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LinkedIn Xray search: Everything you need to know [+ search examples]

LinkedIn Xray Search Cover image

LinkedIn Xray search has been an eye-opener for many recruiters and sales professionals. The truth is, it helped them find the ideal candidate or a prospect in the past. Also, it showed them there is always an alternative way of doing so. 

However, with the recent LinkedIn subscriptions and sales engagement tools development, the LinkedIn Xray search fell slowly into oblivion. Nonetheless, it still holds its value and can help in many ways. Whereas LinkedIn fails due to subscription limitations.

That's why, in this article, we will cover what LinkedIn Xray means, what the benefits are, and how to get the most out of it to perform LinkedIn prospecting and find ideal prospects or candidates.

LinkedIn Xray search is a method used to research your prospects or candidates on Google. In other words, using the Google browser, you can search for the profiles without using LinkedIn internal filters.

Similar to LinkedIn, by performing Xray search, you can place filters like their role, location, or work experience to zero in on the exact candidate or prospect you wish to contact. 

If this sounds familiar, you are right. LinkedIn Xray is also known as Boolean Search on Google.

Now, you probably wonder why you should search for profiles this way when you can simply use LinkedIn internal search. Here are a couple of reasons.

Why you should use LinkedIn Xray search?

1. More search results

Have you noticed that when you use LinkedIn filters and perform the search, you often get big numbers, as demonstrated in the picture below?

Image of the number of LinkedIn search results

That is an astonishing number, indeed. However, you can't see all these profiles, can you? The reason is that LinkedIn limits the number of searches depending on your subscription. In addition, it always shows 10 profiles per page.  

Image of true number of search results in LinkedIn Premium Business subscription

In other words, here is the number of searches you will get for each LinkedIn subscription respectively:

  • Free: 100
  • Sales Navigator: 2500
  • Recruiter Lite: 2500
  • Premium Business: 1000

Since LinkedIn will not show you all these results, you can search for them yourself. And with the help of Google, you will get much more than 1000 or 2500 searches.

Image of LinkedIn Xray search results on Google and number of pages

2. The visibility of 3rd-degree and out of network connections

Depending on whether you are using LinkedIn for free or paying a subscription, you won’t be able to see certain people. These people include your 3rd-degree connections or those outside of your network.

Image of Outside the Network alert on LinkedIn

For example, let’s say you are searching for the hiring managers, and you come across an out-of-network connection.

Image of example where profile is outside of your network on LinkedIn

As you can see, LinkedIn has hidden their name and surname. Now, let’s try the LinkedIn Xray search. To clarify, we will take the headline phrase we can see from LinkedIn search results and use them as keyword combinations.

Image of LinkedIn Xray search to find outside of network profile

Et voilà! This is a game-changer as Google will never hide the person’s full name. In addition, once you go to that person’s profile, you will be able to connect to them. 

Image of finding out of network connection using LinkedIn Xray search and being able to connect to them

Now, not all LinkedIn profiles are publicly accessible through search engines, but most of them are. In other words, you have a much greater chance of finding ideal leads or candidates as opposed to using LinkedIn search filters alone.

3. Search results variety

If you are using advanced search, LinkedIn will show you the results organized by network relationships and the ones who have a 100% of profile completion. 

There is nothing wrong with that, except perhaps the person just outside of the LinkedIn search results might be the exact match to your buyer persona or ideal candidate. Consequently, you won’t be able to see that person as LinkedIn will show you the same results almost every time.   

Google’s search algorithm is a bit different, and it will produce the order of the results that have the highest keywords frequency you chose in particular.

Set up your LinkedIn profile compete guide banner with text: Earn the LinkedIn all-star status

4. More comprehensive search

One of the perks of using LinkedIn Xray is the possibility to use the * symbol (Asterisk) to include any missing words. To clarify, Asterisk is used to fill in the search with any other keyword. This way, Google will show you a more comprehensive search, for example, if you search for all the positions that have Sales variation in their title (Sales manager, sales development manager, etc.). 

Unfortunately, the use of Asterisk in LinkedIn is not available. So you would have to import all those positions manually. Thus you can always turn to Google should you need to find all these variations in one go.

Image of LinkedIn Xray search results example using asterisk symbol

How to perform LinkedIn Xray search?

By now, you have probably seen a sneak peek of how to perform LinkedIn Xray from our examples above. So, let’s dive into how you can do it as well.

There are two different ways you can perform LinkedIn Xray:

  1. By using Boolean Search operators to create own search string
  2. Or by using search string generators

LinkedIn Xray search with Boolean operators

As we mentioned in our LinkedIn Boolean Search Explained post, Boolean operators are used to better define your search results. In other words, you can use these operators to narrow or widen your search results per your wishes.

