great…after I put in the new id# then I see who the unknown person is. I then take the name and google it to see their profile.

    My question is, can you click or link to the profile from the modified link result or does your trick just provide the missing name? For example, I tried to send a message to the newly discovered person from that screen and LI said I could not send messages to them.

    Thanks in advance,


  6. Hi Irina,

    Linkedin seems to be patching “holes” really fast, first with the last initial and all. Do you think they will patch the name discover loophole as well?

    1. OK, for those who would still like to see the full name, here’s a different suggestion.

      Click on the profile in question. 1) If it’s a 3rd level connection and you only see the initial, not the full last name: FORWARD the profile to a friend (to me for example – and cc yourself.
      2) If you see only the title, but not the name (as in the post above), press the FORWARD link and look at the URL (it will be long and cryptic). Do not forward yet. First, change “network=I” for “network=O” in the URL and press ENTER, then forward & cc yourself.


  7. Can you help. I have tried several times to find the hidden name and have had no success. Can you direct me again on finding the hidden name? Thank you. AMB PS: Loved your class last week.

  8. I have another trick within linkedin.

    We can send message to our 1st connections candidate changing Profile in address.
    Similar method
    Mouseover on invisible linkedin connection right click>properties> copy Profile ID> replace ID in “send message” link. Now you can see candidate full name in “To:” field.

  9. I have just reviewed these comments and wanted to know if they are still relevant or, per post of 7/20/11, do they no longer work? I would appreciate your response.

    Spectra International
    Voted #1 Executive Search Firm in AZ

    1. Ymmv. Some 3rd connection people’s info can still be found this way, however the number is declining as the information in LinkedIn gets updated and the external search spiders are blocked from the new info.

  10. I would like to find an unknown connection’s last name, from which only the first letter is visible. Anyone any tips?
    Thanks you.

  11. Pingback: Solutions In Finding Hidden Names On LinkedIn | Aqua Black Cat

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