There are a number of critical features on Linkedin that used to be free. Now, in order to access them, you have to pay Linkedin a monthly membership.
… Or use these dirty rotten job search tricks
There are a number of few dirty rotten job search secrets that allow you to get the same information, without the membership, by accessing loopholes in Linkedin.
Here’s the problem … Linkedin only displays the first name and last initial for 3rd level connections if you’re using a free Linkedin account. It’s tough get anywhere by calling an employer to ask for Ben F. Unless the company is small, you’ll need to give the person (or automated attendant) answering the phone Ben’s last name also. Linkedin used to give full names of any of your connections – Now they charge you just to get last names of your 3rd level. If you don’t happen to share groups with this contact, you’ll only be able to see their title with no name at all (name will be listed “Linkedin Member” – real helpful!).
In addition, if you want to do some basic research about Ben’s kite and publishing business before calling him, you’ll want to see the details of Ben’s profile. Linkedin also blocks free account users from detailed profile information of 3rd level contacts.
Good thing there’s a number of dirty rotten job search tricks you can use to uncover this information!
Here’s 8 ways to access information on 3rd level Linkedin contacts for free:
Via Google or Bing: This can be an issue if you already know the user’s name and you’re Googling an individual to get more information. If Google returns a link to that individual’s Linkedin profile, you may not be able to see any information on their profile. This can happen to users of free accounts searching for 3rd level connections or to those you are not connected at all – but only if you are logged into Linkedin using the same browser as your Google search. The solution is simple – either logout of Linkedin or search Google in a different browser (signed into Linkedin using Chrome, while searching Google in Firefox).
Search Linkedin: If you already know the user’s name, Linkedin assumes you must know them and will return full profiles when you search Linkedin by name. This method may not help you see the last name of members choosing the highest privacy settings. In this case, try one of the methods listed below.
Linkedin/Google Combo Search: If your Linkedin search turns up a profile with an initial for a last name or “Linkedin Member”, here’s a dirty rotten job search secret for you to use. Copy the person’s title (even though the name isn’t displayed, the contact’s title is displayed). Use a different browser to search using the following string: “Site:linkedin.com FIRSTNAME + FULLTITLEHERE“. This causes a browser to search a specific site for a specific string – if the title has many words, try including quotes around the title.
Export: Most 3rd level Linkedin users (those not choosing the highest privacy settings) will allow you to export profiles to pdf. Depending on user security settings, exporting profiles to pdf may provide more information than what you see on screen. Mouse over the arrow button below the user’s name, to get to the “Export to pdf” link. Some users’ security settings may not display much information on pdf exports – for those members, scroll to the bottom of the pdf and click Contact ____ on Linkedin – This will often return full profiles and last names of 3rd level contacts.