LinkedIn X-Ray Search: Your Secret Weapon To Find Candidate

LinkedIn X-ray search is a search method recruiters and hiring managers use to find the best candidates and profiles using external search engines like Google.

linkedin x ray search

This method allows users to bypass LinkedIn search limitations and access a wider range of profiles.

In this article, I will talk about:

  1. What is a LinkedIn X-ray search?
  2. Why Use LinkedIn X-Ray Search?
  3. What Are X-Ray Search Operators?
  4. How To Use LinkedIn X-Ray Search On Google?
  5. Google LinkedIn X-Ray Search Tools
  6. How To Use X-Ray Search on LinkedIn?
  7. How To Find Open To Work Candidates with LinkedIn X-Ray Search
boolean search linkedin recruiter 2048x617 1

By leveraging Boolean search and other search operators, you can uncover 2nd and 3rd-degree, out-of-network connections and the perfect candidate regardless of your LinkedIn network size.

Let’s see how this LinkedIn recruiting strategy can transform your hiring process.

What Is LinkedIn X-Ray Search?

LinkedIn X-ray search is a technique for finding LinkedIn profiles using Google or other search engines.

LinkedIn X-Ray Search lets you find a candidate’s profile by entering selected skills and location into the search bar using Boolean strings.

One of Xray LinkedIn Search benefits is the ability to use the * (asterisk) symbol to fill in missing words. To be clear, the asterisk is used to fill in the search with any other keyword.

what is linkedin x ray search

X-Ray Search includes the basic Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT, for more productive results.

It saves time and effort for the searcher and filters and scans information more effectively.

It is also known as Google X-ray search or simply X-ray search.

The name comes from the idea of using Google to “X-ray” LinkedIn and see through its limitations.

Why Use LinkedIn X-Ray Search?

why use linkedin x ray search

There are 3 reasons why you should use LinkedIn X-Ray Search:

  1. Bypass commercial use limit
  2. Bypass LinkedIn search results limitations
  3. Access all LinkedIn members

1. Bypass the commercial use limit

If you use the basic LinkedIn search engine intensively, you will eventually see the commercial use limitation popup.

x ray search bypass linkedin commercial use limit

This limit is triggered when LinkedIn detects you use the free search engine for sales or recruiting purposes.

The goal is to make you pay for LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Recruiter.

With LinkedIn X-Ray search, you don’t have this problem.

You use Google to search LinkedIn accounts as much as you want. You will never be limited.

That makes X-Ray search a great technique to bypass LinkedIn search limitations.

2. Bypass LinkedIn search results limitation

Each time you search the free LinkedIn search engine, you are limited to 100 pages of 10 results.

That makes a total of 1000 maximum search results available.

x ray search bypass linkedin search result limit

With Google X-Ray Search, you don’t have this problem.

no search limit linkedin ray search

When you write a specific query, you get access to all the LinkedIn profiles displayed in the Google search results.

3. Access all LinkedIn members

If you use the LinkedIn search engine to find 2nd and 3rd-degree connections, you will notice that you can’t connect with some profiles.

You can’t even see their names. You will only see the mention: “LinkedIn Member”.

bypass linkedin limitation network x ray search

This means these people are way out of your network or have activated a specific setting to hide their profiles.

With LinkedIn X-Ray search, you don’t have this problem. When indexing LinkedIn profiles, Google doesn’t consider your network or specific user settings.

You will then get public access to all LinkedIn profiles that have allowed Google to index them.

Now that you understand the theory let’s explore the details of using LinkedIn X-ray search to find potentialcandidates.

Mastering X-Ray Search Operators

2 types of X-Ray search operators:

  1. Google search operators
  2. Boolean search operators

1. Google search operators

You can use Google search operators to give specific instructions to the search engine like:

  1. Only display search results from this particular site
  2. Only display search results with “X” in their Google title
  3. Only displays search results with “X” in the page text

Here is a complete list:

Google OperatorsWhat It DoesExample with link
site:Search for results from a particular
intitle:Search for pages with a particular word in the title tag.intitle:developer
allintitle:Search for pages with multiple words in the title tag. allintitle:python developer
inurl:Search for pages with a particular word in the URL. inurl:linkedin
allinurl:Search for pages with multiple words in the URL. allinurl:linkedin in
intext:Search for pages with a particular word in their content.intext:javascript
allintext:Search for pages with multiple words in their content.allintext:javascript python
allintext:Search for particular types of files (e.g., PDF).linkedin filetype:pdf
*Wildcard matching any word or phrase.reid * linkedin
( )Group multiple searches.(sales OR marketing) apple

Click on the examples link to see what the operator does on the Google search results.

