It’s no secret that LinkedIn encourages its users to use their paid membership over the free profiles. And with its most recent update, searching the network of first and second degree connections just got harder for a standard account. If you don’t intend to invest in a paid membership, here are some tips for searching your network for free.

Searching the Network of a First Degree Connection

Certain search abilities have been removed. You can now only see mutual connections with one of your first degree connections and their other first degree connections. Using the mobile app for this will be faster than the desktop because you now need to look page by page.

Advanced Search/Second Degree Search

Advanced search, typically found next to the search window has changed. Instead:

  1. Click ‘Manage Your Network’ on the left side of the home page, under your number of connections.
  2. Click ‘See All’ to search and filter your first degree connections.
  3. Click ‘Search Connections’ and type in a keyword, CFO, for example.
  4. Look to the filters on the right of the page. You can choose to deselect first degree connections and instead select second degree. You can then filter this by company, title, location, school, or search word.

You can also execute a company search from the home page.

  1. Type in company name. Scroll down and hit enter.
  2. If you have first degree connections, they will be referenced. Click on “See all X,XXX employees.” Now you can filter these employees by first and second degree connections, among other filters.

Is it Worth it to Pay for LinkedIn?

It depends on what you need it for. Recruiters, for example, can take advantage of the advanced search feature of a paid membership. It may also work well for active job seekers. But people using the network searches less frequently may be better off with the free account and just using the current search features creatively.