About a month ago, for whatever mysterious reason and with zero advance notice, the LinkedIn system suddenly stopped allowing the use of the TITLE:, COMPANY:, and SCHOOL: search prefixes after 15 years of these features working like a champ.  For those who utilized these search terms regularly, they were a godsend – since they allowed one to easily search for people on LinkedIn based on where they work, where they went to school, and/or by any current or past job title they’ve held.

A simple search for the phrase title:marketing on the site, for example, would turn up anybody who had officially held a job with “marketing” in the title.  Or a search on company:microsoft would turn up only those folks who had worked at Microsoft at some point in their career.

But then, for whatever reason, this critical functionality was eliminated.  And heavy-duty LinkedIn users, like myself, were left hanging in terms of determining whether these kinds of searches were even possible anymore.

The good news and bad news?  The good news is that after doing some digging, I’ve found a workaround that compensates for the above change and allows you to still search for people based on their job titles, schools, and companies.  The bad news?  To do so now requires several extra steps that slow the process down considerably — and that most average users will completely overlook, without outside help.

So for those who still want to take advantage of this all-important networking functionality, here’s how you go about it:

  1. First, run a completely blank search on the system (click in the top LinkedIn search box and then click the magnifying glass you’ll see to the right of it)
  2. Next, click the “All Filters” menu and set any parameters you’ll see there (Location, Industry, etc.) that relate to the type of person you’re trying to find
  3. Last, but not least, scroll down to the bottom-left of the All Filters page and you’ll see distinct boxes called Title, Company, and School; you can then insert keywords (and boolean searches) into these boxes to identify people purely by job titles they’ve held, places they’ve worked, etc.

Again, it’s annoying that you have to go through these multiple steps to accomplish these results when previously a single search command would allow you to do so.  But it is what it is, I suppose, and I’m just glad there’s still a way to accomplish these results – since again, the vast majority of useful LinkedIn searches tend to target people based on certain titles they hold like recruiters, hiring managers, venture capitalists, business owners/founders and the like.

So give the above steps a shot, just as a test, and see if you can get the hang of it.  It’s not technically all that hard, it’s just slow, and requires a bit of acclimation for those of us who are used to the “old way” of doing things.  But this kind of searching, without question, continues to be the crown jewel of LinkedIn and its value to potential job hunters.

Hope this workaround proves helpful, going forward, and if you have any questions about how to find certain types of folks on LinkedIn — or use this new functionality — please don’t hesitate to drop me a line or just add a comment below to the article!