Contrary to Boolean operators you can use on LinkedIn, Google offers slightly more possibilities. Here are the operators you can use for LinkedIn Xray on Google, with examples.

Boolean OperatorsMeaningsExamples
site: When you wish to include a website (LinkedIn) in a
AND When you wish to include multiple words in a search.Developer AND Engineer
ORUse when specifying alternatives in jobs or skills.C# OR JavaScript
NOTWhen you want to exclude certain roles or skills.SDR NOT “Sales manager”
() ParenthesisWhen you wish to combine previous operations.Sales (Representative OR Manager)
“” QuotationsWhen your search term is composed of two or more consecutive words.“Sales Manager” OR “Customer Representative”
- Minus symbolAlternative way to exclude.“Sales Manager” -“Customer Support”
* AsteriskIf you wish to search for different phrases with one core word.Customer* AND Sales*
inurl:To find a URL that matches a specific keyword.Inurl:marketing
intitle:When you wish to find the exact job title in the work experience section or intitle:analyst

Using LinkedIn Xray search to find leads or candidates from certain countries

We’ve covered operators that you can use for your LinkedIn Xray search. However, we still have one ace in our hands. And it is called finding leads or candidates from specific countries. Now, this is where it gets interesting. If, for example, you are a recruiter and wish to find an ideal candidate who will work from the office, you can use one of the two following methods:

1) By using country prefixes.

To differentiate the countries and their users, LinkedIn uses country prefixes in their domain. So you can help yourself with these codes while performing a LinkedIn Xray search. Keep in mind that you should check which country codes are active on LinkedIn. 

String example to search people in Germany: “Project Manager” AND “Project Coordinator”

2) By including the country as a keyword.

This method is a lot easier. You can simply include country, city, or region name as a keyword in your search string. This way, Google will present the profiles that mention that name anywhere in the profile. 

String example: “Sales Representative” Copenhagen OR Oslo

How to create LinkedIn Xray search strings with Boolean operators?

Let’s piece everything we learned so far into a couple of beautiful search strings. 

Say, for example, you wish to find a person who is CEO, lives in Dallas, and works in the financial industry. That said, your search string will look something like this: "Dallas" AND "Finance" intitle:CEO

Now, let’s run it in the Google search bar.

Image of LinkedIn Xray search string with Boolean operators pasted in Google

Sometimes, it happens that you notice a discrepancy in the search results. For example, looking at our previous search results, you can see that Google showed people who also worked in a company whose name starts with Dallas. You can avoid this easily by specifying your search string a bit more. Here is an example "Dallas, Texas" AND "Finance" intitle:CEO

Apart from being fun, search strings entirely depend on who you wish to find in the given moment. So go ahead, take all the operators for a stroll, and find your buyer persona or ideal candidate.

Search string generators for the LinkedIn Xray

If creating a LinkedIn Xray search string on your own is not your thing, then we have great news for you - You don’t need to. In other words, you can simply use one of many Xray search string generators and watch the magic unfold before your eyes. 

Using these tools, you won’t have to bother with operators, as they will do it for you. Thus, you only need to import the job title, keywords, or country you wish to see in your search. 

There are only a couple of Google query generators on the market, and the ones we found useful are:

In addition, if you notice tools such as Free People Search Tool or Recruitment Geek, be on the lookout. These tools behave like the browser. 

The upside is that these tools will search only for the LinkedIn profiles, and some of them will show you the publicly available pictures in search results. However, the downside is that they will only show 10 profiles per page, and there are only 10 pages. Thus, you are better off searching on the Google wish query string, to begin with.

How to use search query generator?

So, how would you use a query generator tool? We will take Recruit’em as an example since we found it the most user-friendly and easy to use. Here is what the Recruit'em interface looks when you open it up.

Image of LinkedIn Xray search query generator interface

Firstly, select the desired country from the drop-down menu. Continue with the job title. If, for example, you wish to find a sales manager, but also similar jobs like sales executive, then mark Show similar jobs box. In addition, if you don’t want your search results to show sales assistants, then write Assistant in the exclusion field

Lastly, import the additional keywords with commas to separate them and narrow down the search. We will take SaaS as an example. 

After you finish, the setup will look like this. 

Image of LinkedIn Xray search query generator setup

Next, click the Find the right people on the LinkedIn button, and you will get your search query URL.

Image of LinkedIn Xray Search String generated example

Lastly, click the Open in Google button, and see your search results. 

Image of how to use LinkedIn Xray search string in Google example, and find the right lead or candidate


Now there is one hack if you wish to find emails from people in the search results. All you need to do is specify or another email provider website as your keyword. 

Image of how to setup LinkedIn Xray search query to find emails

And these will be the search results where email addresses are publicly available.

