Restricted Boolean on LinkedIn

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Since a recent update of the LinkedIn search for personal accounts (including the paid business accounts), we are now seeing the above screen for the searches that used to work fine.

Here is what happened. As a push to make people sign up for more expensive accounts, LinkedIn has now restricted the number of Boolean operators we can use in a search. The help article Boolean Query Limitations says this:

LinkedIn now limits the amount of AND or OR Boolean operators in a search.

The limitation has little to do with “scraping” – and makes searching using any personal account quite challenging. What LinkedIn wants is for people to sign up for Sales Navigator, Recruiter Lite, or LinkedIn Recruiter. Only those, higher-paid accounts will allow searching with many Boolean operators (as it’s often necessary).

If you are searching with a personal account:

  • NOTs are not restricted – use as many as you like
  • ANDs are restricted. But there is a workaround: just do not use the operator AND explicitly; we can still search with many terms combined
  • ORs are restricted – and that is very unfortunate! There is no set number of ORs that make queries fail but using more than 3-4 would result in the above screen. (Needless to say, the message on the screen “This one’s is our fault… Retry search” is quite misleading).

Of course, we can still use X-Raying on Google, or a Custom Search Engine like, or Social List.

Edited: I have found a workaround! Email me for details.


LinkedIn Job Search Flaw and a Fix

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The LinkedIn job search has a serious flaw. Let me share what it is – and how to work around it.

When we are logged into LinkedIn and go to the job search at, we have access to many advanced filters:

Do you know what is missing here? The ability to search by the job title! All we can do is search by the keywords, that can be found in the title, but also anywhere in the job posts. It’s rather bizarre that the job title search filter is not there.

So here is how to work around the missing feature. Log out of LinkedIn and go back to the same link You will see a different search dialog:

As you scroll down, you will see that now the job title search filter is present!

Additionally, the logged-out dialog provides twice as many values to search from in each filter – ten, compared to five values in the logged-in dialog, which is another advantage.

So here is a summary.

Job Search on LinkedIn – Logged-In vs. Logged-Out

  • Both allow to search for:
    • Location
    • Company
    • Date Posted
    • Job Type
    • Job Function
    • Industry
    • Experience Level
  • Logged-in allows searching for jobs with fewer than ten applicants
  • Logged-out allows to search for job titles – missing in the logged-in!
  • Logged-out shows twice as many options for each search filter (10 vs. 5)

Please share with your colleagues.

Did You Notice? New Ways to X-Ray LinkedIn

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Several months ago, LinkedIn changed the member public profile pages. For members who have listed current jobs on their profiles, the profiles now include:

  • Job titles,
  • Company names.

Googlebot has been catching up on the new page titles, and we can take advantage of that!

So now we can X-Ray LinkedIn for people’s job titles and companies using the operator intitle:. Here are a couple of simple examples: OR -pub.dir intitle:”chief financial officer” (people with the title “Chief Financial Officer”) OR -pub.dir intitle:facebook (people who work at Facebook).

Please note though, that members without a current job do not have the company names or job titles as part of their profile pages titles, as this search shows.

We have updated Social List to take advantage of the change. Check it out if you haven’t!


One Million Views

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Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting! My blog has reached one million views.

Starting my blog has lead to the worldwide acceptance of the term Boolean Strings, and I am proud of it! 🙂

Here are some of the latest most popular posts:

Searching for Grads: a Hands-On Example
LinkedIn Groups Upcoming Decline
Cross-Referencing Individuals
Two Interesting Sourcing Tools
Eight Strings To Find Code Authors
Finding Facebook IDs for Companies Hack
How to View Resumes with Names on Indeed for Free
A LinkedIn Recruiter Flaw You Should Know About
How to Find Facebook Graph IDs for Job Titles
Facebook Graph Search Important Changes
Automated Search? Not Any Time Soon
New Email Extractor/Collector

Also – I have just updated the List of Sourcing Tools.

If you would like me to cover any Souring topics, let me know in the comments.

Would you be interested in publishing a guest post on my blog? Please get in touch!

