Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

While I was writing post in which I explored using Google to X-Ray search within specific LinkedIn groups, I decided to perform some general X-Ray search syntax testing to challenge some assumptions, as well as to compare X-Ray results to LinkedIn Recruiter results.

I notice quite a few folks seem to use the “people you know” phrase when using Google to search LinkedIn, and I wanted to see if it was better than other phrases/techniques for isolating LinkedIn profiles and eliminating non-profile false positive results.

I ran 4 searches that were suitably limiting to get a manageable number of results back to back, only changing one aspect of the each search – how to target profiles and eliminate non-profile results:

  1. -pub/dir “location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  2. | -dir “location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  3. “people you know” ”location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  4. “you know” ”location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive

I scraped the total results from each search and sorted them in Excel so I could compare them for any variations.

When you look at the chart below, you’ll notice there is very little difference between the 4 different X-Ray searches, but the fact that there are differences at all is interesting. While the searches only vary from 22 to 24 unique results – 2 is 9% of 22. Also, notice that some searches have results that others don’t and one search had duplicate results (“people you know”) while none of the others did.

Kudos !


For many recruiters and sourcers, LinkedIn is at the top of the heap for places to find and engage prospective candidates. One of the most popular methods to do this is by X-Raying the site via search engines.

When X-Raying LinkedIn, we generally only want to target profiles, and for better or worse, there are several ways we can accomplish this. The following will help you understand and decide what works best for you as you search for LinkedIn profiles via Google.

First, we’ll start by telling Google that we only want to look at This is accomplished via the site: search operator.


Now we can start targeting profiles.

Option 1: (inurl:com/pub | inurl:com/in) -inurl:pub/dir

LinkedIn uses two directories (pub and in) for public profiles. Because of this, we’ll need to use the inurl elements (com/pub & com/in) to tell Google that we only want to see profiles in our search results. Additionally, LinkedIn placed their “directory” listings (dir) in the directory immediately following the (pub) directory so we have to tell Google to exclude that with (-inurl:pub/dir) or we take the chance of getting results that are not profiles but actually a page containing a list of them.

Tip: Precede the in and pub directories with (com/) and dir with (pub/) to prevent the exclusion of these terms that may exist in other areas of the URL.

Option 2: “people you know”

people you know” has become a popular alternative recently for targeting profiles because the phrase “search for people you know” is primarily only found on public profiles (logged out view). However the term “people you know” is used in other context throughout LinkedIn and not exclusive to profiles so it’s important that you have other elements in your search string that target profile content. “people you know” is also effective where advanced operators are not universal between search engines.

Tip: You must enclose the term (people you know) in quotes (“”) for it to be effective.

Option 3: ( | -inurl:pub/dir

This is certainly the most specific way to target profiles but it’s unnecessary to use two (site) operators when one will do.

It should be noted that X-Raying LinkedIn can be very effective, however, results appearing in search engines are only “public” profiles. Meaning, LinkedIn lets users control what information is viewable by the general public and search engines. Because of this, some profiles will not be indexed for you to search which is why X-Raying should be considered only one piece of your overall search strategy.

Happy Sourcing !

Google X-Ray Search in LinkedIn

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Using Google to perform an “x-ray search” of LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find the profiles of people that are outside of your network. X-Ray searches work for any website, but we’ll focus on LinkedIn for now. To perform an x-ray search, you simply start your search with the following search criteria: I will use an example of a recent search I did in an effort to find individuals with software security experience. Here is an example of one of the search strings I used in Google: “greater seattle area” security (intrusion OR authentication OR firewall) support network* CISSP –profiles

When examining this Boolean search string you will probably notice a couple of things. For one, I did not use “AND” in between several of the words. The reason for this is two-fold: one, Google recognizes spaces as the “AND” operator and, secondly, since Google limits the number of words you can use in a search (I believe it is 25), you don’t want to waste valuable “real estate” with the “AND” operator if you don’t need it. You will probably also notice that I included “-profiles” at the end of my search. Why did I do this? The reason is to eliminate results that will show up for a list of profiles that are sometimes unrelated to what you are looking for and only clutter your search results. Try taking it out of your search string and you will see what I am talking about. Any time you add a minus sign (-) in front of a word it will filter and not show results with that word, also known as a “negative” keyword. Another thing you may have noticed was the asterisk (*) after the word “network.” In case some of you are unfamiliar with this Boolean operator, it is the “wild card” operator, meaning it will show any word that has “network” as its root. For example, this search will provide results that include the words “network,” “networking” and “networked” among others.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Just a short while ago I posted a piece on how some people are no longer able to view full profiles of their 3rd degree LinkedIn connections when logged in and searching within LinkedIn.

