How to Use LinkedIn Boolean Search (Guide + Examples)

If you’re using LinkedIn for prospecting, you’re going to get a massive benefit from narrowing your search results. The more specific the search, the better the response rate. 

To help get you in touch with the perfect audience, we’ll be covering LinkedIn Boolean search (AKA LinkedIn Advanced Search) and teaching you how to use it. 

Let’s dive in!

What is Linkedin boolean search?

LinkedIn Boolean search is an advanced form of search that allows you to narrow search results by using search operators like “OR”, “AND”, parentheses, quotes, and more. 

What search operators are available on LinkedIn?

Here is a list of all the LinkedIn boolean search operators: 

  • OR 
  • AND
  • NOT
  • “”
  • () 

If you'd like to learn how to use each one of these search operators, we share how to use them below.

How can you use OR in a boolean search?

The OR operator allows you to search profiles for multiple words or phrases at the same time. 

Here's an example: ceo OR Founder

In this search, you are searching for any profile that contains either “ceo” or “founder”. If you input this search into the job title field, you would now be searching for anyone whose job title contains “ceo” or “founder”.

View the above search here

How can you use AND in a boolean search?

The AND operator allows you to search for profiles that contain all of the words or phrases in your search query.  

Here's an example: ceo AND Founder

In this example, you are searching profiles that contain both “ceo” and “founder”. If a profile does not contain both search terms, the profile will not be returned in the results. 

How can you use NOT in a boolean search?

The NOT operator allows you to exclude a word or phrase from your search results. 

Here's an example: ceo NOT Founder

In this example, you are searching for a profile that contains “ceo” and not “founder”. If a profile contains the term “founder”, the profile will not be included in your search results. 

How can you use Quotes in a boolean search?

The Quotes (“”) operator allows you to search for a phrase instead of a single word. 

Here's an example: “founding ceo”

If we use this search in the Job Title field, anyone whose job title contains “founding ceo” will be returned.

How can you use Parentheses in a boolean search?

The Parentheses operator allows you to use multiple boolean parameters in a single search. 

Here's an example: (founder OR ceo) AND startup

This search will return anyone whose profile contains “founder” or “ceo” but the profile must also contain “startup”. If you were not using parentheses in this example, you’d be making 2 searches: 

  1. founder
  2. ceo AND startup

This is obviously not the intention which is why parenthesis are so useful.

Are there limits to Boolean search on LinkedIn?

Yes. LinkedIn places a limit on the number of boolean search operators you can use for free users. In our experience, after you use more than 5 search operators, the results will begin to be throttled or not displayed at all. 

However, LinkedIn states that if you are subscribed to Sales Navigator or Recruiter, there are no limitations on how many search operators you can use. 

Examples of LinkedIn Boolean Search

One of the best ways to learn how to use LinkedIn boolean search is to see it in action. So here are 8 boolean search examples that you can use to learn from or to make valuable searches. 

  1. Search for Founders
  2. Search for Founders from Stanford, MIT, and CalTech
  3. Search for founders/CEOs who invest. 
  4. Search for angel investors.
  5. Search for VC investors.
  6. Search for early-stage VC investors. 
  7. Search for startups that are hiring.
  8. Search for YC startups that are hiring.

Wrapping Up

Learning how to use boolean operators well is one of the most valuable skills you can acquire. Whether you’re prospecting for sales, fundraising, or recruiting, using the advanced search operators will only lead to more high quality prospects and ultimately better results. 

If you’d like to take your prospecting to the next level, try coupling the boolean search with the LeadLoft prospector so you can engage them across LinkedIn, email, and even by phone.

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