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LinkedIn training tip – Search People should say Search Profiles

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Summary:

In the upper right hand corner of your LinkedIn page, it says Search People, but LinkedIn allows you to do so much more, so it really should say “Search Profiles”.  See some of what you can do in the following post.

Details:

In that box, you can specify any words that you want (not just people’s names).  LinkedIn will then search people’s profiles to see if they can find a match for the words that you specify.  Therefore, you can search for

Oracle

in the Search People box, and you will get a list of search results which will include profiles of people who

  1. currently work at Oracle Corporation (or worked there previously)
  2. have a job as an Oracle DBA (or had one previously)
  3. say that they’ve used Oracle databases in the descriptions of their jobs
  4. were nicknamed the “Oracle of Omaha” (if Warren Buffet put that in his profile)

Cool feature – the word Oracle is also highlighted in yellow in the profile, so it’s easier to find.

Therefore, you can use the LinkedIn Search People field to find people by much more than just their name.  You can use it to find people using any attribute that they might put in their profile, including

  • their company
  • their job
  • their skills
  • software they’ve used
  • hobbies, clubs, fraternities
  • and more

If you are searching for someone to solve a problem, you can fill the “Search People” field with any words that someone might put in their profile, like the words underlined here:

  • graphic designer
  • web developer at Google
  • VP of Sales at EMC
  • an expert in RDB software

and you will get a set of matches for profiles that contain the underlined words.

You can then refine your search using the advanced search fields on the right.  I will address advanced search more in a future post, and it’s pretty cool.

Note that the results can be sorted (or re-sorted) in 4 ways, including

  • Relevance
  • Relationship
  • Relationship and Recommendations
  • Keyword

You can find these choices by looking in the results list under the number of results, where it says “Sort by”.  I usually prefer to sort by Relationship, since I am most likely to want to find someone that I know.  If I only see 2nd level connections, then they at least know someone I know, so I can get a reference.

When I was looking for a graphic designer, the first thing that I did was to use LinkedIn to see who I knew that was a graphic designer.  To refine the search, I then put graphic designer in the title field.  I was given a bunch of choices of first level connections and second level connections, and began my emails and phone calls.

In conclusion, you should now consider using Search People any time you need to find anything that a person could have put in their profile, which can really help you harness the power of LinkedIn search.

Notes:

  • In an upcoming post, I will explain some tips on how to set up your profile so that you can be found more easily and more often
  • In fairness, LinkedIn tried to show you example of this capability on the far left of the Search People function, where you can click on any of the sample searches.  However, I think they could have taught it more quickly by also changing “Search People” to something like “Search Profiles for any words”.
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1 comment

1 Sean Cummins { 04.12.11 at 9:32 am }

Great information easy to understand and read. COMMON SENSE STUFF
Thanks Love it.
I will pass your name along

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