Whether you’re in the Matt Charney camp, or the camp occupied by the likes of Irina Shamaeva and Glen Cathey, LinkedIn is one site where you must use Boolean search to get the best results.
In light of another client engagement where Consultants were missing out on huge pools of freely accessible talent, I decided to put this together to cut through a couple of the assumptions that are costing Recruiters, in some cases, the majority of relevant candidates.
1. Don't use Asterisk*
As sourcing luminaries have been saying for years, just because you enter key words and get results, it doesn’t mean it’s a good search. This is one of the starker demonstrations of that fact.
Before even touching on anywhere else, this Recruiter’s candidate pool was increased almost 10x over.
2. Include full names of acronyms and vice versa
Looking for someone with JEE experience? Almost half a million candidates missed by not using the full name as well.
3. Split words that shouldn’t be split
4. Join words that shouldn’t be joined
5. Stem terms
Don’t stem for the sake of it (Analytical left out at the top because it gives too many false results) but always stem relevant terms. I covered this in an earlier post so won’t labour the point.
6. Include abbreviations
Linkedin is more formal than other social networking sites, but not to the point of a Resume / CV. Candidates will still abbreviate their titles.
7. Capitalise OR
If you don’t, LinkedIn will treat it as a search term.
8. Include common spelling mistakes
Again one I covered in an earlier post. No spell check on LinkedIn = a lot of typos.
Save time and space
LinkedIn’s search tends to break for me at around 1800 characters. This is considerably smaller than most major job boards so when you’re doing detailed searches, every character counts.
9. Stop using “Of”, “the” etc and Special Characters
Don’t bother with them as LinkedIn ignores them.
Skip all of them and just write the main words. In this case, LinkedIn will do the rest.
10. Forget AND
You never need to use it, a simple space will do.
11. Only use “Quotation Marks” around 2+ words together
Recruiters seem to be encouraged nowadays to put “quotation marks” around every word. This is a huge waste of time and space, it’s only needed for two or more words together.
***Unless*** you want to stop LinkedIn doing a small amount of the synonym work for you - for example VP returns Vice President as well, "VP" only returns VP (from free & Premium accounts).
I've undoubtedly missed something, what would you add to this?
What have I said that you disagree with?
Which one of the above will you find the most useful?
About the author
Steve spends his days trying to come up with new and innovative ways to find more talent in less time, as well as maximising results from traditional sources.
Running into search limits on LinkedIn? Our LinkedIn CSE search tool is also an option for getting around these new restrictions.