At the time of the article, I had not been affected, and I kept checking daily to see if and when I would be.

Alas, the time has come – I can no longer view full profiles of 3rd degree LinkedIn connections with my free account when I am searching within LinkedIn.

Well, I take that back.

Although I no longer enjoy automatically being treated to full profiles of 3rd degree connections while searching LinkedIn with my free account, here are the ways in which I can view a full profile of my 3rd degree connections:

1. Use Google Chrome as a browser to search for the profile in LinkedIn

I can take the headline phrase or a unique combination of keywords from the 3rd degree profile I am trying to view and use Google chrome as a browser to search for that phrase/term combo in another browser in which I am not logged into LinkedIn (or use Chrome incognito).

Here you can see Chrome as a browser which I am logged into LinkedIn, and trying to connect CHRIS ENDREW, Software engineer into LinkedIn. Well, He is in my 3rd connection…what do we do now ?? Don’t freak urself. Wait n watch..


2. Copy the ID mentioned in the address bar of the person.


3. Paste this link – into the another tab in google chrome. And paste the ID after “=” sign.

see the below image…



 4. Now click on “Invite to Connect” and see the below image.




5. Share the profile

Some of you may be wondering why I’ve actually never written about the “Share” method in which you can send a profile to someone else and copy yourself to get a link to view the full profile.

While I know this is a popular method for many, it has never really been a viable method for me because my network is so large that when I try to type in a name or use the LinkedIn address book, the system either times out or I get tired of waiting for names to show up/load.

For the sake of this post I tried to be very patient and after a few attempts I was able to share a 3rd degree profile with someone, copy myself, and then view the full profile from the link in the message in my inbox.

However, it’s much faster and easier for me to simply use methods 1-4 above.

Of course, the LinkedIn team is likely already looking into closing these holes, but some of these methods have been published and in use for years, so you may be able to enjoy them for quite some time.

Sharing is Caring

If you found this post helpful, please share it with someone you think would benefit.

resume AND (java or JavaScript) AND program* AND (New York or NY or 212) AND NOT (coffee or submit)

* In some case we recommend to go to the advanced search option within the search engine. 





Northern Light



resume AND oracle

+resume +oracle

resume AND oracle

+resume +oracle

resume AND oracle

+resume +oracle

resume AND oracle


resume OR oracle

resume OR oracle

Default is OR automatically

resume OR oracle

resume OR oracle


resume NOT submit

+resume –submit

resume AND NOT submit

Select “Must not contain”

+resume  -submit

resume NOT submit

+resume -submit


resume AND NOT submit

Select “Must not contain”



oracle NEAR programming

(finds words within 10 words of each other)


Not Supported

Not Supported

Not Supported

Not Supported

” “

“sales manager”

Select “Exact Phrase”

“Document must contain exact phrase”

“sales manager”

Select “Exact Phrase”

( )

resume AND (sales OR “sales manager”)

resume AND (sales OR “sales manager”)

Not Supported

resume AND (sales OR “sales manager”)

resume AND (sales OR “sales manager”)

* (Wild Card)

develop* (finds develop or developer or any other word starting with develop)

Not Supported

Not Supported

* replaces multiple characters, % replaces one character

Not Supported

Field Searches







“url must contain”

“words in url”

Flip Search

“links to this url”

“hyperlink must contain the words”

“links to this url”

Page Title Search


“words in the page title” resume

“title must contain” resume

“words in the title” resume

“words in the page title” resume

URL Search


Not Supported

“url must contain the words” resume

“words in url” resume

Not Supported

Boolean Operators

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Boolean search operators can drill down and find the information we are looking for faster. These operators are used to weed out irrelevant pages thereby narrowing our search results to find exactly what we are looking for. Boolean keys should be in Capital letters.

But these Boolean operators are different for different search engines.

Boolean Key

AND – The AND operator delivers results with the terms you requested. For example, searching resume and oracle will return pages with both terms – resume and oracle.

OR – The OR operator delivers results with either of the terms you requested. For example, MCSE OR M.C.S.E.

NOT – The NOT operator will not deliver certain words in your search results. For example, Java NOT coffee will deliver closer results for JAVA Programmers and not Java Coffee. 

NEAR – The NEAR operator locates words that are located in close proximity to other words. For example, Java NEAR Programmer. Not every search engine supports this operator. It finds words within 10 words of each other. But, not every search engine supports this operator.

