How to find former colleagues on Linkedin

how to find former colleagues on LinkedinLong ago, when I first started working, there wasn’t the wonder of the internet so over the years, I have managed to lose touch with lots of people I used to work with.  That’s hundreds of potential connections lost, many of which would make really good contacts today.  Not just colleagues but customers and suppliers too!

Are you in the same boat? Let’s find some of these people!

Whether you’ve worked for 1 year or 40 years there are ways you can find former colleagues on Linkedin. I will show you how to track them down. Former contacts are great people to ask for recommendations and endorsements because they know first-hand how good your work is.

Let’s find former colleagues on Linkedin

Option 1 – Use Linkedin Lookup.

Linkedin Lookup is a relatively new tool, introduced to help you find, learn about and connect with current and former co-workers. You’re able to search by name, experience, job function, title or expertise and connect instantly via email, phone or chat.

The Linkedin Lookup service is available on iOS, Andriod, mobile web and desktop. This is what it looks like on a mobile phone.

find former colleagues on Linkedin | Linkedin lookup

Image credit: https://business.linkedin.com/lookup

Option 2 – Perform a people search on Linkedin.

  • Go to the search bar, click the 3 grey menu lines
  • Select ‘search people’ (the person icon will appear)

How to find former colleagues on Linkedin | linkedin title bar search for people

  • Type the name of the person you’re looking for in the title bar
  • A drop-down list of people should appear
  • If not, click the blue button with the magnifying glass

how to find former colleagues on Linkedin

  • On the left hand side there are numerous filters to choose from
  • Select applicable filters to narrow down your search
  • Alternatively, type their name and click ‘advanced search’
  • Select the applicable filter(s) on the left-hand side to pinpoint your contact
  • Click save to see the results

how to find former colleagues on Linkedin

By conducting an advanced people search you’ll be able to narrow down search results further, which is particularly useful if you’re searching for a common name.  By using keywords and filters, there is a high chance you will locate the contacts you want to reconnect with.

TIP: Did you keep a contact book of names and phone numbers, whether hand-written or computerised? If not, now is a good time to start one.  It’s easy to knock up a spreadsheet or basic database to record information.

Option 3 – Perform a company search on Linkedin.

  • Go to the search bar, click the 3 grey menu lines

how to find former colleagues on Linkedin

  • Select ‘companies’ in the drop-down menu (the building picture will then appear in its place)
  • Type in the name of the organisation your worked for (eg. Amazon)
  • A page of search results will appear, pinpoint your company
  • On the left hand side there are numerous filters, select ‘past company’
  • A list of former employees will appear, as in the below example

How to find former colleagues on Linkedin |linkedin com people search results

Option 4 – Search Industry Groups.

Join some industry groups and look at the member list, are there any names there you recognise? If so, send a polite connection request.  It’s always advisable to write a personal message in the request box.  This need not be long but applying the personal touch is often the reason former colleagues decide to connect on Linkedin.


What if you can’t find former colleagues on Linkedin?

If you really can’t find them after performing all 4 of those searches, the chances are they are still living in the dark ages and haven’t got a Linkedin account. Either that, or they may have their account set to private.  Worse still, they have blocked you on Linkedin.

Do these how to find former colleagues on Linkedin methods work?

Yes, they do! To date, I have found a number of former colleagues on Linkedin, as well as suppliers and customers.

If you have a few hours spare, it’s worth looking up some of your old contacts.  You never know who you might find and what it could lead to in the future.


find former colleagues on Linkedin |need a professional Linkedin Profile