LinkedIn releases "Seniority Level", a Beta Feature for Advanced Search

LinkedIn recently added "Seniority Level" as an Advanced Search filter accessible by users with premium accounts.

Tagging it as a "Beta" feature is a bit of an understatement as the feature misses the mark completely, as in it's current state, only seems to be matching profiles where the user's title begins with the keyword of the chosen level.

If "Director" is chosen, Seniority Rank Beta only matches users with a title beginning with "Director".

In other words, titles such as "eBusiness Director", "IT Director", etc., will not be found.

I would steer clear of this feature until additional development generates better results. For the time being, use with caution.

Here's a quick test illustrating the issue.

I'll search for:
Companies: Kimberly Clark, Kleenex
Rank Filter Position: Director-level only
Title Search Terms: analytics, contact, commerce, eBusiness, ecommerce, experience, information, interactive, internet, online, web

Try this search here:,Ykleenex,Winformation,Wexperience,WeBusiness,Winteractive,Wanalytics,Wcontact,Wweb,Wecommerce,Wcommerce,Winternet,Wonline&rf_1=3&rf_2=3&fr=6&syll=0&loc=A&cou=BL&zip=&rad=4

Now try the LinkedIn Seniority Level Beta filter here: (premium account required)

I found a few less matches using LinkedIn Seniority Level Beta, all of which had titles with "Director" as second or third words in their title.

What do you think about this feature? Do you think LinkedIn will eventually nail Advanced search to the extent possible with boolean operators used by a seasoned pro? Do you think the Peopletoucher Search Engine will someday become obsolete?

As suprising as the answer may sound, I hope so! I'm hoping the service provided on this site will eventually be weaved into LinkedIn advanced search.

In the meantime, we'll keep this site running until they do.

Please share your opinon in the comments. Redesign Underway

Linkedin today published a post on it's blog describing changes they've begun to roll out to the overall layout of the homepage and navigation options.

  1. A global navigation bar at the top of the page that provides convenient access to all LinkedIn services.
  2. Simplified local navigation within each of the LinkedIn areas (Profile, Contacts, Groups, etc.).
  3. More room available for page content. Less scrolling.
  4. A cleaner, less-cluttered look.

LinkedIn Releases Profile Organzier Tool

LinkedIn added an upgraded "profile organizer" tool only available to premium members.

Read more about it on LinkedIn's Blog and on its description page.

Is anyone using it?

The consensus is that this feature alone is not worth the premium price of an account upgrade but LinkedIn may start to enhance these premium features in order to grow its base of paying members.

Would this feature encourage you to "go premium"?

VIDEO: LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman Addresses Speculation They Will Buy XING

Quick interview with Reid Hoffman at the TechCrunch 50 event (annual web startup conference) about speculation, rumors, and some of his predictions for what the future holds for some of the brightest online startups and social networking sites, including LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Reaches 47 Million Members

I had bookmarked a TechCrunch article last month about how LinkedIn has reached 45 million users, but never blogged it. Checking out the LinkedIn Press section this morning, it seems the site is now up to 47 million users.

Other stats include:

  • LinkedIn has over 47 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S.
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.

Is there a plateau around the corner or do you think they will continue growing at this speed for the next few years?

Netflix CEO Has No Fear - Publishes Talent Acquisition Strategy in the Public View

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings releases his company's take on a values & culture "manual" which leaves nothing up to the imagination.

Details include their "rockstars only" hiring policy, a policy of no vacation policy, and guidelines and methodology behind a culture of of autonomy, responsibility and effectiveness.

Love to see more companies trash the corporate BS mission statements and get real.

Hastings, you are my new hero!

Search LinkedIn without Looking up Postal Codes: The Peopletoucher Search Engine Now Supports Global Cities

As LinkedIn grows upwards of 40M+ users, spanning 150+ industries and representing every country in the world, recruiting and sales professionals outside of the US continue to find value in searching for business contact names.

Considering all of the Search enhancements LinkedIn has released over the past few quarters, it's a surprise to see how hokey the Advanced People Search is when trying to search for contacts based in or near any non-US cities.

For the US-based recruiter who needs to place the occasional candidate based outside the US, it isn't terribly difficult to memorize a token postal code to put into the Postal Code field.

However, this process can get old rather quickly if you are not based in the US, and require city/regional focus to source contact names.

LinkedIn Advanced Search Releases New Refinement Features

linkedin logo

Recently, LinkedIn rolled out new features as part of its Advanced People Search. This TechCrunch article explains the change was brought on to get people to stick around the site longer, and pointed out one in three users of the site perform regular searches.

On every search results page, you can now dynamically filter the results with additional criteria. Changes you make by checking off the boxes do not require you to re-run the search -- they appear instantly.

However, only some of the functionality is of any use to sales and recruiting professionals.

Searching LinkedIn with the Peopletoucher Search Engine


Soon after LinkedIn launched in May of 2003, it became apparent the professional networking site would turn into a great resource for B2B salespeople and recruiters.

