LinkedIn PROFINDER Hack #1

A friend of mine recently said: “Hey Andy, Bro you need to get on LinkedIn Profinder quick!”
Me: “Why?” “Bro”
Friend: “Dude, I get about 5 prospects a day looking to hire me to help with their LinkedIn Profile or Resume”
Me: “Really? I’ll check it out – thanks”

So I signed up for Profinder and within minutes I was getting a stack of people sent to me via LinkedIn all of whom wanted help with my areas of expertise (LinkedIn Profile, resume, career coaching). I was thinking there must be a catch…..

And of course there was –  after I put in 10 proposals to the most deserving prospects, LinkedIn slammed the breaks on.

They informed me that I would need to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium. Now I’m already a LinkedIn Premium member but apparently my status/plan doesn’t count. I’m grandfathered on the “Personal Plus” plan and perfectly happy with it, thank you very much. LinkedIn tells me: “Your current plan is $95.40/month. Premium Business is offered at $59.99/month.” Well apparently the system doesn’t know how to handle my grandfathered plan (it’s actually $95.40/year). $720/year is quite the investment in LinkedIn, no?

I continued to get the emails but the Profinder dashboard won’t let me send any proposals, unless I upgrade to premium Business. Hmm, is there another way…..? Indeed there is!

Here’s my way:

(1) Copy the headline of the person looking for a proposal.
(2) Paste the headline into LinkedIn’s omni-search box.
(3) If the headline is fairly unique, you’ll find the person quickly.
(4) If it’s fairly generic, you could click thru a lot of search result pages, or….
(5) Grab the photo from the email and paste it into Google’s image search (
(6) Once you discover the person’s identity, you can approach in your preferred way

I find that merely browsing them is sufficient, my Headline should explain what I’m all about. If they’re interested I figure they’ll take the next step. If they’re not, I’m still gaining from network effects.

But wait….what about bumping up against that pesky commercial use (search) limit that LinkedIn imposes when you do a bunch of searching?

Well, I’ve got a sneaky yet effective workaround for that also – simply use your other LinkedIn account to carry on searching. What? … don’t have one or two ‘dupe’ accounts for unfettered search uses? Seriously? Better get on that. Dude.

You are welcome.

[PLEASE] pass it on, share liberally via your social channel(s) of choice.

Stats: I signed up for Profinder on 2/28 and since then have received 81 potential clients in the resume/LinkedIn Profile/career coaching space, roughly 30% are from my catchment area (Chicago), so there must be some kind of location matching algo.

TinEye ( is another useful image search site but I found more consistent success with Google image.

By Andy Foote

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10 Responses

  1. Andy, great hack! Are you and your friend getting business from ProFinder?

    • Andy Foote says:

      Thanks Christine! Not as much as you! You were an early passenger on the LinkedIn Profinder train – I think you started with the pilot back in 2015, correct?

      • My pleasure, Andy! It seemed like UpWork on LinkedIn, if you know what I mean. I was asked to be in the pilot and was the first person they spoke with when they started reaching out to users. I’ve been far more successful cultivating relationships and sharing valuable content.

  2. MARK AMTOWER says:

    Andy – same thing happened to me… and a few weeks later I got a notice from them saying that because I was so productive with ProFinder I should put the ProFinder badge on my profile…like that’s going to happen…

    • Andy Foote says:

      Yup – I’m right there with you Mark.

      • Victoria says:

        Let’s be real, Andy and friends. Despite the success of a few, ProFinder is a big #FAIL overall. I never could understand why they were diving in to this arena anyway.

        When the product was being built, I worked briefly with LinkedIn to create the business categories. I have many years’ experience working with job boards like Elance (now Upwork) and others, as well as my LI expertise, so I had confidence in my suggestions. (We all know that LinkedIn’s own biz categories (when choosing your industry for the profile) are woefully inadequate in today’s largely digital environments). Some suggestions they took, others they did not. Nice people, but not real savvy about how job boards actually work. Or perhaps their hands were tied by a higher authority.

        • Andy Foote says:

          Very interested to hear this Victoria. I won’t be spending too much of my time on it, they should include some kind of quality/feedback system and give all paying users (regardless of premium flavor) an allotment of proposals they can send per month.

  3. Victoria Ipri says:

    Andy, I’ve been using this method for some time, as nearly every potential “bid” is closed by the time I receive it or respond to it. [Frustrating.] Word of warning: I got my wrists slapped by a LinkedIn member who didn’t appreciate being contacted directly. So…a good hack, but approach with caution. My preferred method for this activity is InMail. I would also suggest members (providers) do NOT state “I saw your need posted on ProFinder” but rather, something like “It’s come to my attention that you may be looking for…” Thanks for sharing, Andy!

    • Andy Foote says:

      Solid advice Victoria. As always it’s all about the approach. The browse and return browse tells me (a) if they’re paying attention and (b) qualifies them (if they browse me back). It’s subtle and non intrusive.

  4. maria says:

    I’ve been using this method, too. Not for the reason you are, I prefer to send notes to people whose name i know. So I find them and then I can send a proposal with a name.

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