This powerful Google function, used in conjunction with LinkedIn, allows you to search all public profiles within the entire LinkedIn database!
There are really only two limitations to using the Google X-Ray function: (1) If a person has marked his or her LinkedIn profile as “private,” Google won’t find them; and (2) The person has to have put the key words you are looking for in their profile. So, for example, if you are looking for a “Georgia Tech” grad, the person has to have used “Georgia Tech” in building his or her profile. If they used “Georgia Institute of Technology,” for example, then you won’t find them unless you do a second search using those key words. (Other Boolean operators such as OR and NOT don’t work as well in the X-ray command, either, so you’re wise to stick with the AND operator as you will see below.)
THE X-RAY: APPLICATION
• Go to www.google.com
• Copy and Paste the following search string into Google:
site:www.linkedin.com intitle:linkedin (“Chemical engineer” AND “Georgia Tech” AND “Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers
What is in bold is REQUIRED, as it forces Google to look only at profiles. If you don’t put this in the Google search string exactly as shown, you will have returned to you all kinds of things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with PEOPLE (such as questions, answers to questions, information from news groups, polls, etc.)
The items in quotation marks and regular typeface, i.e., not in BOLD, within the search string above are your variables.
Examples (as of this writing):
• If I use the above search string, I find one person who is a “chemical engineer” at “Georgia Pacific” from “Georgia Tech” who has a public profile on LinkedIn who used those particular words in their profile.
• If I change “Georgia Tech” to “Georgia Institute of Technology”, I now have two people.
• If I want to find all Georgia Tech grads at Georgia Pacific, I would take out “chemical engineer” and use the following:
site:www.linkedin.com intitle:linkedin (“Georgia Tech” AND “Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers
- With this search string I NOW get 116 people.
- If I change “Georgia Tech” to “Georgia Institute of Technology”, I get 221 people. Certainly some of these people might be the same people if they used both sets of key words in their profile. (NOTE – Some of these people may have been at Georgia Pacific in the past, so I can’t differentiate between current employees and former employees.)
- If I want to find ALL names at Georgia Pacific, I can try to find hiring managers, people to network with, et al., I would use:
site:www.linkedin.com intitle:linkedin (“Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers
- When I do that, I get 9,320 people. WOW! That is a lot and I should be able to find good people with whom to network.
However, that also may be too many to manage, so if I go back and put in a qualifying key word such as “sales” I get 2,940 people. Here is that particular string:
site:www.linkedin.com intitle:linkedin (sales AND “Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers
Use qualifiers within the parentheses to narrow or widen your search.
SO NOW, HOW DO YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH THESE PEOPLE?
- Call the company and ask for them.
- Look them up on LinkedIn, and if they are not in your network, send them an inmail.
- Use one of the following databases to try to find them (If they aren’t in one of these six databases, they aren’t going to be easily found): www.zabasearch.com; www.whitepages.com; www.switchboard.com; www.pipl.com; http://people.yahoo.com; www.argali.com
Skip Freeman, President and CEO, The HTW Group (Hire to Win) Executive Search, and author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! (http://www.headhunterhiringsecrets.com), has successfully completed more than 300 executive search assignments in just seven years for over forty companies. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals in industry, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.
A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, he is a lifelong student of leadership, people and the principles of success. While serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chemical Corps, he also earned a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Long Island University.