How To Use LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search? [2024 Guide]

If you’re a recruiter striving to discover top talent for your clients, mastering the art of Boolean search is essential.

This method is crucial for filtering and refining search results on LinkedIn Recruiter, the world’s largest professional network.

By understanding how LinkedIn Recruiter boolean search works, you can leverage Boolean search examples and LinkedIn Recruiter search filters to identify keywords recruiters look for on LinkedIn.

In this article, you’ll gain an understanding of LinkedIn Boolean search, and how to find people open to work on LinkedIn Recruiter with the right research tactics.

Today, we’ll cover the following:

  • What is LinkedIn Boolean Search?
  • How to use Boolean Search on LinkedIn Recruiter?
  • How to search for Keywords on LinkedIn Recruiter?
  • LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search Strings you can use
  • 3 limits of LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search

What Is LinkedIn Boolean Search?

LinkedIn Boolean Logic searches is a query technique that combines words and phrases with Boolean operators.

LinkedIn Boolean search helps you limit, narrow, or expand your keyword searches to find the profiles you seek.

boolean operators on linkedin recruiter

It uses a combination of logical connectors (AND, OR, NOT) and punctuation (parentheses and quotation marks).

It can be used in all LinkedIn search engines:

Employing a boolean search on LinkedIn Recruiter is also an effective way to eliminate irrelevant or undesired results from your searches, refining the process with boolean filters.

This powerful feature on LinkedIn employs specific keywords and operators to streamline and narrow search outcomes to match their ideal candidate profiles.

How To Use Boolean Search On LinkedIn Recruiter?

Now that you know what LinkedIn Boolean Search is and its functionality, let’s explore the five essential operators you can leverage to craft your search queries.

There are 5 Boolean search operators:

  1. Quotation Marks: “”
  2. AND
  3. OR
  4. NOT
  5. Parenthesis: ()

Below, we’ll see how to use each operator with examples to kickstart your search.

1. Quotation Marks

Quotation marks allow you to search for an exact phrase or search terms that contain:

  • Multiple words
  • Punctuation marks

To search for a phrase of several words, enclose the phrase in quotation marks.

quotation marks boolean search operator linkedin recruiter

For example:

  • “sales manager”
  • “SEO”
  • “Accountant”
  • “back-end developer”

If you don’t add the quotes to sales manager, LinkedIn will look for “sales AND manager”.

quotation marks linkedin recruiter boolean search

Now, you can see the difference between adding and forgetting the quotes.

This method fetches results matching the precise phrase rather than the individual words. Quotation marks are also practical for seeking out profiles with multi-word titles like “sales manager” or “product owner”.

2. AND

Always written in capitals, the AND operator helps refine your search to include results containing all specified terms.

It’s used when searching for profiles that include two or more terms.

linkedin recruiter boolean search and operator

Let’s say you’re looking for Sales and Marketing professionals.

Typing sales AND marketing will fetch profiles featuring the sales manager and marketing.

and boolean search

Moreover, AND can merge multiple phrases, exemplified by “sales manager” AND “SaaS software”.

find candidates with and

However, if your search contains two or more terms, you’ll automatically see results that include all of them, so you don’t have to use AND.

3. OR

If you want to expand your search to find profiles that contain one or more terms, you can separate those terms with OR.

It must be written in capital letters like AND.

OR broadens your search scope, allowing results with any specified terms.

or boolean search linkedin recruiter

OR is often used to search for alternate spellings or terms that mean the same thing.


  • “Sales Ops” OR “Sales”
  • “Vice President” OR “VP” OR “V.P.” OR “SVP” OR “EVP”
boolean search operator or linkedin recruiter

This operator is especially useful for encompassing various phrases in one search, like “content writer” OR “content marketer” OR “copywriter”.

4. NOT

If you want to exclude a particular term from your search, type that term with the NOT operator (all in capital) before it.


Your search results will exclude any profile containing that term.

Here’s a live example.

I have added the keyword “Writer” to the title filter here.

cleanshot at @ x

If I change it to Copywriter NOT Writer, you can see that LinkedIn Recruiter has severely narrowed down the search results to 18K+ active candidates.

linkedin recruiter boolean search results

I can do the same thing by adding the keyword “writer” and clicking the “doesn’t have” button.

linkedin recruiter not boolean operator

Once you click, the button will appear in red, and the exclusion will work exactly as if you had put a NOT Boolean operator.

5. Parenthesis

Parentheses are important tools used to combine terms and phrases together, enabling the creation of more complex search queries.

For example (Sales OR Marketing) AND Manager. This will look for a profile containing the following:

  • Marketing AND Manager
  • Sales AND Manager
parenthetical searches linkedin recruiter boolean search

Once you know how to use parentheses operator, you can take it to the next level with Boolean searching.