Image of Google search results to find email addresses using LinkedIn Xray

However, finding and scraping publicly available email addresses can be tedious. Therefore, we will show you an easier way of doing so further below. 

Also, be sure to check out our blog on 8 Ways To Find Someone’s Email Address.  

You found the right people. Now what?

Finding these profiles using Linkedin Xray is a nice hack. You can get to a wider talent or prospect pool, especially if you recruit or do business on the global market. However, whether we’d like to admit it or not, a LinkedIn Xray search is manual work, and it is time-consuming enough. Now imagine you need to outreach them manually, as well. It would be tiresome, don’t you think?

Good news! You don’t have to. You can use Skylead, a sales engagement tool, to do the work for you. Here is how you can do it.

Firstly, save all the LinkedIn profiles in one CSV file. You can, of course, do this manually, but why would you? 🙂 You can simply use a scraper tool, such as Data Miner, to automatically pick up all LinkedIn profile links.

In addition, do not forget to use different variables so you can send hyper-personalized messages on autopilot. Here is our video tutorial on how you can prepare your CSV file.

Skylead campaign creation

After you create your CSV file, it's time to generate leads on LinkedIn, so go to Skylead, your daily outreach partner. Once there, click the Create new campaign button to start the setup. 

Image of Skylead dashboard and what to click to create new campaign

Secondly, select the CSV type of campaign and import your CSV file. When you finish, click next. In addition, if collecting the data in a CSV file is not your thing, you can always search for prospects or candidates on LinkedIn and opt-in for the LinkedIn, Recruiter, or Sales Navigator Search Results campaign.

Image of Skylead campaign creation from CSV file that contains profiles found via LinkedIn Xray

Next, choose your campaign details, such as the start and end date of the campaign. Then click the Next button.

Image of Skylead campaign setup

Speaking of magic, here is where it happens. This is Skyleads’ ground-breaking Smart sequence. Smart Sequences allow you to create and execute different scenarios to interact with your prospect or potential employee based on their behavior. In addition, you can add as many steps as you need, and the algorithm will do all the work for you.

In addition, remember when we talked about finding the publicly available email addresses? Here is how Skylead can find them on autopilot. Take the Email discovery & Verification step and drop it in a sequence. This way, when Skylead gets to that step, it will find business email addresses. And if it verifies them successfully, you will be able to multichannel your outreach and send your target group email, as well.

Image of Smart Sequence in Skylead and Email & Verification step

When you set all your steps, click the Start campaign button, and you are done! All you need to do now is sit back, relax and watch your effort come to fruition. 

Image of CTA banner 2 for Skylead salesbook - ready-to-use outreach template that can be applied to our LinkedIn automation and cold email software

Frequently asked questions

How can businesses or recruiters measure the success and effectiveness of their LinkedIn Xray search campaigns in finding the right candidates or prospects?

Businesses or recruiters can measure the success of LinkedIn Xray search campaigns by tracking key metrics such as the response rate to outreach messages, the number of qualified candidates or leads identified, interview schedules resulting from searches, and ultimately, the conversion rate from prospect to hired candidate or successful sale.

Are there specific examples of how different industries can apply LinkedIn Xray search for targeted prospecting or recruiting?

Different industries, like tech for sourcing software engineers with specific skills, healthcare for identifying professionals with rare certifications, or sales for finding key decision-makers within target organizations, can use LinkedIn Xray search to pinpoint niche talent or prospects effectively.

What are the ethical considerations to keep in mind while using LinkedIn Xray search to avoid being perceived as intrusive by potential connections?

Ethical considerations include respecting the privacy and preferences of LinkedIn users, using information obtained from Xray searches responsibly, and ensuring outreach is relevant and not overly aggressive, to maintain professionalism and avoid being intrusive.

In conclusion

We cannot ignore that LinkedIn has very useful filters, whether we talk about Recruiter or Sales Navigator filters

Nevertheless, if you would like to reach and find more people than what LinkedIn has to offer in their search results or those out of your network, then LinkedIn Xray is a perfect solution. 

Now, it is always better to create your own string to be as detailed as possible and get the most precise search results. Practice makes it perfect, so test different strings as much as possible. However, if you think that this approach is not for you, you can always use tools that will work just as well.

Speaking of tools that do the work for you, you don’t have to do outreach alone. That is why Skylead, your trusted partner, is here. With just a few clicks and a ground-breaking sequence, you can reach out to your ideal candidates or prospects on autopilot. So, all you need to do is focus on closing more deals or hiring the right candidate.

Wish to learn more about how Skylead can:

  • Save up to 11 hours per week;
  • Or get you 50+ meetings booked per month?

Then, try it out using 7-day Free Trial

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