In 2008, the site launched LinkedIn Recruiter for large enterprises and recruiting firms, yet the advanced search function (the free search tool available to everyone else) has always been watered down in order to appeal to a variety of backgrounds outside of business development and recruiting.

While creating the Peopletoucher Search Engine we took apart the features of LinkedIn's Advanced Search and put them back together piece-by-piece with our audience in mind. Here's what we found:

Top 3 Reasons to use LinkedIn InMails to Contact Prospects


Using LinkedIn with a basic/free account means once you find a prospective decision maker or job candidate, contacting them must go through a chain of trusted contacts, or not take place via LinkedIn at all.

The time it takes to send a "Get Introduced through a Connection" message can take days (or weeks) considering it is a muti-step process. Many are even hesitant to forward prospecting inquiries to their connections.

Upgrading to a Business Account ($25/month) allows you to contact prospects instantly using LinkedIn InMails -- Here's 3 reasons why they work:

Video: The Vendor/Client Relationship -- The Joys of Negotiation

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Email Prospecting Tip: Figuring out the Middle Initial

Email prospecting has emerged on par or even higher success rates than telephone prospecting alone for salespeople. Most companies follow a standard protocol, whether it's first-initial lastname or However what to do when you come across the companies that adopt middle initials in their email address?

Companies that adopt middle initial in email address are probably more likely to respond to your prospecting message since they receive fewer emails, the less seasoned might skip email altogether and simply try the phone only.

POLL: State of the Peopletoucher -- Site feedback needed for future enhancements

Now that has been up for a few months and pre-season is over, it's time to get down to business. Let us know what to work on and please leave additional thoughts in the comments!

Mailbag: "Why is the Company Field Limited to 25 Characters?"

Certain company names are too long to fit in the company field, especially if they were made of multiple words. The company in question was "Agrium Advanced Technologies".

We restricted company length to 25 characters to prevent you from entering unnecessary words -- this search should simply use Agrium.

Unnecessary words like Incorporated, Corp, Company, and Inc., will skew search results because people create profiles with multiple variations of the same company name.

Peopletoucher on

Peopletoucher was featured last week on, a popular blog on emerging recruitment issues.

What is especially satisfying is the fact we did not have to take the drastic measures we had been planning in order to get bloggers to write about us.

Mailbag: "Why does Peopletoucher only Support Searches under Current Job Titles and Current Companies?"

Today's question came in from Mark: "I ran a query using the title of "project manager." Is it possible to use peopletoucher to search both current and previous titles and companies?"

When building the Peopletoucher Search Engine, we decided to make the default behavior current company and current title only, in order to increase the accuracy of the search results, and help promote the best searching behavior.

Here's some probable solutions to your issue and searching best practices.

Battle of the LinkedIn Open Networker Listing Sites, a website and LinkedIn group which helps open networkers expand their networks and connect with other members, last week launched a related site: Up until now, has listed the top 50 LinkedIn members sorted by connection count. Ron Bates, an executive recruiter and obvious LinkedIn addict, leads the tally with 44,000 connections. Anyone looking to quickly grow their network can send connection requests to the people listed. seems to be a paid version of The intention one might have of joining this private site, is to receive connection invites from other aspiring power networkers who receive the monthly newsletter. also promises the ability for a user to list their contact details on other networking sites like Facebook, and 12 others you've never heard of like Ryze, Konnects, and UNYK.

In reviewing the email sent out by TopLinked, describing the new site launch, I noticed the conversation quickly veered from facts and content, to blinding rage. See the clip below:

"Our new service combines the huge network building reach of (we have well over 38,000 active participants in just our group on LinkedIn) PLUS the ability to grow your networks on the world's top twenty social networking sites PLUS an amazingly lucrative affiliate referral program.

And now for the disturbing news.

Just today someone launched a rip-off copycat of"

Top 3 Ways to Add LinkedIn Connections and Why You Should Care

Recently, I used the 3-degrees of Kevin Bacon analogy to describe how your searching ability is limited to your LinkedIn network, the group of people connected to you via 3 degrees of separation. This is precisely why it is imperative to add connections and grow your network; for every connection you add, your searching ability increases.

Check out your network stats to get an idea how many people are in your network out of the overall LinkedIn population which is currently about 36 Million. If your network is less than half (17M) you have some work to do. Search Engine Tutorial for Salespeople

I was discussing the Search Engine with the author of Engineers Can Sell, Eric Bono, and he asked for an example of how it could work in his industry. (Besides a blogger, Eric is an engineer and salesperson working in the aerospace industry.)

Eric targets senior director and VP-level decision makers at global companies like Boeing, who purchase materials and new technologies used in manufacturing.

This is a step by step guide using Eric as an example.

Step 1: Start with the target company

Enter the company you're targeting:

  • You can enter multiple company names separated by commas.
  • Quotes are added automatically for multi-term companies
  • Enter multiple names to match common variations. (e.g. JP Morgan, Chase)
  • Linkedin drops off "corp", "co.", ".com" and "inc." but you shouldn't include them anyway.