I share Sourcing tips, techniques, hacks, and concepts on the blog. I am glad to contribute to the Sourcing/Recruiting community! At the same time, my blog helps to market and attract professionals and teams to the Sourcing Training Programs that we provide; the tips I post on the blog serve as a preview of the type of material we teach. Thousands of the Boolean Strings blog readers got access to the informative, in-depth Sourcing Training Materials in the Training Library, attended our Live Classes, and signed up for the yearly Sourcing Training Subscription, that also includes the Boolean Book. All of our training webinars include one month of support on the material and the subscription offers year-round support on all things Sourcing. If you are interested in serious Sourcing Training, check those out!

Happy Sourcing!



Searching for Grads: a Hands-On Example

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LinkedIn has a people search filter that LinkedIn Recruiter doesn’t have: searching by keywords in the School names. Searching by school names is especially helpful if we are looking for professionals who have moved from one country to another.

Here is an example. I am currently sourcing for an HR Director for the San Francisco Bay Area office of an Israel-based company. They would prefer to hire someone who has moved here from Israel and understands the culture. Searching for graduates of Israel-based schools living in the Bay Area is an excellent way to find those candidates.

First, I assembled a list of colleges and universities in Israel on LinkedIn. I ran this search for schools. I collected the school names from the results using Instant Data Scraper from and created an OR statement with the school names:

“Afeka Tel Aviv Academic College of Engineering” OR “Bar-Ilan University” OR “Ben-Gurion University of the Negev” OR “Bezalel Academy of Art and Design” OR “Coding Academy Israel” OR “College of Law and Business” OR “Developers.Institute” OR “Eastern Mediterranean International School” OR “Gvahim” OR “Habetzefer – הבצפר” OR “IDC Herzliya” OR “IDF Junior Command Military Academy” OR “IFI – Israel Financial Institute” OR “Israel Academic College” OR “Israel Tech Challenge <itc>” OR “Kivunim” OR “MLA – The center of Academic Studies” OR “Netcraft Academy” OR “Ono Academic College” OR “ORT Braude College” OR “ORT Colleges” OR “ORT Guttman” OR “Ruppin Academic Center” OR “School of Pharmacy/Institute for Drug Research,Hebrew University of Jerusalem” OR “See-Security: Cyber & Information Security College” OR “Shalem College” OR “Shapell’s/Darche Noam” OR “Shenkar – Engineering. Design. Art.” OR “Tech Career Israel” OR “Technion – Israel Institute of Technology” OR “Tel Aviv University” OR “Tel Aviv University – Coller School of Management” OR “Tel-Hai College” OR “The College of Management Academic Studies” OR “The Department of Asian Studies – University of Haifa” OR “The Open University of Israel” OR “University of Haifa” OR “Vatel Israel” OR “Weizmann Institute of Science” OR “Yeshiva Keter Shlomo” 

Next, I pasted the above string into the Schools field, along with additional parameters, resulting in this search.

Note, if you are a LinkedIn Recruiter subscriber, you won’t be able to run a search like that; you need to run it from your personal account.

Sourcing Contest – Win 3 Months of Social List

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Hello Sourcers:

Take part in our latest Sourcing Contest if you haven’t yet! Here is the link:

Hurry – the deadline is EOB Friday, August 24th, 2018.

Your prize is a three-month subscription to our awesome Sourcing Tool – Social List (

Hint: you can easily solve the challenge by using Social List.

Once the Contest is over, I will update the post with the winners’ names.

Good luck everyone!


Thanks to all who have answered the contest questions! We had participants from the US, India, South Africa, the Netherlands, Russia, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Argentina, France, the UK, and Australia.

Congratulations to the winners! They are:

Alicia Priselac
Catia Sousa
Dilip Anjaria
Florian Bonnet
Galina Meriakri
James Galvin
Jan Bernhart
Jeremy Tatom
Jonathan Tarrico
Marija Zivanovic
Martin Freeman
Nagajothi Edumban
Naresh Kumar
Sankar David
Scott Quinn
Shane McCusker
Shivkumar Gurram
Susanna Frazier
Tatiana Durkot
Tatyasaheb Kolage
Trish Wyderka
Vidhya Lingappan
WP Strauss

Well done! Everyone on this list will get a three-month subscription to Social List.

LinkedIn Groups Upcoming Decline

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LinkedIn has announced some major – negative – changes coming up for LinkedIn Groups.

