The Education Confusion on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn people search would work better if everyone had:

  • one degree with the dates
  • one current job with a start date.

But so many members have more than one degree. Let us see how it affects the search.

  1. The education dates and schools/majors are not connected. If you search – in Recruiter or an alumni school page – for a date range and a school, you will find people who have been students there but got another degree within the specified years.
  2. Searching by education dates also finds people with no dates.

For that reason, you will not be able to find exactly people who got, say, a Master’s in Computer Science within 2017-2021.

You cannot find people with a completed degree either. If you search for a Bachelor’s with the grad dates in the past, you will find current undergrads who have listed a high school on the profile.

Similarly, you cannot find people who majored in a given subject at a given school.

However, searching for a graduation date in the future in LinkedIn Recruiter reliably finds current students. My problem is that I am looking for students with good grades, and LinkedIn Recruiter misses most.

X-Ray helps, but X-Raying for current students is not easy. Most students work part-time, and the profile titles reflect jobs, not the study – though searching for “junior” or “intern” in the page titles helps – as well as “student,” of course.

I have been using future years in X-Ray because the keywords 2023, 2024, etc. are likely graduation dates (though not just). Example:

site:pl.linkedin.com/in “GPA * *” “computer science” 2023 student.

But finding people who will graduate in 2022 is problematic since many people have started working in 2022, so using this year as a keyword is a weak method.

This –

site:linkedin.com/in “computer science” “expected to graduate in 2022”

gets perfect results, but too few of them.

It has been quite an adventure!

When a search is hard to master, scraping can solve it. If you scrape results, you can go with wide-open searches (on either Google or Recruiter) and filter results further in Excel. I believe that scraping has become a must-have skill for anyone who sources.

There is no perfect tool for the X-Ray for my “education” case since I need to scrape “under” the links, i.e., go to each profile in the search results and copy the Education section. (We used to have Ally from include.io, and I miss it dearly every day.) It should be doable with Data Miner, but I am not a fan of the UI. Those of you who write scripts are at an advantage!

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