Exploring Private Profiles on LinkedIn

booleanstrings Uncategorized 5 Comments

When you use people search on LinkedIn, sometimes you see the “Out of your network” note (as seen on the left here) and at other times you see that the profile is Private. In both cases LinkedIn suggests that you should upgrade your account to see more. Though Glen Cathey posted an excellent exploration of  “private” profiles a while ago, many of us keep thinking that those profiles we find by searching are indeed private, i.e. their owners have changed their settings not to have a public URL (meaning a URL visible to search engines) for their LinkedIn profiles.

The truth is, that private profiles have NO correlation whatsoever with profiles marked “Private” in search results.

I have been exploring out-of-network and “private” profiles lately – and you should, too, before you decide to upgrade your LinkedIn account. I will present a webinar on June 8th, 2010 to show a variety of search techniques for a basic LinkedIn account holder.

Here is an example of a “private” LinkedIn profile found by a friend using LinkedIn people search. Any idea who that might be?

LinkedIn Connections: Statistics

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Searching on LinkedIn without any keywords will show some statistics about your current connections. I have looked at mine and here are some numbers that I find interesting – and relevant to the profile of my company, Brain Gain Recruiting. I wonder if others with large networks would have similar distribution – if you take a look, let me know.


  • United States (788069)
  • India (171175)
  • Greater New York City Area (104945)
  • United Kingdom (99636)
  • Canada (60881)
  • San Francisco Bay Area (58014)
  • Greater Chicago Area (43605)
  • Netherlands (40825)
  • Greater Boston Area (40418)
  • Greater Los Angeles Area (37655)


  • 1st Connections (14102)
  • 2nd Connections (3326977)
  • Group Members (1536674)


  • Information Technology and Services (210563)
  • Marketing and Advertising (124202)
  • Human Resources (97284)
  • Computer Software (80838)
  • Staffing and Recruiting (66489)
  • Management Consulting (59882)
  • Financial Services (56159)
  • Telecommunications (50542)
  • Pharmaceuticals (47373)
  • Internet (40559)

Current Companies

  • IBM (5391)
  • Accenture (4418)
  • Hewlett-Packard (3650)
  • Microsoft (3427)
  • Oracle (3207)
  • Deloitte (2859)
  • SAP (2768)
  • Cisco Systems (2450)
  • Ernst & Young (2283)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (2235)
  • Capgemini (2166)

If I change the location to the US only, the list is this:

  • IBM (2197)
  • Microsoft (1873)
  • Cisco Systems (1589)
  • Bank of America (1563)
  • Pfizer (1482)
  • Hewlett-Packard (1434)
  • Accenture (1394)
  • Oracle (1361)
  • JPMorgan Chase (1070)
  • AT&T (1062)
  • Merck (1046)

Past Company

  • IBM (16959)
  • Accenture (12190)
  • Hewlett-Packard (10025)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (9009)
  • Ernst & Young (7992)
  • Microsoft (7860)
  • Deloitte (7731)
  • Oracle (7356)
  • AT&T (6199)
  • KPMG (5496)
  • GE (5407)

(These lists very much reflect the type of positions Brain Gain Recruiting hires for: consulting, IT, and finances, with our clients being high up on the list.)


  • University of Mumbai (12426)
  • University of Phoenix (11876)
  • Delhi University (9121)
  • University of Pune (7480)
  • New York University (6954)
  • Penn State University (6875)
  • Bangalore University (6052)
  • University of California, Berkeley (6045)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (5970)
  • Michigan State University (5791)
  • Osmania University (5704)

School, for the US only:

  • University of Phoenix (11532)
  • Penn State University (6675)
  • New York University (6394)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (5691)
  • Michigan State University (5626)
  • University of California, Berkeley (5545)
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick (5509)
  • Boston University (5291)
  • The University of Texas at Austin (5277)
  • University of Michigan (5179)
  • University of Maryland College Park (4960)

Profile Language

  • English (1518738)
  • Spanish (20647)
  • French (13857)
  • Others (7169)
  • German (5772)
  • Portuguese (1945)
  • Italian (1564)

Semantic Search for Recruiters, Sample Approaches

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Semantic search for recruiters, ideally, would let us enter a job description and get lists of matching candidates.

Here are some sample approaches that either have been implemented in new semantic search tools for recruiters or can be accomplished through search engines like Google (learn more by getting my Google DVD).

  • Word proximity. If the work managed in near the word people in a resume, we are most likely looking at a manager’s resume.
  • Abbreviations. It certainly helps to recognize that Sr. is Senior, and PwC is Pricewaterhousecoopers.
  • Synonyms. If you are looking for a Software Engineer, a Software Developer is a match as well.
  • Weighted words. You may want to say that some skills are “must-have”, and some are “nice to have”, or, in a more complex system, give higher “weights” to words that are more important.
  • Keyword clouds. Some keywords may not be in a job description but are common, say, for the industry. Using those terms in a search helps.
  • Ranking. Search engines rank pages higher if the pages are more popular; we need to see pages that are most relevant, and this is not the same.

