What I learned from one week in the field about the new LinkedIn user interface (UI)

How are FAs receiving the new LinkedIn User Interface (UI). As Johnny Depp’s character Donnie said in the 1997 movie “Donnie Brasco”: “Forget about it.”

What did I see and hear?

  • The majority of the Financial Advisors (FA) I met with weren’t aware that LinkedIn is rolling out a new User Interface..
  • There is new FA enthusiasm for LinkedIn and it’s capabilities. Bad timing for LinkedIn as FAs have been slow to buy into the power of LinkedIn. Regardless of what study you read and what number of FAs using LinkedIn you want to believe there’s a huge difference between FAs “ON” LinkedIn and FAs “USING” LinkedIn. My best estimate is 8 – 10% of the FAs who have LinkedIn are actually “using it” to its full potential. Unique FINRA, SEC and individual firm compliance rules and regulations make LinkedIn adoption snail paced in comparison to private industry.
  • Given the choice to vote “I Love it” or “I Hate it”, A recent Two Dogs Social Survey, far from scientific, reports that over 85% voted: “I Hate it”.
  • The most often heard lament was: “All the functionality is gone. Where’s “Advanced” search? I’m not going to pay for a Premium package to get it.”

Sounds like “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” It’s not. Rather my suggestion is: “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Here’s what I mean:

“Advanced” search in “Free” or “Basic” LinkedIn is gone: SEARCH FUNCTIONALITY ISN’T!

Yes, gone is the ability to click on “Advanced” and have a full menu of search opinions at your disposal. In the new LinkedIn User Interface, you’ll have to work a bit to conduct a search and for some you’ll have to learn a new term, Boolean Search.


First, let’s get familiar with the term Boolean Search. The concept of Boolean Search is credited to 19th century English mathematician George Boole. He developed Boolean Logic to exclude and combine search words and phrases when searching databases, thus eliminating unrelated search results.

LinkedIn allows you to run a Boolean Search using advance search operators and Boolean Logic.

What does that mean?

While not as efficient or as easy as hitting “Advanced” in the old tool bar, you will now need to incorporate the words AND, OR and NOT into your searches. These Boolean operators serve the purpose of limiting, widening and helping to define your search.

Don’t forget that the search phrase you are using must be entered in quotes and if you are conducting a complex search you can combine terms using parenthesis.

There is a hierarchy or precedence to the overall order of a Boolean Search. That overall order of precedence is:

  • Quotation Marks
  • Parentheses
  • NOT
  • AND
  • OR

At this point you’re probably saying: “Can they just bring back the yellow pages and reconsider “do not call” (DNC) lists.” Boolean Search isn’t that difficult once you get comfortable with the concept, and remember, mastering this search methodology might save you close to a $1,000 per year.

Now let’s explore these Boolean “operators” in action. Oh, don’t forget, when using NOT, AND, and OR you must type them in uppercase letters

  • Quotation Marks – To find an exact job title, enclose the job title in quotation marks: “CEO”

TDS Pro Tip: LinkedIn search only supports standard quotation mark searches. Special symbols that you might be used to using on other systems are not recognized on LinkedIn.

  • Parenthetical Searches – Use parentheses when conducting a complex search. Let’s say you’re looking for prospects with the title “Senior Vice President” in their LinkedIn Profiles, or have both director AND division in their LinkedIn Profiles. Type “SVP OR (director AND division)”.
  • NOT searches – Use NOT in uppercase to exclude a title or term. Type “CEO NOT CFO”.
  • AND searches – Use AND in uppercase as the separator to get results that include two or more terms in a list. Type “CEO AND director”.
  • OR searches – If you’re looking for one or more terms in a search, separate the terms with an uppercase OR. Type “sales OR marketing”.

At this point your saying: “I get it, show me how to conduct a search.” Ok, who are you looking for? Since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn let’s search for the people with sales and marketing in their titles at Microsoft who no doubt had a hand in disrupting your very comfortable life on LinkedIn. Or, did they make it better?

Here’s my search, which would be considered global, as initially I will be identifying only sales and marketing types within Microsoft: (sales OR marketing) company: Microsoft


Wow, 67,081 people have been identified in my global search. How do I refine my search to make it local? Notice on the right-hand side of the page there is a laundry list of search options. They include:

  • Connections – Also, Kevin Bacon is wrong. Thanks to LinkedIn there’s only three degrees of separation, not six. Recently I met someone who asked: “Who’s Kevin Bacon?” My response: “Google it!”

The point is, you can filter this initial list by your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Confused about the concept of LinkedIn Connections here’s a quick overview:

On LinkedIn, people in your network are called connections. Your network is made up of your 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, 3rd-degree connections, and fellow members of your LinkedIn groups.

  • 1st-degree – People you’re directly connected to because you’ve accepted their invitation to connect, or they’ve accepted your invitation. You’ll see a 1st degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can contact them by sending a message on LinkedIn.
  • 2nd-degree – People who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. You’ll see a 2nd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can send them an invitation by clicking Connect, or, if your firm permits, contact them through an InMail.
  • 3rd-degree – People who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. You’ll see a 3rd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile.

TDS Pro Tip: If their full first and last names are displayed, you can send them an invitation by clicking Connect. If only the first letter of their last name is displayed, clicking Connect isn’t an option but you can contact them through an InMail.

TDS Pro Tip: Fellow members of your LinkedIn Groups – These people are considered part of your network because your members of the same group. You’ll see a Group icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can contact them by sending a message on LinkedIn or through the group.

  • Locations – Focus on + Add. Type in your location. For example, Two Dogs Social is based in Dallas, TX. By typing in Dallas, we get this dropdown:


and by doing so we have refined our search from the original 67,081 to 827 prospects.


Now I can further refine my search by college or university that maybe in the Dallas area. In this case let’s use Southern Methodist University (SMU). By doing so we have narrowed the search further to 23 people.


Now you can save the search by clicking on the save search button in the right-hand side of screen.


You may have read in earlier posts that the ability to “Save” a search had been taken away. Apparently, this is not the case and my best guesstimate is you will probably be able to save three searches.

If you don’t mind using Boolean Search and cringe at the idea of spending as much as $79.99 per month for Sales Navigator, then don’t upgrade. The dust hasn’t settled yet on what the final Basic LinkedIn package will look like. The new LinkedIn User Interface is a work in progress and evolves daily. Although LinkedIn has mentioned that certain features have been removed and will only be available by upgrading don’t be so sure of that. They listen closely to what their users are saying and will adjust their position accordingly – but don’t expect them to openly announce that they’ve made a compromise to their feature set.

P.S. As a thank you for your time we’re pleased to provide you a copy of our eBook: 9 To-Do’s in 9 Minutes Daily for Financial Advisors. Please provide your email and we will send it right over.

Hi this is Jordan from Two Dogs Social! If you’d like professional help with your LinkedIn Profile, send me an email. I’d be happy to provide feedback on your existing LinkedIn Profile along with a firm price quote to strategize and write a new one. Plus, as a reader of this blog I’m happy to offer you a 20% discount. Just mention our Two Dogs Social blog in your email.

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