To search LinkedIn profiles, the operators you will use more often are:

  • site: to search on LinkedIn
  • intitle: to search specific job title
  • intext: to search for additional particular keywords in the profiles

To only get LinkedIn profiles in your search results, write:

As all the LinkedIn profile URLs start with that will only display LinkedIn profiles in your search results

get linkedin profiles from google search results

2. Boolean search operators

Boolean search operators are part of Google search operators. However, it’s essential to differentiate them as they can also be used on LinkedIn search engines.

linkedin boolean search operators

Here is a complete list of Boolean operators for LinkedIn and Google.

Boolean OperatorsWhat it doesGoogle Example Linkedin Example
ANDLook for profiles with all the keywords in a listDeveloper AND JavascriptDeveloper AND Javascript
OR Look for profiles with at least one keyword in a listSales OR MarketingSales OR Marketing
NOTExclude keywordConsultant NOT FreelancerConsultant NOT Freelancer
QuotesLook for exact expressions of several words “Head of Sales”“Head of Sales”
ParenthesisCombine Boolean operators(VP OR Head) AND (Sales OR Marketing) NOT Assistant(VP OR Head) AND (Sales OR Marketing) NOT Assistant

You can click the links in the table to see concrete examples of what the operators do on Google on LinkedIn search.

If you want to use these search strings in Google, you must include them in these Google operators:

  • intitle:
  • intext:
  • inurl:

If we take a LinkedIn recruiting use case, it will look like this: intitle:"Senior Developer" intext:javascript OR JS

In this search, I am looking for people who have the following:

  • Senior Developer in their job title
  • JavaScript or JS written somewhere on their profile

Here are the results:

x ray boolean search

To do the exact search on LinkedIn, I would do the following:

  • Select People
  • Write “Senior Developer” in the job title filter
  • Write JavaScript or JS in the keyword filter
linkedin boolean search x ray equivalent

How To Use LinkedIn X-Ray Search On Google?

3 steps to use LinkedIn X-Ray search:

  1. Write your X-ray search
  2. Paste it into the Google search bar
  3. Export the results to CSV

1. Write your X-Ray query

As X-ray queries can be long and complicated, I recommend first writing them on a notepad, Google Doc, or Notion page so you can edit them easily.

write x ray search

If you close the window without intention, you don’t want to lose 30 min of work over a dumb misclick.

It’s also a good practice to save your X-ray searches over time, as you might improve them and use them again.

2. Paste into Google Search Bar

Once you are happy with your X-Ray query, paste it to Google and press enter to get your results.

paste x ray searchg goole

Iterate on your expression until you are satisfied with your search results.

3. Export the results to CSV

You have two options once you are satisfied with the search results:

  1. Visit all the profiles manually
  2. Export them into a CSV

I recommend exporting them into CSV, as organizing your outreach will be much easier.

The next step would be to import these profiles into your CRM or Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

export linkedin x ray search results

To do this, we’re going to use Scaleserp.

After you create your account, the first step is to copy and paste the URL of your Google search into the URL field.

extract linkedin profiles from google search results

Then, define the number of pages you want to extract and the number of results per page.

extract linkedin profiles google serp

The number of search results per page depends on what you have chosen in your Google settings.

To change it, go to > Settings > Search Settings.

change number of search results per page google

Then, change the number of search results per page, click Save, and you’re done.

display more linkedin profiles on google search

Back to Scaleserp.

The next thing to do is to define the output. Most of you will need a CSV so you can select the CSV option in the dropdown.

download google search results csv

Once the results are ready, you can download them by clicking on the download account in the top right.

download linkedin profiles csv google

You will get a clean CSV with the title of the search results and the LinkedIn URLs.

google search results extraction linkedin profiles

You’re done!

You can now upload this file to your CRM Software or LinkedIn prospecting campaigns.

Google LinkedIn X-Ray Search Tools

If you want to get precise and automated queries here are 2 LinkedIn X-Ray search tools to use:

  1. Recruit’em
  2. Recruitment Geek

1. Recruit’em

Recruit’em is a free tool that helps you create LinkedIn X-ray search queries efficiently and quickly.

You can use Recruit’em to search for profiles on LinkedIn by country, location, keywords, education, current employer, and more.

recruitem linkedin x ray search tool

You can also use Recruit’em to search for profiles on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, Stack Overflow, etc.

generate x ray linkedin recruitem

To use Recruit’em, fill in the information you want to search for in the fields provided and then click the “Search” button. 

Recruit’em will generate a search query for you and open it in a new tab on Google.

linkedin x ray search results recruitem

You can then see the results and refine your search further if needed.

The advantage of this tool is that it’s completely free.

2. Recruitment Geek

RecruitmentGeek is another freemium tool that helps you efficiently create LinkedIn X-ray search queries.

recruitmentgeek linkedin x ray search tool

If you don’t have the skills yet, you must start by writing a Boolean query to get results, which is a bit more complicated.

Also, the free offer is pretty basic, as Recruitment Geek won’t generate a Google search URL but display the first results directly on the page.

linkedin recruitmentgeek premium searches

They have a premium version at $3.99/month that allows you to specify the country.

