As part of the dialog with LinkedIn Engineering, I had submitted the strange examples from LinkedIn Job Search Is Haunted.
The reply was unexpected. It parallels Google’s Engineering response on The Behavior of the Quotes (Google Search Report). The similarity is treating keywords in quotes differently, applying less algorithmic interpretation, and sometimes, generating many more relevant results.
The new insight is inconsistent with LinkedIn Job Search Help.
Double quotes around a phrase producing unexpected results. “recruiter” behaving differently from recruiter (no double quotes).
This is an intended behavior and highlights what our double quote functionality actually does. It is true that using double quotes forces the system to do an exact text match. However there is slightly more to it. When no double quotes are used, the system tries to understand the meaning of your search terms as well as what portions of a job it should search for to find those terms. The system does not always use an exact text match here as not every single job with the occurrence of a search term is actually relevant. Some (not all) of the places we look at are the job’s title, description and desired skills. Our search then decides which of those are the most relevant and displays the results to you. This means you will not see every single job with the words “sourcer” or “recruiter” in the title/description/skills/etc., but rather, you will see all the jobs that our system thinks are for someone that is a sourcer or a recruiter. For example, a software engineering job that has a description stating “talk to our recruiter to learn more” is likely not a good job search result.
When double quotes are used, it looks for exact text matches across various areas of a job. As the double quotes force an exact text match, the system is not as restrictive in filtering out results but rather just returns most that seem to have the quoted phrase in question. That is why putting a common word like “recruiter” in double quotes often returns MORE search results than just recruiter without double quotes.
Keep in mind, we are constantly trying to improve so our strategy today will likely continue to evolve beyond what is described above. These are also not all the details about how search is done but just some of the parts to help understand what you are observing. Your feedback is extremely valued and will help us continue to provide a better experience.
Please continue to provide us your thoughts on how we are doing, what you like about the system and what you do not. Every bit of feedback is a gift to us.
Bottom line, as in Google, use your job-hunting keywords both in quotes and without to find maximum relevant results.
A one-line conclusion:
>> As in Google, in LinkedIn Job Search, use your keywords in quotes and without to cover the ground best. <<
A one-line reason and comment:
>> LinkedIn is “overdoing” semantics (not telling us how or what has changed) <<
If you are a Recruiter using a LinkedIn Premium (Business) account to search for members, please join me for a completely reworked webinar on January 12th, 2023,
The two-part class addresses the challenges of sourcing professionals with a Premium account and explains the truth about LinkedIn Search algorithms. It will be helpful for other account holders as well.
Does this work the same way when sourcing? If I look for “Java” vs Java? Or only when looking through job posts?
Have you tested it? 😉