Would you like to add more? 🙂

Navigating Semantic Search is Featured on SlideShare

booleanstrings Uncategorized 4 Comments

Friends at Monster.com have just forwarded this notification from Slideshare to me:

“Your presentation Navigating Semantic Search is currently being featured on the SlideShare homepage by our editorial team.

We thank you for this terrific presentation, that has been chosen from amongst the thousands that are uploaded to SlideShare everyday.”

Thanks again to Monster.com for giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge with their large audience.

Here is a related blog post at www.monsterthinking.com

LinkedIn Tip for Non-Premium Account Holders

booleanstrings Uncategorized 11 Comments

If you use people search on LinkedIn and get a person that is “outside of your network” as one of the results, you will see a very minimal set of information and this message:

Expanded profile views are available only to premium account holders. Upgrade your account.

But you know what? You do not need to upgrade your account to see much more! Simply click on the public profile URL. This will let you see the profile as if you are logged out of your LinkedIn account. Take a look and you will see lots of info in the public profile – including positions held, companies, and schools, all with dates. You will also see the “show full profile” option – but if you select it, you will get back to not seeing much and an invitation to upgrade your account.

Here is a random example of a LinkedIn profile of a person with zero connections, so none of us would be in the person’s network. Take a look and then click on the “full profile” button. (You might have to log into LinkedIn.) See the difference? The “full profile” shows much less…

I’d say that this is a case where the surface web has more information than the deep web 🙂

Of course, you will not see much if the profile owner hasn’t entered much data – many LinkedIn members don’t. But in this case, being a premium account holder wouldn’t help you either.

Now, if a profile of someone you find is “private”, you will not see a link to the public profile. However, in many cases I was able to find a public link to the profile in question anyway. If you are interested in a private profile that shows up in your search, I am open to helping you find out more information – please email me.

Oh, and I am happy to connect on LinkedIn, here’s my profile.

Find the Right People on Twitter (Expanded Version)

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Join us for a Webinar on May 11
Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

“Your seminar was well prepared, well presented, and covered a solid amount of material in a “doable” window of time.  I also appreciated that you were able to incorporate pointers or guidance for users at any end of the spectrum, even for people like me who are still diving into the pool.  I’ll look forward to hearing more from you, and am setting you up as a person to follow!” Laurie

Would you like to be able to quickly locate the right people on Twitter – to do business with, potential candidates, clients, peers? We will discuss Google-based techniques and tricks and specialized search tools.

Useful for sourcers, recruiters, and anybody who wants to find the right people online. Some basic knowledge of Google search is required.

  • 2:20 PM – 3 PM Free-form discussion and online demo of Twitter usage (for beginners)
  • 3 PM -3:50 PM Lecture (see the outline below)

Fee: $79 for 90 minutes
$49 for the 50 minutes lecture starting at 3PM

Included: unlimited Q&A for one month

Lecture (3-3:50)
• Boolean Search on Twitter
• Advanced Search Operators
• Best Search Applications
• Social Search Engines
• Searching for People in the Right Locations
• Searching Twitter from Google
o X-Ray
o Real-Time Search
• Finding People to Follow Using Google
• Finding Tweeple through LinkedIn
• Locating People on Twitter via Partial Contact Info
• Finding Blogs, Profiles, and Resumes Using Twitter
• Finding Skilled People with Vague or Empty Twitter Bios
• Finding People on Twitter through Examining Competition
• Exploring Twitter Lists
• Attracting the Right People
• Custom Search Engines
• Resources

Title: Find the Right People on Twitter (Expanded Verson)
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Time: 2:20 PM – 3:50 PM PDT

Control Google Search Results Display With *

booleanstrings Uncategorized 2 Comments

Many of us know about the use of the asterisk * to find phrases on Google. The asterisk stands for one (or sometimes a few) words. Here is an example. On Google, search for

“current * * manager” marketing site:linkedin.com -inurl:dir “san francisco bay area”

to find Senior Marketing Managers, Partner Development Managers, and others on LinkedIn.

Did you know that you can also use the asterisk to control what Google displays – and perhaps save a few click-throughs by telling it to display the info of interest on the results page?

Try this (and better yet, select the “page previews” available under the “options” along with it)

“current * software engineer at * * * ” site:linkedin.com -inurl:dir “san francisco bay area”

Or, try this:

“phone OR cell OR mobile * * *” intitle:resume OR inurl:resume DBA 650 OR 415 OR 510 OR 925 OR 408 -free

Or this:

“My password is * * *”

(no, just kidding).

Cool, huh?