Control Google Search Results Display With *

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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 -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 * * * ” -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?

LinkedIn People Finder (International)

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I have updated my LinkedIn Google-based search engine, based on the recent changes to LinkedIn URLs (requiring us to say -inurl:dir -inurl:jobs instead of the “usual” -intitle:directory, first noticed by Glen Cathey).

Here you go, and please note that this engine has country-based refinements:


Try the updated LinkedIn People Finder

and let me know what you think.

Sourcing Webinar. Find the Right People on Twitter

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Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Would you like to be able to quickly locate the right people 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. Expect some unique, unpublished content. Some basic knowledge of Google search syntax is required.

• 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

Length: 50 min
Time: noon EDT, Tue May 4th
Price: $49

Included: unlimited Q&A for one month

How to Find People with Many Friends on Twitter

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On Google, type this:

“2000..100000 followers” “2000..100000 following” bio

and add your keywords.
Change the numbers above if you need to.

Guess what? These people are likely to follow you back.

Irina @braingain

Webinar: How to Create Search Strings that Work

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Join us for a Webinar on April 20
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


In this webinar, we will discuss the following questions in regards to web searches (and more).

* Is there the best Boolean string for every search? Which strings are right and wrong? How many strings do you need? How to alter a string that yields the wrong results? How do deal with too few or too many results? How to search for a keyword that has several meanings? Does it help to save strings and what’s the best way to do it?Participants are encouraged to “bring” their search string to the webinar; we will have an interactive practical session at the end where we will work on enhancing those strings.

The webinar will be helpful to recruiters, sourcers, and anybody who wants to get better results in their searches. As the result of the webinar, you will be prepared to search like a pro.

The webinar comes with one month of unlimited Q&A over email.

Time: noon EDT/ 9 am PDT
Length: 90 min
Price: $79

Locating Qualified Candidates on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn provides advanced capabilities to search for candidates. We also know how to X-ray LinkedIn. One problem is, though, that the majority of LinkedIn users have profiles that are barely filled out. Quite often all they have is a list of titles and companies. While these people may be fantastic potential candidates, they haven’t put the right keywords in their profiles for us to find them. If this is the case, one of the ways to still locate these people is to look by LinkedIn group memberships.

Here’s an example. Suppose I am looking for candidates with secret clearances of some sort. The potential candidate may have no clearance-related words in the profile, but may, as an example, belong to the LinkedIn group “Cleared Connections”. If person’s profile also shows employers that are likely to hire cleared people, we can reasonably expect that the person has a clearance as well.

To find those candidates, one option is to join the group “Cleared Connections”, use the LinkedIn advanced people dialog and look for candidates just within this group. (Did you know that you can restrict your choice of people search results by one or more of your group memberships?)

Or, you could do a Google X-ray search (add your keywords to narrow it down)

inurl:in OR inurl:pub -intitle:directory “Cleared Connections” <your keywords>

Or, try

LinkedIn People Finder

Search for Recruiters on Twitter Using Google

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Enter keywords (such as a company name, or a skill for a job opening), then select one of the refinements: recruiters, HR, etc.

Recruiters and HR People on Twitter