Using Boolean Logic with SearchMonster
What is Boolean Logic?
Boolean Logic is nothing more than the language we use to speak to our computers. It is a series of commands and operators we use to combine keywords into meaningful phrases for our search engines.
Set up your Boolean search
If you would like to find candidates using a Boolean keyword search string, SearchMonster makes it easy. Just follow the steps below.
Click to select the Boolean Keyword Search button under the search bar. The search bar will update and you will see Boolean in the first field.
Then, enter your Boolean keyword search string in the Boolean field. To learn how to craft your search string, keep reading this document.
Create a Boolean search string
Let’s take a look at the three basic commands: AND, OR, NOT, and the four basic operators: proximity search, quotes, parentheses, and wild card.
It’s best practice to start your search wide and fill in different criteria you’re willing to consider through OR. This command tells the engine that you’re looking for any of the search terms to be in the document. In short: one or one of these should pop up in the results.
In this example, we’re looking for a candidate to fill a clerical role and know that they could have used any variety of job titles from receptionist to secretary. To ensure both keywords are considered our search string would read: receptionist OR secretary.
To help you refine your results, you can use the AND command. In this instance you are telling the engine that both terms need to be included in the results.
For example, if you’re looking for candidates with knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Outlook, your Boolean string would read: excel AND outlook.
At times you may wish to exclude terms from your results; this can be achieved by adding NOT and the required keywords at the end of your search string.
If you are looking for a junior candidate, you may want to exclude CVs that have experience working as the CEO of a company. In this instance your Boolean search would end with NOT CEO.
NOT is also commonly used to exclude CVs of candidates who currently work for your organization. To do this, the command NOT [Company name] can be added to your string.
Operator: Parentheses ()
Parentheses are used to create sub-searches within your overall Boolean search. Most commonly it is used with the OR command to ensure that they are all considered and not affected by the other commands.
For example in our earlier search for secretary or receptionist to make sure these are treated correctly in the search they should be amended to (secretary OR receptionist).
Operator: Proximity Search
While quotes can find you an exact phrase, the proximity search can be used to find phrases with more variety such as job titles or language proficiency where candidates may phrase things differently.
For example you can search: “sales manager” ~8 will pull CVs with the words “sales” and “manager” within 8 words of each other.
Operator: QUOTES “ ”
Quotes offer you the ability to search for an exact phrase; simply place quotes around the keywords you would like the search engine to find in the CV.
For instance if you’re looking for multi-word job titles you can add quotes around them to get an exact match for “administrative assistant”
Operator: WILDCARD *
The wild card allows you to search for all words in a resume that begin with the letters before the wild card.
For example, if you were looking for management candidates, you could use this wild card to eliminate multiple keyword entry. Simply typing in manag* will return resumes containing the words manage, manager, managing, managed, management, etc. Your sample Boolean string would be manag*
There will be times when the wild card will return resumes that you would otherwise not receive. Therefore, it is best to use the wild card when possible.
The resulting search string
When you combine the elements above, the resulting search string would read:
(secretary OR receptionist OR “executive assistant” OR “administrative assistant”) AND excel AND outlook NOT (CEO OR Monster)
Make sure to group similar job titles and search criteria together using OR and parentheses, we have given the search engine a Boolean string that is simplified and easy for you to edit as well. It is best practice to capitalize the commands so that they can be easily identified when edits are needed. Remember Boolean will take some work to get a search string that returns the types of CVs you’re looking for.