Social Media 4 Recruitment

X-raying LinkedIn Profiles with Search Engines

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LinkedIn is seriously reducing the amount of information it provides for free, in the hope of selling more of their products. However, x-raying LinkedIn profiles may provide a free alternative.

Advantages

  • X-raying will always provide a full name.
  • You can view thousands of profiles rather than 100.
  • Results appear more logically – search engines sort them by relevance to the search rather than closeness to you/completeness of profile, neither of which are particularly useful.

Disadvantages

  • This only works for public profiles – it will not override people who have restricted access to their profile. This is likely to affect about 15% of profiles. (Luckily, at the moment the default setting is public, so it only affects profile where people have deliberately changed it to private.)
  • Even with this information, we still have to find a way to contact a member – although it will tell us which groups they are in, which should help.
  • LinkedIn appears to be working to close as many of these loop holes as it can. People are reporting more and more techniques that aren’t working anymore. Tactics listed below may not continue working in the near future.

How to x-ray LinkedIn profiles

Currently, Bing appears to provide the best search results in LinkedIn. While Google requires all sorts of complicated parameters, Bing will allow you to find profiles simply by using the following:

site:linkedin.com “[job title] at” powered

Company and location can also be added to this as required, although for location it should be remembered that LinkedIn isn’t very good at UK geography.

“Powered” is due to the fact that all profiles have “Public profiles by” on them – this helps to filter identify actual profiles rather than directory listings or other irrelevant results. For some reason, this only works in Bing and not Google, which is why Google requires the complicated parameters to achieve similar results.

How to search more within LinkedIn

You are still able to see full public profiles, but you have to logout of LinkedIn to do so.

It is also worth remembering that within LinkedIn, you can use some Boolean Strings functions – and, or, not – across all search fields. There doesn’t appear to be a character limit on this, meaning you create very specific searches.

This means you can still find a profile using LinkedIn search. You can then use this information to find the profile in Google and view the full profile while logged out of LinkedIn. Combining LinkedIn and Google seems to be the best way to find full information about a candidate.

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