January 19, 2020

LinkedIn Advanced Search Tactics 101


As a social network dedicated to professionals, LinkedIn offers a treasure trove of business contacts. With more than 20 million open jobs and 30 million companies flooding the platform, how do sales people, job seekers and recruiters find exactly who they’re looking for?

Want to find open Marketing Manager positions at tech companies with less than 50 employees in the greater San Francisco area? Use LinkedIn advanced search.

Want to create a list of all Senior Clothing Buyers at outdoor sporting retailers in New England? Use LinkedIn advanced search.

What is LinkedIn Advanced Search

LinkedIn Advanced Search, also known as Premium Search, is a set of search filters only made available to subscribers of LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Recruiter.

Why Use Advanced Search

Basic Search vs. Advanced Search

Here are the top four differences between basic search and advanced search:

  1. Total Candidates/Prospects: LinkedIn Basic Search only allows you to look up 1st degree connections and 2nd degree connections (people connected to your 1st degree connections). Advanced search allows for 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections, making your pool of members far wider.
  2. Saved Searches: You cannot save searches on LinkedIn Basic Search, whereas you can save unlimited searches in Recruiter and Sales Navigator.
  3. More Filters: Advanced Search opens up over a dozen more filters that are more practical than basic search for building lists.
  4. Commercial Use Limit: Free members are only allotted a small amount of total profile views per day, whereas certain premium plans are nearly unlimited.

LinkedIn’s Basic Filters

LinkedIn’s basic search is a great tool for general searches on the platform. Allowing you to refine and combine various search filters, LinkedIn members can browse by the following criteria:

  • Connections (1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree)
  • Connections of other colleagues...
  • Location
  • Current companies
  • Past companies
  • Industries
  • Profile language
  • School
  • Services

However, while these categories can be helpful to users, they don’t begin to scratch the surface of LinkedIn’s extensive search capabilities. With robust data about the members, jobs, and companies on its site, LinkedIn’s Advanced Search capabilities to identify leads, refine results, and compile lists goes much deeper than the default search settings.

What Are LinkedIn Premium Search Filters?

LinkedIn Premium Search Plans

Below are the differences between Sales Navigator and LinkedIn recruiter.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search Filters

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the best premium plan for anyone trying to generate sales leads or partnerships.

Here are the top Sales Navigator filters:

  • Title
  • Industry
  • Company Headcount
  • Seniority Level
  • Geography
  • Keywords
  • Function

LinkedIn Recruiter Advanced Search

LinkedIn Recruiter is the ideal premium plan for anyone trying to reach out to candidates for jobs.

Here are the most popular LinkedIn Recruiter filters:

  • Job Titles
  • Locations
  • Industry
  • Skills
  • Employment Type
  • Education
  • Expected Salary
  • Keyword

LinkedIn Filters Explained

Sometimes a broad search may be all you need on LinkedIn but, often, people are looking to connect with a more narrow group of members. These may include individuals with certain positions, from a particular region, and/or working within a specific industry. Determining what search filters to use and how to use them will make prospecting on LinkedIn less time consuming and more effective. Here are a few of the best filters in Sales Navigator:


The ability to search for members who hold a certain title is one of the most useful features LinkedIn advanced search has to offer. If you’re a recruiter hiring for a marketing position, the ability to filter for candidates with “marketing” in their title allows for more targeted browsing.


With more than 100 industries to choose from, LinkedIn’s Industry groupings range from wide categories such as Retail, Computer Software and Entertainment, to more specific niches like Computer & Network Security, Hospitality, Management Consulting, and Hospital & Healthcare.

Company Headcount

The size of a company is a great indicator of how much budget a business may have. Whether you’re targeting SMBs or enterprise, employee count is an easy filter to zone in on the most qualified companies.

  • Self-employed
  • 1-10
  • 11-50
  • 51-200
  • 201-500
  • 501-1000
  • 1001-5000
  • 5001-10,000
  • 10,000+

Seniority Level

It’s widely understood that the higher the job title, the more decision making power a prospect has. While the basic search allows you to search for keywords within Titles, LinkedIn Premium goes a step further by opening up Seniority Levels, making sure your list zones in on specific decision makers.

  • Owner
  • Partner
  • CXO (Chief...)
  • VP
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Senior
  • Entry
  • Training
  • Unpaid


If you’re looking to make contact with local prospects or companies within a specific city, county, US state, or another country, the Geography filter is a clean way to target by location. Additionally, you can combine multiple locations, such as “Dallas, Texas”, “Great Seattle Area”, “Orange County, California” and “New York”.


Oftentimes, companies have more niche criteria for selecting prospects. The keywords filter can be used to narrow prospects by certain keywords that appear anywhere in their LinkedIn profile. For example, if you target the accounting industry, not every prospect will be a CPA; therefore, adding “CPA” as a keyword, insures everyone in the list is likely a certified accountant. See the section below on boolean search commands for how to maximize that filter.


The Function search filter allows you to find members based on the department or area that they work within. For example, customize your search by including professionals that span categories such as Finance, Operations, Purchasing, etc.

Boolean Search Commands

Boolean search commands give you the power to add incredible customization to your queries. Best used within the keyword filter, Boolean commands allow you to include, combine, exclude, or remove specific words related to your search.

  • NOT - Adding “NOT” after a search term will exclude the term immediately following it from your search results. For example, “
  • OR
  • AND
  • Parenthesis ()
  • Quotation Marks “”

For example, this boolean would isolate prospects that have software somewhere in profile, and that have raised funding, but are NOT in the healthcare space:

((SaaS OR Software) AND (Funded)) NOT Healthcare

Quotations should only be used when you want the exact order of two-word keywords, such as “Ad Spend”.


Since LinkedIn’s search filters are based off how prospects name themselves, job titles can be misleading or vague. Exclusions can help clean up lists significantly for this reason.

For example, the following titles that are highlighted red would exclude anyone with “Assistant” or “Vice” in their title.

Final Tips

LinkedIn’s algorithm isn’t perfect, often pulling prospects who meet a few of the chosen filters but not all, or used to be qualified, but recently changed jobs. For this reason, we highly suggest conducting a thorough targeting review of each list, using boolean and exclusions to clean out unqualified prospects or candidates.