( ) Parentheses – The ( ) operator allows you to group terms and build longer search strings. For example, NOT (submit AND employer) will avoid pages with both names.

Wild Card – The * operator is a wild card. Adding a wild card will find words contain the wild card. For example program* will help so you do not have to run separate searches for words similar like: programmer, programming, program

URL Search – searches for pages that have specific word in the URL or web address. Example – url:resume

Page Title – searches for pages that have specific words in page title. Example –  title:resume “     “- Exact phase.

Internet Technique that a recruiter must know:-

  • X-Raying,
  • Flipping,
  • Peeling Back,
  • Search Engine,
  • Free Sites,
  • Boolean Operators,
  • Job Portals,
  • Blog Directories
  • Networking Site

A method of looking inside a specific web site to find what’s there. Using this technique, recruiters can find documents and web pages that aren’t directly accessible via links on the main public home page. When you ‘x-ray’ a website, you effectively get to examine every document that resides there so long as they are not behind firewalls or password protected.
Example: To find any “software engineer” – could be a document/file or a word/phrase within a document that resides within the website
In Altavista search – AND software engineer
In Google search – AND software engineer

Flipping is an effective method used to find the relationships between web pages based on how they are hyperlinked together. This search is especially useful for finding people who have links to the company or have worked for a specific company.

Flip searching may pull up company directories, email lists, and other company related information. Flip Searching is a powerful tool that can uncover many hidden resumes and candidates.

Example: To find any “software engineer” – could be a document/file or word/phrase that links back to
In Altavista search – AND software engineer
In Google search – AND software engineer

As the name suggest Peeling back is the process of “retracing the path” of the url especially when one gets an Error 404 (File not found). This process is engage so as to locate the information elsewhere on the site or locate the specific “root” folder where one can find similar or additional data specific or related to the search.

Internet Recruiters tend to give as much weight to URLs as we do to page descriptions. When we see something interesting in the path of a URL like “people” or “staff” or “meet the staff”, etc., we “peel back” the URL to see that page.  If we are blocked from viewing the page, we x-ray the page to find the keyword in the URL that will lead us to the page we are seeking. 

Example: By peeling back or keying backspace starting from the point where the url ends we can then access the people link from the homepage and find the names of all the faculty members.
url:          OR

We “peel back the URL by highlighting and deleting the right portion of the URL.  In this example, we are peeling back to look at a homepage.  These are easy to identify, as homepages almost always have a ~ or / in their URL. Peel back till you get home page- You will find a link which shows all the names of students and staff members

Harvesting involves reviewing a document, such as a resume or home page, and finding key words, links, references and locations that assist with subsequent searches.


Some recommended search engines on the Web are:,,,,,, msn

Sometimes the best hires aren’t the ones actively looking for a job. Better known as “passive” candidates, these gainfully employed professionals are reasonably happy, but might be willing to consider a more attractive offer.

“Passive candidates are not really as passive as they say they are,” said Steve Guine (@IIT_Inc), National Director of Staffing at IIT. “Like active candidates, they are more than willing to listen. The big difference being, they are more selective.”

How do you find these passive candidates, approach them, get your company on their radar, and ultimately recruit them? We asked experts in the field who have successfully recruited passive candidates for their advice.

Tip 1: Start blogging

We’re not the first to advise “start a blog,” but there’s a reason you hear this repeatedly. People engage around content, and producing relevant content via a blog presents you as an authority in your field for others to follow.

“Don’t write about your company,” said Becky Carroll, Principal of the Petra Consulting Group. “Write about topics that people in your industry should be considering, even if they aren’t looking for a job right now.”

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@blogging4jobs) started Blogging4Jobs in 2007 solely to reach passive candidates, answer their job search questions, provide value, and build a reputation as someone who cares.

“[A blog] is the best method in which to build a reputation and recruit with the passive candidate in mind,” said Miller-Merrell.

If getting started seems intimidating, read “Blogging Advice for People Who Have ‘No Time to Blog.’”

Tip 2: Mine your applicant tracking system (ATS)

You already have a great database of passive candidates, said Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Senior Manager, Online and Social Media Brand for Cornerstone OnDemand. Just go back a couple of years in your ATS. Do a deep dive and cross reference what those old candidates are doing now via social networks and people search engines like pipl.

Ignoring your own ATS has been quite an epidemic in recruiting. Jennifer Hasche (@JenniferINTUIT), Lead Sourcer atIntuit, noted in a Dice interview last year that Intuit had 230 submissions for one position in their ATS, but no one had looked at them. Chances are good those candidates would have been worth considering – Sixty percent of recruiter-submitted applicants are already in a company’s ATS, said Sarah White (@imsosarah), author of the HRTechBlog.

