How to Search the LinkedIn Network for a Specific Person
When you’re ready to find a specific person, use the LinkedIn search engine to scan the tens of millions of LinkedIn members, based on keywords. The two main ways to search the LinkedIn network for a certain person are a basic search and an Advanced Search.
At the top-right corner of every page on LinkedIn is a simple search form, with which you can run a keyword search via the LinkedIn database. This is your go-to tool if you’re searching only for a specific name, employees of a particular company, or people with a specific job title. In fact, you’ll get a lot of results with the basic search because you’re searching each LinkedIn member’s entire profile for your keywords, not just one field.
For example, if you type Mike Jones in the basic search box (as opposed to searching by the name Mike Jones), you get a larger set of results because you see every profile where the words Mike and Jones were anywhere in the profile. (When you search by name, LinkedIn searches only everyone’s Name field.) Keep this in mind when you do your search, and pick the method you want based on your goals.
In some situations, though, a simple search just doesn’t cut it because you want to specify whether you’re searching for someone’s name, title, employer, industry, skills, location, or some combination thereof. In those cases, use the Advanced Search function:
From almost any page on LinkedIn, click the Advanced link, near the top-right corner of the page, to bring up the search page. If you’re using LinkedIn Jobs or LinkedIn Answers, clicking this link brings up the Job Search or Advanced Answers search page, respectively.
Click the drop-down arrow next to People near the top-right corner of the LinkedIn home page to bring up links to the Advanced searches for People, Jobs, Companies, Answers, Groups, or your messages Inbox.
If you download one of the toolbars or companion software, you can perform a search from the search box in that toolbar or software program.
Whenever you run an advanced search, LinkedIn defaults to sorting your search results by the keywords you provided in your search. However, that’s not your only option. When you’re setting up your advanced search, note the Sort By option, with a drop-down list containing five options. (If you’ve already generated search results, you can click the arrow next to Sort By to bring up this option.) Sort your search results by picking from the following methods:
Relevance: This sort method is the default when you search on LinkedIn, and it simply returns the people whose profiles have the keywords you inputted in your search. Therefore, this sort result might put people at the top of the list who simply have the keywords in their profile multiple times.
Relationship: This sort method shows you the people who are closely connected to you at the top of the list.
Relationships + Recommendations: This sort method gives the top spots on the search result to people who are not only closely connected to you but also people who have received Recommendations from other LinkedIn members.
Connections: This sort method gives the top spots on the search result to people who have the most LinkedIn first-degree connections.
Keyword: This sort method shows you the people who best match the search terms in your query without cross-referencing the results to the connections in your network.