Results: 25,607 (your results will vary but this is obviously too many contacts to sort through)

Step 2: Narrow down targets using the RankFilter

The RankFilter let's you narrow down your target by executive level:

Results: 5,905 (still too many)

Step 3: Use title search terms to narrow by area of expertise

Pick title search terms that apply to your target:

  • You don't have to worry about 3 letter acronyms like "CTO" as they are added for you automatically if "C-Level" is selected with the RankFilter.
  • This is the equivalent of putting a bunch of "OR" statements in the search box, your target could match any one of these terms but must match atleast one.

Results: 970

To narrow the list down to the ideal number of targets (less than 50) you should deselect some terms from the title search terms box and search again.

The term "technology" is probably picking up a lot of IT contacts that aren't needed here, so lets deselect "technology" and see the results:

Results: 211

This is a lot better and should give you an idea of the power and accuracy of using title search terms and the RankFilter to narrow down your list to the right people.

Want to try this search with your network?,Wtechnology,Caerospace,Cdevelopment...

Do you Own your Linkedin Connections?

Facebook changed their terms of service in order to get more legal ownership over user submitted content, only to fold under public pressure and reverse the changes.

This raises interesting questions especially on pro-networking sites like Linkedin and XING, do you own your content or does it become property of the network once it is submitted?

Do you own your connections?

An in-depth analysis of the most popular sites' Terms of Service:

Facebook terms of service compared with MySpace, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter

As The Economy Sours, LinkedIn’s Popularity Grows (TechCrunch)

TechCrunch commented on the latest ComScore traffic ranking's for for the month of January. Highlights include:

  • 22% increase in unique visitors (up from 6.3M in Dec. to 7.7 in Jan.)
  • 100% increase in time spent on site (up from 47.6M to 96.8M total minutes)

Has LinkedIn Changed the Game for Salespeople?

Bernard Lunn COO of ReadWriteWeb wrote recently about the Evolution of Tools for Sales. He references LinkedIn as the, "first fundamentally new [sales] tool to emerge in decades."'s Department of the Obvious would like you to know I agree with this statement.

The article talks about the evolution of CRM systems from the salesperson's perspective, other game-changers like Blackberry, and even postulates on the future of LinkedIn becoming a professional-networking-slash-enterpise-email-platform.

Below are my top 3 uses for professional networking sites: Press Coverage

pr web logo

Maybe "press coverage" isn't the best way of putting it, considering we paid to have a press release issued via PR Web, but it still sounds like a great way to kick off the release of the new version of the Peopletoucher Search Engine.

Share the love -- or pick apart our grammar.

Here's the full press release.

LinkedIn's Dubious Industry Field

Talking with a friend about the site, she asked why the Peopletoucher Search Engine doesn't have Industry as a search option.

In the days when you actually had to search LinkedIn manually, she used to pick "Non-Profit Management" in the industry field, when searching for accounting job candidates.

While this method might be tempting, it creates a huge problem.

There are many overlapping industries a user can pick.

"Fundraising", "Philanthropy", and "Non-Profit Organization Management" would all fit the bill.

The second reason why industry is dubious: There isn't consensus as to whether industry means your area of expertise, or the primary sector your company operates.

Three Degrees of LinkedIn Bacon

Searching for business contacts on LinkedIn can be thought of as joining two moviestars via Kevin Bacon, center of the entertainment universe. Except with LinkedIn, you are limited to three degrees of separation and not six.

The people within that 3-degree universe (your LinkedIn network) represent the sum total of your direct connections, plus their connections, and so on to three levels. If a contact is outside that your network, you can only see their title on their profile, not their full name.

Let's experiment with the effect each connection you create brings to the size and scope of your network.

Start Thinking about LinkedIn as a Network of Leads

In 2004 I took a business development role at a startup software company in the information security space. We had no leads, no names, no contacts. We sold a product that hadn't really penetrated the market yet so we had to "start high" and make connections with the VP or C-level. A complex sales cycle and a multimilion dollar price tag made it impossible to sell using rented lists and the old-school "smile and dial" techniques.

We developed a method of searching LinkedIn to find the top contacts at BIG companies. Here's the top 5 reasons to use LinkedIn for prospecting:

Fountain of Glengarry Leads

Where are all these Glengarry leads?

No longer can sales people, recruiters, biz dev professionals count on using old methods to dig up the right contact names and info, and call these prospects on the first dial.

On the flip side, our prospective clients are asked to do more and more with fewer resources, filtering out hundreds of voicemails and emails every day from salespeople vying for their business, or even a few minutes of their attention.

Great site! Now, about that name...

Peopletoucher launches in September of 2008 amidst fanfare, public parades, generating massive media attention from international news outlets.

OK. Maybe there were no parades, media recognition or any type of celebrations but our friends and colleagues certainly think this site is cool.

We received a few emails from friends and people involved in business development. Here's a sample:

"Great site but the name freaks people out." -Keith
"That is the creepiest website name I have ever heard." -Pat
"Did you buy the domain from the Catholic church?" -Ethan




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