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LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search (Complete Guide)

Discover how to use Boolean search on LinkedIn Recruiter. Plus, learn how AI tools like Leonar and ChatGPT can streamline recruitment.
Last update
May 27, 2024
LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search (Complete Guide)
Doriane Stagnol
LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search (Complete Guide)

Looking to improve your LinkedIn searches? With LinkedIn Recruiter's boolean search, you can find the best candidates faster. 

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of Boolean search, introduce key operators, and share templates to get you started. Plus, we'll show you how to refine your search strings and overcome LinkedIn's search limitations using AI tools like ChatGPT and Leonar. 

If you're new to Boolean search or want to improve your skills, this article will provide practical tips to improve your recruitment process.

👉 You may also want to take a look at our post on LinkedIn Recruiter Search Filters.

What is LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean search?

With LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean Search, you can find the right candidates by using logical operators. It's like fine-tuning your search. When you combine keywords with operators like AND, OR, and NOT, you can find exactly who you're looking for.

For example, use "Java AND Python" to find profiles with both skills or "Manager NOT Sales" to exclude sales managers. By doing this, you'll save time and get better results, helping you find the right people.

The 5 LinkedIn Boolean search operators

Quotation marks (" ")

You can search for exact phrases on LinkedIn with quotation marks. This is particularly useful when looking for specific job titles or skill sets. When you search for "Project Manager", you'll get profiles with this exact phrase in them. Your results will be highly relevant and specific to the role you're hiring for.


  • "Product Designer" finds jobs with this title.


The AND operator narrows your search by combining multiple terms. It ensures that all terms you include appear in the profiles you retrieve. This is useful when you want candidates with a combination of skills or experiences.


  • Java AND Python finds profiles that mention both Java and Python.


The OR operator broadens your search by including any of the terms you list. It’s helpful when you want to consider candidates with several different skills or titles.


  • "Sales Manager" OR "Account Manager" to find profiles with either job title.

Tip: Use OR to widen your candidate pool. This is an advantage when you're open to various job titles or skills that are equally acceptable.


The NOT operator excludes terms from your search. This is beneficial when you want to filter out candidates with specific skills or experiences not relevant to the role.


  • Developer NOT Junior finds developers but excludes junior-level experience.

Parentheses ( )

Parentheses group terms and operators, allowing more complex and refined searches. This is particularly useful when combining several operators in one search query.


  • (Marketing AND B2B) OR (Sales AND B2C) to find profiles in either marketing B2B or sales B2C roles.

Tip: Use parentheses to organize your search terms logically. This ensures LinkedIn correctly interprets complex searches, giving you accurate results.

LinkedIn Boolean search template you can use to find candidates

You can follow this pattern for your Boolean searches:

(Position Keywords) AND (Field Keywords) NOT (Blacklist)

Let’s say you are looking for software engineers with specific programming skills. 

Here’s how you can build your Boolean search:

  1. Position related keywords:some text
    • Add all relevant job titles in parentheses.
    • Example: (Software Engineer OR Developer OR Programmer)
  2. Field related keywords:some text
    • Add the required skills or technologies in another set of parentheses.
    • Example: (Java OR Python OR "C++")
  3. Exclude unwanted terms:some text
    • Use NOT to filter out undesired candidates.
    • Example: NOT (Junior OR Intern)

Complete search string:

("Software Engineer" OR "Developer") AND (Java OR Python OR "C++") AND ("San Francisco" OR "New York") NOT (Junior OR Intern)

This template helps you create precise searches to find the right candidates quickly and efficiently. Adjust the keywords based on your specific requirements and see how it improves your search results!

Using AI and ChatGPT for Boolean search

Using AI tools like ChatGPT can make crafting Boolean searches on LinkedIn much easier. By giving precise instructions, you can get the perfect Boolean search string for your needs. 

Since Boolean search is a rigid language, AI can handle it well and help you find keywords you might not have considered.

To write effective prompts for ChatGPT, follow this format:

  1. Goal: Clearly state what you want to achieve.
  2. Role: Specify ChatGPT's role in assisting you.
  3. Context: Provide all necessary information for the task.
  4. Task: Describe the job in detail.
  5. Constraints: Mention any limitations or specific considerations.
  6. Format: Specify how the response should be formatted.