The announcement sounds rather odd to me. While LinkedIn will add a few new additions to Groups, they are taking away the two main features that make Groups useful for members.

  1. Moderation queues will be “temporarily” unavailable. — I expect groups to get spammy posts, diminishing Groups’ value.
  2. Admin and auto-generated group emails (including digests, automated templates, and announcements) will be unavailable “as we build better and more robust notification and communication channels.” — As a Group moderator, I expect it to be harder to stay in touch with members and share relevant news and training classes. This, too, sounds like they are taking a significant feature away, without providing anything to substitute it.

Why release a Groups update without keeping these two features? I guess it’s a rhetorical question…

You can read the full announcement, which they have sent to Group moderators, here.

LinkedIn Groups have already been on the decline since LinkedIn made some functionality changes about two years ago. Groups have already become less engaging and less interactive.

Are you a member of our LinkedIn Group Boolean Strings – The Internet Sourcing Community? Let’s stay in touch! Consider joining our fast-growing Facebook Group Boolean Strings, the Internet Sourcing Community – FB and the Boolean Ning Network.

Cross-Referencing Individuals

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Cross-referencing is a major sourcing method. Everyone should be using it as part of a sourcing process.

“Cross-Reference”: starting from incomplete initial data, build up professional profiles by locating and assembling the professional bio details.

Let’s take a look at some cross-referencing techniques.

We start from incomplete – but promising – professional data. Our goal is to find additional information that would pre-qualify a professional as a potential candidate or prospect – or exclude the professional from further consideration.

Of course, a straightforward way to find that extra information is Googling. We can Google by the person’s name, adding his or her area code, employer name, employer email domain, job title, location, or skills. As soon as we find new information, we can include that in further searches, and find more.

Here is an example. Starting from a LinkedIn profile, I have Googled the person’s name along with area codes – and found the person’s resume, along with the contact information:

An excellent cross-referencing tool is the LinkedIn-owned Connectifier Social Links. It works on profiles on many Social Networks, including LinkedIn, and shows clickable icons that take us to the person’s other profiles:


If the info we already have includes the person’s email address, we are in luck! We can find quite a bit of professional information using some of these techniques:

… and more.

Would you be interested in digging deeper and mastering the art of cross-referencing? We will cover it in-depth, along with multiple examples, as part of the class “Sourcing Methodologies” coming up on Wednesday, September 5th. Check it out!








Two Interesting Sourcing Tools

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I want to share two Chrome extensions that I have started using recently – and I like them!

ZAPinfo (formerly WebClipDrop) is a unique combination of a web scraper combined with data enrichment software. ZAPinfo:

  • Collects and parses profiles or resumes from Social Networks, Job Boards, and other sites
  • Enriches the records with contact and social info – I use this functionality as a back-up to contact-finding tools like ContactOut
  • Exports to CSV; it can also fill out forms for you

You can find a (substantial) list of sites that ZAPinfo works with here.

Here is a screenshot of a ZAPinfo window with enriched information from a LinkedIn profile of my friend Jim Stroud (hope he doesn’t mind):


Instant Data Scraper by is a scraper that works amazingly well out-of-the-box. It crawls “listing type” data from multiple pages. The tool uses AI to detect tabular or listing type data on web pages. All you have to do to start scraping is point it to the “Next” button. You can export the results in Excel format.

Here is a screenshot of a site and the Instant Data Scraper export:

You can find videos on both tools on the excellent UnTECH Youtube channel by Bret Feig.

Are you interested in an updated review and comparison of all the top Sourcing Tools available? Check out the webinar “Sourcing Productivity Tools” in our Training Library.


Eight Strings To Find Code Authors

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One of my favorite ways to source for Software Developers is in the “authors” files.

Software code repositories often have text-formatted “authors” files which list contributors, usually along with their contact email addresses.

Here are some Boolean Strings that find lists of code authors.

Search on

Search on other sites:

Are you well-versed in sourcing basics and interested in learning more sourcing hacks? Join me for a repeat of the previously sold-out webinar Sourcing Hacks, coming up on Wednesday, August 8th. In the presentation, I will cover twenty hacks that you can add to your Sourcing Toolkit. (See the webinar description for more detail). Seating is limited, and the class is already filling out – sign up now!