“Finding a job is easy!”- said no job seeker ever. Whether you are just entering the workforce or looking to make a career change, the job search process can be difficult and time consuming. With so many positions to choose from and job descriptions to read, it can be hard to find ones of interest without the right search strategy.
As career trends change and job titles evolve, the sole use of singular keyword searches is no longer as effective as it once was. This is not just true for job seekers but for recruiting professionals as well. To increase efficiency in their sourcing strategies, recruiters and hiring managers utilize Boolean searches to help speed up the process and increase the quality of their results. A Boolean search utilizes a combination of five simple search elements (operators and modifiers) to help an individual find specific results. Boolean searches can be used to help narrow down online searches for everyday personal needs like hotels or product recommendations, or professional needs like job opportunities and potential candidates. Let’s explore how to utilize operators and modifiers to help enhance the job search process:
The AND operator tells the search engine to look for results that include both search terms entered. The diagram below shows a search utilizing the terms “recruitment” and “HR”. By using the AND operator between the two terms, the search will be more narrow and only produce results that contain both words.
The OR operator tells the search engine to look for results that include either of the search terms entered. The diagram below shows a search utilizing the terms “recruitment” and “recruiting”. By using the OR operator between the two terms, the search will produce broad results that may contain one or both words.
The NOT operator tells the search engine to look for results that include one search term (the first) but exclude the other (the second). The diagram below shows a search utilizing the terms “Recruitment” and “HR”. By using the NOT operator between the two terms, the search will produce results that include only the desired primary term but exclude the unwanted secondary term.
The use of parenthesis as a modifier helps inform the search engine what to prioritize. The most common use of parenthesis appears in searches utilizing the OR operator because it will help determine how your search query is solved.
The use of quotations as a modifier helps inform the search engine that an exact match is needed or that certain search terms need to remain together.
It’s important to note that when using operators they should be written in capital letters in order for the search to work. For more information on how to apply these elements, or learn about the graphics demonstrated above, please check out “The Beginner’s Guide to Boolean Search Terms” by the organization SocialTalent.
As outlined above, the utilization of keywords is not just important when looking for jobs but also in helping recruiters find you! Ensuring your online profile is updated with important search terms based on your skills and experiences will help to better connect you with positions matching your interests. Consider scheduling a resume critique or LinkedIn consultation with a career coach to help enhance your job search strategy as well as optimize your chances of being recruited.