Take some time to interact with ChatGPT. For example, if you need to find software engineers skilled in Python and Java, you can prompt ChatGPT with specific requirements:

Example prompt:

"You are a recruitment expert. Your mission is to craft the perfect Boolean search to find software engineers with Python and Java skills, excluding junior roles. Use all Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT, parentheses, quotes."

Result from ChatGPT:

("software engineer" OR "developer") AND (Python AND Java) NOT ("junior" OR "entry level" OR "associate")

You can get precise results by pasting this search string into LinkedIn Recruiter. ChatGPT is accurate, so you know your Boolean expressions are correct. With this approach, you save time and avoid errors, so you can connect with the right candidates faster.

Using AI features in Leonar to craft Boolean search

Leonar makes it easy to create precise Boolean searches with its AI-powered features, including ChatGPT. Simply tell Leonar what kind of candidates you need, and the AI will generate the perfect Boolean query for you. 

For instance, if you're searching for a backend engineer with Python and SQL skills, just input these details. Leonar's AI will create a tailored Boolean search string, saving you time and effort.

With Leonar's integration with ChatGPT4, creating a Boolean query is straightforward. Just click "Generate a Boolean query," and the AI handles it for you.

Boolean Search

You'll get the exact job title and Boolean query needed for your LinkedIn Recruiter search, tailored to your specified requirements. Simply put, Leonar's AI tools make your recruitment process more efficient and accurate.

Limits of LinkedIn Recruiter in terms of search

No ranking of candidates

LinkedIn Recruiter doesn’t rank candidates by relevance, so the best matches might be hidden on later pages. This makes it harder to quickly find the top candidates. 

With Leonar, you can import candidates and apply a matching algorithm to automatically highlight the most relevant profiles.

Keyword field searches the entire profile

LinkedIn’s keyword search scans the entire profile, which can sometimes result in irrelevant matches. This broad search can lead to extra time spent sifting through profiles that don’t meet your specific criteria.

Profiles are not always updated

Candidate profiles on LinkedIn are not always up-to-date or accurately filled out. 

This can affect the reliability of your search results, as you might encounter outdated information or incomplete profiles.

Using Boolean search in LinkedIn Sales Navigator

With LinkedIn's Sales Navigator, you can do Boolean Searches in the Company, Title, and Keyword criteria for a more thorough lead search.

Here are three examples to help you get started:

Example #1: Excluding freelancers

NOT (Freelance OR Freelancer OR Independent OR contractor OR "Self-employed" OR Consultant)

This is an example of how you can combine NOT, OR and () operators to exclude contractors from your search.

Example #2: Targeting leaders of a specific field 

(Head OR Director OR VP OR "Vice President" OR Leader OR Chief OR Executive) AND (Marketing OR Communication OR Branding OR Advertising OR Promotions) NOT (Assistant OR Intern OR Junior OR "Entry Level")

  • (Head OR Director OR VP OR "Vice President" OR Leader OR Chief OR Executive) is looking for any of these terms in the job title. These are all terms that would typically refer to senior roles within an organization or industry.
  • AND (Marketing OR Communication OR Branding OR Advertising OR Promotions) specifies that the job title must also include one of these functions. These terms cover a range of areas related to promoting an organization and its products or services.
  • NOT (Assistant OR Intern OR Junior OR "Entry Level") is used to exclude any terms that would indicate a lower-level or entry-level profile.

When combined, this query will return job titles for high-level roles in marketing and communication departments while excluding any listings for assistant, intern, junior, or entry-level positions. 

It's a targeted search for experienced professional roles within a specific domain or industry.

Example #3: Finding IT talents with the right skills

(Java OR JEE OR J2EE OR "Spring Boot" OR "Spring MVC" OR JSP OR Servlets OR JPA OR Hibernate OR Maven OR Gradle OR Tomcat OR Jetty OR Eclipse OR IntelliJ)

In this example, we’ve listed all technologies that would infer that someone is working in Java.

Because very often, recruiting is about being smarter than 90% of other recruiters and knowing very well the audience you are targeting. 

LinkedIn Recruiter Boolean search: wrapping up

Now you know how to use Boolean search effectively on LinkedIn Recruiter. By using these operators and leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT and Leonar, you can create precise search queries and find the best candidates quickly.

Start using these tips today with Leonar to streamline your recruitment process and connect with top talent efficiently. Happy recruiting!

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