Update on LinkedIn People Search

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What happened?

As of two days ago, search operators (that I have covered in previous posts) have stopped working on LinkedIn. This includes not only undocumented operators like headline: but also the officially documented operators firstname:, lastname:, title:, company:, and school:. (They were introduced in 2017). It’s quite unfortunate! [Edited April 22, 2019: LinkedIn has taken down that help page.]

As always, we will be looking into alternative ways for Recruiters and Sourcers to overcome LinkedIn limitations.

We may get the operators back; we’ll see.

In the meantime, if you are searching with a basic or premium account, keep in mind that:

  1. LinkedIn Keywords Boolean Search Is Compromised. For better results, use the advanced search dialog.
  2. You can X-Ray LinkedIn for current company and job title. The advantage is, you would be looking for the “true” current job and avoiding finding jobs that members have not “closed”.
  3. If you are up for writing complex Custom Search Engine (little-known) special operators, you can use the technique described in Fascinating: Custom Headline Search. While LinkedIn search operators are not working, this is the only way to search by headlines (unavailable in any LinkedIn accounts, including Recruiter.)
  4. If you are not up for writing complex CSE search operators, use our Sourcing Tool Social List, which used the CSE technology via APIs and hides all the complexity for end-users. (We have also added a “Contact Finder” to the tool. Check out Dean Da Costa’s blog and video).

Thanks for reading! I’ll keep you updated.

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