“These candidates, even if they’re not looking, are almost always open to a conversation if they’ve previously applied,” said Charney. “Many times you’ll see that while they might not have been a right fit a couple years back, they are now as they’ve had the chance to gain the necessary skills and experience.”

Similarly, Dice has a Passive Candidates tab built into our TalentMatch search tool. When you search for tech candidates by tech skill, geographical area or any other criteria, you can isolate those coveted passives who have had their resume in the Dice database for 365+ days.

Tip 3: Flatter passive candidates by simply recruiting them

“It’s a compliment to be pursued by a recruiter,” said Sam Friedlander (@sfriedla1), Senior Manager Pharmacy Data Warehousing at Kaiser Permanente. “It’s assurance that one is valuable to the marketplace, and it’s a boost to one’s ego. The pursuit could ignite a thought in the passive candidate to consider an opportunity that might be better.”

Recruiters can take advantage of making a great first impression, but remember to be genuine and honest, not spammy.

Tip 4: Inquire about specific talents, not job seekers

After hearing lots of advice on getting referrals from people you know, we realized that successfully connecting with those referrals depends on how you approach the referral request.

“Instead of asking, ‘Who do you know that is looking?’,” said Shana Farnsworth (@ShanaRandstad), Delivery Manager for Randstad Technologies, “Ask, ‘Who do you know with the same skill set or XYZ skill set?’”

Tip 5: Approach recruiting like dating

“You have to think of recruiting long-term, and approach the conversation in a softer way,” said Paul McDonald (@BuildASignHires), Talent Acquisition Manager for “Think of it like dating. Let them know you like them and you enjoy connecting with them, and then you have to make sure you’re giving them a reason to be interested in you.”

One way to “get them to like you” that we heard from McDonald and many others is to simply be a resource of information (see: “Tip 2: Start blogging”).

“Helping or being helped are great ways to have relationships be sticky,” said Lorne Epstein (@LorneEpstein), author of “You’re Hired! Interview Skills to Get the Job.”

Tip 6: Build relationships with the best people you know

“When you meet someone and think, ‘Wow, I would hire this person,’ you need to make a note and add the individual to your pipeline,” said Kaitlin King, Communications Manager at Work Traits.

You can start that list right now by asking yourself, “Who are the best people I’ve ever worked with?”

“If they’re flipping awesome you’re going to want to hire them at some point,” said Dan Arkind, CEO of the applicant tracking system

Tip 7: Present yourself as a subject matter expert, not a recruiter

“In my experience, very few individuals who’d be considered top, truly passive talent are willing to engage or build relationships with recruiters,” said Cornerstone On Demand’s Charney whose advice for recruiting passive candidates is to not treat them as passive candidates.

Top candidates want to maintain relationships with subject matter experts, not recruiters. That’s why aforementioned advice such as blogging and attending industry events to build presence and thought leadership are strong assets.

“Once that relationship is established,” said Charney, “It’s important to not be overly aggressive in trying to transform them into an applicant.”

Tip 8: Build a candidate referral network with other recruiters

An unforeseen benefit of Miller-Merrell’s popular blog, Blogging4Jobs, is that it’s become a hub for her to build a candidate referral network with other recruiters.

She forwards candidate inquiries to recruiters she has relationships with, and they return the favor, which further establishes her candidate referral network. Miller-Merrell claims that single emails to her network result in positions filled quickly, keeping active and passive candidates, along with her network of recruiters, working in harmony.

Tip 9: Follow online social engagements with in-person meetings

Multiple people told us how important it is to meet in person, whether it’s coffee, lunch or a networking event.

Pongracz has been on both sides of the recruiting equation and the “follow up” has been the divisive factor in her decision to work with someone.

“I can’t tell you how many peeps have lost opportunities with me by not following up. And conversely – others that did, we’ve worked together since,” said Pongracz.

Tip 10: Build your employment brand with top industry talent

“Ask the people in your office who the best people they know are,” said’s Arkind. “You want to turn them into an advocate for your company whether they work for you not.”

The goal of this effort is to build an employment brand with the best in the industry.

“Hiring decisions are not made in a vacuum,” said Arkind. “People ask their friends about jobs. You want to make sure their friends think you’re awesome.”

Conclusion: Pursuing passive candidates is hard work that pays off..

All of this advice seems like a lot of work, and it is. But it’s key to realize that the work is cumulative. With a little effort and the right timing, the energy you put into recruiting passives today will likely pay off in the future.