How Recruiters can use Boolean Searches by Pushpa Sreenivasan

The use of Web 2.0 Technologies in Recruitment has been well documented over the last year or so in this blog. While Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook grab most of the headlines one of the less talked about but most effective tools Recruiters can use is using Boolean Searches.

As an introduction if you have not used Boolean searches in the past, a Boolean search is where one enters the key words into a search engine like Google or Yahoo within the inverted commas and use words like OR, AND, NOT which are called as operators with modifiers such as Quotation Marks “” and Parentheses () to narrow the search.

For example, OR can be used to search to include results that contain either of the words you are looking for. For example EAI OR EIM. OR is a good tool to use when there are several common spellings or synonyms of a word.

As for AND, its used for inclusion of key words. For example if I’m searching for a Java Developer, as I need both the key words “Java” and Developer to be present in the CV I need to give a command like this in the search engine – “Java AND Developer”. The “AND” operator narrows the search down by combining the key words.

This way, one can play with the Bolean operators to narrow the search and get precisely what one is looking for.

How does Boolean Search help in recruiting?

Firstly, it comes handy to sort out the information a Recruiter is looking for. Once the data is sorted, then the search conducted within sorted data proves even more effective than search with the raw data. Also, Boolean search has the capability to increase the search in terms of speed and efficiency when searching profiles online through search engines. One of the ways to get a hang of it is trying with various operators with some permutation and combination.

If you are a job seeker and want to get much more visibility of your profile make sure your skills and experiences are clearly defined in the form of key words and people know how to get in touch with you.

Another best ways of using Boolean Search is not sticking to one search engine. Using multiple search engines enhances one’s access to certain extraordinary information, which sometimes your most favourite search engine would not be able to pick up. This is quite interesting and also the introduction of this new search engine In its own words, Zuula is an innovative Internet search service that gives its users quick access to web, image, video, news, blog and job search results from all the major search engines. This really comes handy as one need not hop from one search engine to other.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle India Recruitment Team for the past three years and can be contacted at


Good One

Posted by Aslam Diwan on April 23, 2009 at 12:09 PM CST #

Hi Pushpa, Completely agree with you, Boolean searches are not as famous as FB or twitter but much more powerful tool to identify candidates It takes its time... but once you get the right words... Amazing! Great article

Posted by Vanesa on April 28, 2009 at 06:01 PM CST #

Hi Pushpa mam truly said Boolean searches are not as famous as FB or twitter but much more powerful tool to identify candidates i am regular reader of your articles. prabhdeep singh oracle 9i dba

Posted by prabhdeep singh on May 06, 2009 at 06:02 PM CST #

its a great article on twitters and java concepts. prabhdeep singh oracle 9idba

Posted by prabhdeep singh on May 06, 2009 at 06:04 PM CST #

Hi Pushpa, Nicely explained. I have also tried to explain Boolean search for recruiters in my blog. Please have a look and comment.

Posted by Fundoo Recruiter on January 13, 2010 at 07:39 PM CST #

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