LinkedIn has closed the door on a useful group member search hack

Closed on Flickr

I wrote about a LinkedIn URL hack on The Undercover Recruiter blog several months ago.

This little trick was brought to my attention well over a year ago by the very knowledgeable Martin Lee. This allowed anyone with a LinkedIn account, Basic or paid for, to search the members of ANY group.

To search the members of any LinkedIn group with a basic LinkedIn account, you will need to have two windows open in your browser, both looking at LinkedIn. In the first window, run a simple search looking for the keywords you hope to find on profiles. In the second window, find the group whose members you want to search (for those keywords).

Once you have found the group you are interested in and opened it up in your browser, you need to look in your browser’s address bar at the URL of the page and find the groups ID number. The URL is usually in the format:

http://linkedin.com/groups?gid=TheNumberYouWant?trk=…

Copy (Ctrl +C) the group ID number from the URL, the number is usually 4 to 6 digits long.

Now return to the keyword search you did in the first tab. Using the filters on the left hand side of the screen, select one of the groups you ARE a member of to filter by (it doesn’t matter which one). Now look for that group’s ID number in the URL of the sear results page – The number is often right at the far end of the URL – so click in the address bar and hit the End button on your keyboard to go straight there. Replace it with the number of the group you DO want to search.

Hit enter and voila, you have searched members of your chosen group for the keywords you need without needing to join.

This was working three weeks ago, as I demonstrated the work around to a group of Executive Researchers, but LinkedIn had closed the door by Thursday 14th November when I came to show the trick to another group.

To be honest, I am quite surprised that LinkedIn did not fixed this bug sooner. Still, it is a little trick that I will miss having up my sleeve.

For now, it seems our best method for finding members of a groups we cannot join is to do an X-Ray site: search of LinkedIn looking for the group logo displayed on public profiles. This will not find all group members, of course. Not everyone will choose to display all the groups they are a member of on their profile, not all group members will have a public profile and Google is unlikely to have indexed all of those that do.

Image credit.

About TheSourceress

Katharine Robinson has written 98 post(s) for this blog.

Katharine (aka TheSourceress) began sourcing in April 2008 with a small Executive Search business specialising in Renewable Energy and, in March 2010, won the title of Grandmaster Sourcer at SourceCon in San Diego. Katharine has also worked in-house with Capgemini Consulting and is now working as a Freelance Consultant and Trainer.

Katharine (aka TheSourceress) began sourcing in April 2008 with a small Executive Search business specialising in Renewable Energy and, in March 2010, won the title of Grandmaster Sourcer at SourceCon in San Diego. Katharine has also worked in-house with Capgemini Consulting and is now working as a Freelance Consultant and Trainer.