Sink Into LinkedIn Headlines – Tie inanchor: To Your Strings

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Guest Post from Talent Sourcer Mike Santoro

How to Search Linkedin Profile Headlines with X-Ray

You won’t find a “Headline Search Field” option in LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, LinkedIn Recruiter Lite, or Basic Search. Isn’t that strange? ( Yes).  Irina shared a headline search tip (first discovered by Aaron Lintz) in her Facebook Group Boolean Strings, the Internet Sourcing Community – FB.  If you have a Linkedin Recruiter level account, then there is a “Hidden Unpublished Operator” headline: that still works if you insert it into the “job title search field” that will allow you to search headline text.

(BTW, you should join Irina’s Facebook Group. Many great discussions, collaboration, and peer reviews of new methods like this one were first published and peer-reviewed in her FB Group).

However, what about those who don’t have a LinkedIn Recruiter level account?  You’re in luck! This discovery will show you how to easily X-Ray search for keywords in LinkedIn Headlines using a lesser-known advanced google operator.

But first, a Question:  Why is it essential for Recruiters and Sourcers to have the ability to search for Keywords within LinkedIn Headlines exclusively?

Answer: Professionals are more and more often understanding the value in editing their LinkedIn Profile Headlines beyond just the default “JOB TITLE at CURRENT COMPANY NAME.” The Headline is their key profile “real estate” to define themselves. Whenever someone posts anything on LinkedIn, the news feed will show three things, their Full Name, their Profile Picture, and their Headline!  Professionals are now more often putting their CORE skills in their Headlines or their REAL “functional job title” (what they do) while putting their often corporate given “generic job title” under their work experience section. And, since LinkedIn makes Headlines challenging to search with precision, it’s harder for Recruiters and Sourcers like us to find them.

Therefore, I’m sharing this discovery of a new X-Ray method to help Recruiters and Sourcers who don’t have LinkedIn Recruiter and want to more precisely search Headlines for how people self-identify themselves and their skills.  It can make your job easier and make your hiring managers happier.

“For Love of Sourcing and Sourcers”  –Mike Santoro

Google Search has an obscure, lesser-known advanced operator called inanchor: that I’ve never seen any other talent sourcers or recruiters use effectively.

The discovery is simple.

When used through X-Ray Search, Google’s inanchor: advanced operator will search text within the “Headline’s” section of a LinkedIn Profile.

Yes, it’s that simple!

Try this: inanchor:”Retail Sales Manager”

This example above will show all those who have the phrase “Retail Sales Manager” exclusively in their Headline!

Here’s one way this can be very useful. Since Irina and others have published that we can use Google’s intitle: operator to search for someone’s Current Job Title (or current company’s name), then we can now combine intitle: with inanchor: in many useful ways like this: inanchor:”Retail Sales Manager” -intitle:”Retail Sales Manager”

This example above will show a new group of formerly “less discoverable” candidates who self-identify themselves as “Retail Sales Managers” in their LinkedIn Headlines but have a different Current Job Title like just “Sales Manager” or “Retail Manager” or “Retail Store Manager.”

You can also do the opposite.  Search for those who have “Retail Sales Manager” as their current job title but a different phrase in their Headline: intitle:”Retail Sales Manager” -inanchor:”Retail Sales Manager”

Here are more inanchor: examples to inspire your sourcing creativity.

You are a Tech Sourcer and want to find a Python expert. Many of those candidates will have the generic corporate job title like “Software Engineer” or “Software Developer” in their experience section. But those who are true “experts” in Python will likely describe themselves and their experience in their Headlines more clearly as a “Python Developer” or “Python Engineer” or “Expert in Python,” or list the word “Python” with other software skills, etc.

Therefore, you can search LinkedIn Headlines for those phrases using Google’s inanchor: operator to find more accurate candidates like this.  Those who have “Engineer” in their current job title and “Python” in their Headline (but not “python” in their current job title): inanchor:python intitle:engineer -intitle:python -inanchor:engineer

You will find a formerly less discoverable candidate like Brandt Bucher, who self-identifies himself clearly in his Headline as a “Python Core Developer,” but his current job title is vague “Software Engineer II” at Microsoft:


You are doing an Executive Search, and you want to find a CEO who also uses the word “Visionary Leader” in their Headline. Now you can search for those candidates like this: inanchor:”visionary leader” intitle:”CEO”

You will find someone like Victoria, whose job title is a “CEO” and whose Headline states the phrase “visionary leader”  :

Furthermore, you can get complex and more specific too! (This is where it gets fun and very exciting to use)

How about we look for “Open to Work” Sales Professionals with Digital Marketing Experience who are NOT Managers, Directors, or Executives.  We will use inanchor: to search for those who put the phrase “Open to Work” or “Open to New” in their Headlines. We will use -inanchor: and -intitle to (more cleanly than ever) remove managers, directors, and executives from the search results by profiles with those words in both the Headline and current job title sections: (inanchor:”Open to work” OR inanchor:”Open to new”) inanchor:”Sales” digital marketing -inanchor:director -inanchor:executive -inanchor:manager -intitle:director -intitle:manager -intitle:executive

So many new and fun possibilities to find new candidates with more precision!

Enjoy this!

Comments 3

  1. This was GREAT. Thanks for sharing really helpful. I especially found the comments about how people are referring to themselves in headlines by their core or functional skillset, or how they want to be seen by those in the market.. rather than the exact titled position.

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