It is not worth it, considering you can do that for free and more with Recruiter.

How To Use X-Ray Search on LinkedIn?

Using X-Ray Search on LinkedIn is like using Boolean search.

You can use it directly in 3 different LinkedIn search engines:

  1. LinkedIn Basic
  2. LinkedIn Recruiter
  3. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

1. LinkedIn Basic X-Ray Search

You can use Boolean search on several fields of the LinkedIn basic search:

  1. Job title
  2. Keywords
  3. School
  4. Company
linkedin basic x ray search

You can do decent searches with LinkedIn’s primary engine, but as mentioned at the beginning of this article, you will be limited by the commercial use limit and get access to only the first 1000 results.

2. LinkedIn Recruiter X-Ray search

You can use LinkedIn Boolean search on LinkedIn Recruiter in filters like:

  • Job Tilte
  • Skills
  • Companies
  • School
  • Keyword
linkedin recruiter filters

This tool will be much more powerful if you aim to find right candidates.

LinkedIn Recruiter is a premium tool that offers much more search filters and data to engage your leads with messages that get replies.

3. LinkedIn Sales Navigator X-Ray Search

Last, you can use Boolean search on LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

This is also a LinkedIn premium tool, but its mission is mainly to help salespeople identify and reach out to qualified.

linkedin sales navigator x ray search

You can use Boolean search on filters like:

  • Keyword
  • Current Job Title
  • Past Job Title
  • Current Company
  • Past Company
  • Keywords

That being said, you can also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to recruit.

It’s handy because you can use the same tool to find leads and candidates.

If you want to export your Linkedin Sales Navigator lead lists into CSV files that is easy using the Evaboot Chrome Extension.

Export Sales Navigator leads with Evaboot

It’s the smartest Sales Navigator scraper.

export leads from sales navigator

Its algorithm double-checks your leads to ensure they match your selected search filters and provides you with data like emails, LinkedIn URLs, open profiles, etc.

This tool makes your lead-generation

Find Open To Work Candidate with LinkedIn X-Ray Search

There are several ways to find job seekers using the LinkedIn search engines, which I describe in this video.

You can also use LinkedIn X-ray search to find them.

For that, you can use intitle: “the job you are looking to recruit for” + intext: all the expressions you can think of that someone would add on his profile if looking for a job

  • looking for new opportunities
  • seeking new opportunities
  • open to work
  • etc..

Here is a LinkedIn X-ray search example with accountants: intitle:accountant intext:(looking or seeking OR open to) AND (opportunities OR opportunity OR jobs OR job OR work)

When I copy-paste this expression in Google, here is what I got:

find open to work linkedin x ray search

So now you can copy and paste this expression and replace accountant with another job title or several job titles using AND like: intitle:"Product Manager" OR "Product Owner" intext:(looking or seeking OR open to) AND (opportunities OR opportunity OR jobs OR job OR work)

What are you waiting for?

Try it now!


LinkedIn X-ray search is a powerful technique that helps elevate your LinkedIn recruiting strategies.

You can use LinkedIn X-ray search to find profiles using Google, other search engines, or external tools such as Recruit’em and Recruitment Geek.

You can also use Boolean and other operators to create more complex and accurate searches. You can also use LinkedIn X-ray search to find candidates open to work.

Whether you are a recruiter, a sales manage, or a job seeker, the LinkedIn X-ray search can help you achieve your goals and connect with the right people on LinkedIn.


How do I search for X-Ray on LinkedIn?

Here is how to use X-Ray LinkedIn Search in the Classic Search Bar:

  1. Type what you want to search in the search bar, such as job titles, company names, or candidates’ work.
  2. Click People and select All Filters. The page opens for you to enter filters for improved search results.

How to do a Google X-Ray search?

Here is a step-by-step guide of using Google Xray Search:

Step 1: Open Google Search

Step 2: Enter your search query

Step 3: Add search operators

  • Site operator
    Use “site:” followed by the address of a website to filter results from that domain.
  • Intitle operator
    Use “intitle:” followed by your keyword to find pages with that keyword in the title.
  • Inurl operator
    Use “inurl:” followed by your keyword to find pages with your keyword in the URL.
  • Intext operator
    Use “intext:” followed by your keyword to find pages with that keyword in the content.
  • Filetype operator
    Use “filetype:” followed by a file extension to find specific file types.

Step 4: Combine search operators

Step 5: Review search results

Step 6: Iterate and modify your search as long as you find the information you need.

Can you X-Ray search any site?

X-raying uses a search engine like Google to find profiles from social media like LinkedIn. You can use x-ray searches for LinkedIn profiles and other databases of candidates.

An example of a simple x-ray search for LinkedIn is this Google search string: java

While this search works, you may want to refine it for more targeted results to avoid sifting through millions of search results.


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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