Improve your LinkedIn searches with Boolean operators

Improve your LinkedIn searches with Boolean operators

What is Boolean?
Boolean, named after 19th century mathematician George Boole, is a method of Internet searching designed to help narrow your search and generate more precise results.

How does it work?

Boolean uses “connectors” to make your search more accurate, such as:

ConnectorUsed to...Example
" " (Quotation marks)keep words together for an exact phrase:“mutual funds”
ANDsearch for two terms at onceequities AND “alternative investments”
ORfind either or both termsbonds OR “fixed income”
NOTeliminate terms“Fixed income” NOT “high yield”
( ) (Parentheses)make phrasing/grouping more precise(mutual funds and active management) or (“actively managed portfolios”)

Using Boolean search on LinkedIn

When you use Boolean search operators on LinkedIn, you are able to search the entire LinkedIn universe, not just your network. Also, LinkedIn’s Boolean searches look at a user’s entire profile, including the summary and headline. The number of results you generate will vary depending on your level of LinkedIn membership.


To refine your prospecting for business owners, use Boolean operators in the LinkedIn search window:


CEO AND president OR “sole proprietor”

LinkedIn will deliver the search results in the usual results page. If you have a premium membership, you can use premium filters to narrow your search further. However, even a basic LinkedIn membership provides enough filters to deliver good results.

Narrow by location:

If you only want business owners in the Greater Chicago area, select that box in “Locations” section of your search results.

Learn more about Boolean in LinkedIn’s blog entry: How to Search LinkedIn Like a Pro.

Have you looked at your own summary and headline?

With Boolean search features available to LinkedIn users, your LinkedIn Summary and Headline are important. Make sure they contain the keywords you want to describe yourself and your credentials.