How To Search For Keywords On LinkedIn Recruiter?

Keywords are the words and phrases that describe your ideal candidates’ skills, experience, and job titles.

They are essential for finding the right talent on LinkedIn Recruiter, the world’s largest professional network.

But how to search for keywords on LinkedIn Recruiter?

Here are some steps and tips to help you optimize your keyword searches and get the most accurate results.

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile Keywords


Think about a specific job title, skills, industry, location, and other relevant factors that define your target candidates.

content writer keywords for recruiters

For example, if you are looking for a content writer, some possible keywords are content writer, content marketing, copywriting, SEO, blog, etc.

Step 2: Enter Your Keywords In The Filter Bar In LinkedIn Recruiter

You can access the Keywords filter by clicking on the Add icon below the filter category on the left side of your search results page.

cleanshot at @ x

You can enter multiple keywords and phrases in the filters, separated by commas.

For example, content writer, content marketing, copywriting, SEO copywriting, blog.

Step 3: Use Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are the words and symbols that allow you to combine, exclude, or specify your keywords.

They are (ui OR ux) AND designer OR “user interface” OR “user experience” OR designer quotation marks, AND, OR, NOT, and parenthesis. You can use them to create complex search strings that match your ideal candidate profiles.

use filters on linkedin recruiter

For example, content writer” NOT Manager. This will return results that include the exact phrase “content writer”, but not manager.

Step 4: Use Other Filters In LinkedIn Recruiter

Besides the Keywords filter, you can also use the other LinkedIn filters to sift your search results by:

  • Job titles
  • Location
  • Companies
  • Skills
  • Education and experience
  • Schools
  • Industries, and more.
linkedin recruiter advanced filters

You can select Can have, Must have, or Doesn’t have from the dropdown next to each filter to further refine your search results.

filters of filters linkedin recruiter
  • Can have = OR
  • Must have = AND
  • Doesn’t have = NOT

Step 5: Review Your Search Results And Adjust If Needed

Once you run your keyword search, you will see a list of candidates that match your criteria.

You can review their profiles and see the keywords highlighted on certain parts of their profile.

find more people like this candidate on linkedin recruiter

You can also use the “Find more people like” option to find similar profiles. This will produce more precise search results.

linkedin recruiter precise search results

If you are unsatisfied with your search results, you can modify your keywords, use an Advanced search feature, or purchase the paid version of the LinkedIn Recruiter tool to get more options.

LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search Strings You Can Use

A Boolean search string uses a combination of keywords, exact phrases, and Boolean operators to extract precise information from a search engine that would not be accessible through a simple single-keyword search.

Here are several templates that you can use for your next hiring campaign.

Boolean search strings for software development roles:

Frontend (UI/UX)(UI OR UX) AND designer OR “user interface” OR “user experience” OR designer
Fullstack(Python OR Ruby OR Java OR GO OR Node OR Scala OR C OR C++ OR C# OR Spring OR Rails OR Django OR Flask) AND (React OR Angular OR Vue)
Java Developer(developer OR SDE OR engineer OR programmer OR MTS OR “member of technical staff) AND Java AND (Spring OR JSF OR Hibernate OR Struts OR Play OR Grails)
Python Developer(developer OR SDE OR engineer OR programmer OR MTS OR “member of technical staff) AND Python AND (Django OR Flask)
Web DeveloperHTML AND CSS AND (JavaScript OR AJAX OR “content management system” OR Drupal OR WordPress)

Boolean search strings for Customer Success Manager or Account Manager position:

(“customer success” OR “client success” OR “account manager” OR “customer experience”) NOT head NOT director NOT VP

Boolean search strings for Marketing managers working in tech:

("Marketing Manager" OR "Marketing Lead" OR "Head of Marketing") AND (Software Industry OR "Software Sector") NOT ("Assistant" OR "Coordinator" OR "Intern")

Boolean search strings for IT Support Specialist:

"it support" OR "desktop support OR "tech support" OR "technical support" OR "it technician" OR "desktop technician" OR "help desk" OR "service desk" OR "systems administrator

Use ChatGPT To Craft Boolean Search Strings

If you give ChatGPT precise instructions, it can create the perfect Boolean search for you.

Because Boolean search is a tough language, AI and automation can handle it easily.

Take some time to talk to the bot. ChatGPT might suggest a keyword idea you hadn’t considered.

chatgpt boolean search strings prompts

Here is the prompt I used:

You are a hiring manager expert. Your mission is to craft the perfect boolean search strings to find a marketing manager working in tech in the software industry.
I want to use the boolean search on LinkedIn recruiter on the job title field.
Give me a boolean expression I can copy paste.
Use all the boolean operators at your disposal: AND, OR, NOT, parentheses, quotes.

