LinkedIn: Using Advanced Search for Research

Are you making the most out of the search function of LinkedIn?  How much research do you do using LinkedIn?  When I was researching for my previous article called LinkedIn: Are you using the search function?,  I came across an interesting article written in 2007 called 5 Tips on How to Search LinkedIn Like a Pro.  It talked about something called Boolean Search.  Now before your eyes start glazing over because I am going to talk about something called Logic, take a deep breath, there is a reason for me doing this.

  • Computers and databases are based on Logic
  • LinkedIn Search and other searches on the internet use Logic to get results
  • Understanding a tiny bit about Logic will help you get better search results.
  • If you understand how search works, you will start to understand how YOU can be found
  • By learning how search for keywords works, you can get more savvy about the keywords you use.

There is no point being fabulous if nobody can find you!



Boolean Search in a Nutshell

Boolean Logic refers to the logical relationship between search terms. 

There are 3 main ones and they are:

  1. AND
  2. OR
  3. AND NOT

Remember Venn Diagrams?

You have two groups of People;

let’s call one group A and the other group B,

some people will be a member of both groups and those are called C. 

So using a personal example, I have friends who are Toastmasters (A) and I have friends who are NLP Practitioners (B).  Some of my friends are both Toastmasters and NLP Practitioners (C).

  • When you  use “AND” to search you find the terms that are both of the terms.  So “AND” finds the intersecting group (C).
  • When you use “OR” you will get everyone who fits into either of the two groups.  So the term “OR” will find everyone who fits into A and B groups.  So in my example it will be all my friends who are Toastmasters and NLP practitioners
  • The term “AND NOT” will exclude one group so if I wanted to find all my friends who are Toastmasters, but want to exclude all the people who are NLP Practitioners, I would get A without the C part.

One more useful search tool to know about:

“Quotation marks”

  • If you are looking for an exact term that people might use to describe what they do, put the term in quotation marks and the search will look for that exact term.  For example, if I am looking for business development consultants, I would use “business development consultants” then only the people using that exact term will be found.


  • Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Function
  • Each box you fill in creates an “AND” So the search will look for results that match both criteria.
  • Within each box you can use “AND” ,”OR”, “AND NOT” and put terms in quotation marks.

LinkedIn is a giant database which holds 100 million professional business people’s data. 

All the information about these business have been put on the database in a very systematic way. 

When you entered your information, you entered information under headings, didn’t you? 

Each of these fields can be searched.

Learning how to search properly will help you find customers or business partners.  If you want to learn more about Advanced Search on LinkedIn, visit their Learning Centre Page

Why cold call when you can connect with people directly on LinkedIn?  There is a wealth of information on LinkedIn that can be incredibly useful to your business. 

Action Point: Spend some time doing research to find the right people for your business.

LinkedIn relies on Keyword searches to find people.  What keywords do you have in your profile to help the right person find you?

Action Point: Think about what terms your ideal customer would use to find you and make sure that you use them in your profile.

Let me know if you found this useful by leaving a comment below, thank you.

Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel is a Social Media Coach & Trainer inspiring, educating and empowering Business Owners to use Social Media more strategically. She is also the author of bestselling, "How to Twitter for Business Success" and newly published "Converting Conversations to Customers". For more information visit or to find out about her courses that she runs in Guildford visit

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