Here is the result that ChatGPT gave me:

("Marketing Manager" OR "Manager of Marketing") AND (tech OR technology OR software) NOT ("Senior Marketing Manager" OR "Junior Marketing Manager" OR "Marketing Director")

When I copy and paste this expression into the job title field of LinkedIn Recruiter, I get the following results:

chat gpt generated boolean search strings results

An advantage of this solution is that it doesn’t make mistakes, so you can ensure your Boolean expression is written correctly.

All you do is copy and paste it blindly.

However, LinkedIn Recruiter won’t tell you if your Boolean expression is wrong if you manually write it and make a mistake.

They will not apply the entire query and search anyway. This is why it is so important to triple-check your Boolean before you copy and paste it.

3 Limits Of LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search

LinkedIn is a great prospecting tool, but the LinkedIn database has some flaws that can affect the quality of your searches:

  • People don’t update their work experience correctly
  • Keyword searches search the entire profile
  • Double check things because of false positive results

Luckily for you, Evaboot can detect these “false positives”.

1. People Don’t Update Their Work Experience

When you use Boolean search in the “Job Title” field, LinkedIn will look at all profiles that have declared their current experience.

You can see this with the “Current” tag on the work experience.

current job problem on linkedin

However, many people forget to “close” their past company experience when they open a new one.

This means that many experiences are still considered current by LinkedIn.

This problem creates many false positives in your search. For example, you might end up with HR in a search that targets a sales manager.

2. Keyword Search Looks Into The Whole Profile

The second tricky thing about Boolean search is that the keyword search looks in the whole profile.

There are some relevant fields, such as:

  • Title
  • Summary field
  • Current job description

Here is an example of a search in which I looked for the keyword “Marketing” and ended up having someone working in law.

linkedin recruiter boolean search limits

This example shows that LinkedIn Recruite’s search engine will also make your search in irrelevant fields like:

  • School Description
  • References
  • Previous job description

Using a Boolean search in the keyword search filter may also result in many false positives.

3. Double Check Things Because Of False Positive Results

We realized this problem was wasting a lot of time for LinkedIn users.

That’s why we built an algorithm in Evaboot to verify that your leads match your search filters.

Here is an explanation of the whole process:

Export Sales Navigator leads with Evaboot

The tool checks:

  • If the job title found on LinkedIn is the current one
  • If the keyword appears in a relevant field (Summary, Headline, Job description…)


This guide has unveiled the essence of LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean search, its mechanics, and the strategies for its adept application.

Moreover, you’ve been introduced to the five Boolean operators essential for making effective search queries that align with your perfect candidate personas on LinkedIn Recruiter.

From now on, employing LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search should be required for every recruiter to elevate their talent acquisition game and streamline their professional routine.


How to do Boolean searches on LinkedIn recruiter?

To conduct LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Searches, you must include operators such as AND, OR, NOT, parenthesis, and quotation marks to merge keywords and refine your search results.

Incorporate these operators within the Job titles, Companies, or Keywords filters in Recruiter for optimum efficiency, and use boolean search examples to become adept at these techniques.

Here is how to do Boolean searches on LinkedIn Recruiter:

  1. Start a search in LinkedIn Recruiter.
  2. Click Show Filters on the left to open additional search options.
  3. Select the Add icon below the filter category on the left side of your search results page.
  4. Enter your search terms using the quotation marks, parenthesis, NOT, OR, or AND modifiers as described above.
  5. Select an option from the drop-down menu to apply the filter.
  6. Click the More icon on the filter term to set your preferences, such as Current or Past, Current, Past, Past not Current, and Open to Work, to refine your search.

How does the LinkedIn recruiter search work?

LinkedIn recruiter searches leverage advanced search filters, keywords, and Boolean operators to pinpoint candidates who fulfill the job criteria.

It further harnesses spotlights and recommended matches to favor candidates more inclined to engage or possess skills.

What is Boolean search for recruiters?

Boolean search for recruiters employs logical operators like AND, OR, NOT, quotation marks, and parentheses to combine or exclude keywords and phrases to narrow search engine results.

This method empowers recruiters to use boolean filters to limit or broaden their search outcomes, thereby saving time and enhancing the efficacy of sourcing candidates.

Is LinkedIn Boolean search case sensitive?

No, LinkedIn Boolean search operators are not case-sensitive.

Use AND, OR, and NOT in uppercase, quotation marks, and parentheses to effectively mix keywords and phrases.


This content was partly written by AI (ChatGPT 4), I added my own perspective, fact-checked it and made sure it is helpful for you.

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