In my previous article we talked about the importance of doing your homework before beginning your search. Once you have a clear understanding of the position including similar terms, competitors, associations, and synonyms you are now ready to begin your Internet search. So…where do you start? Building a top notch Boolean search string is the key to getting successful results. Although they may appear very complicated, they are actually rather simple. Using a well thought out search string directly in the different Search Engines or Meta Search Engines will result in maximum returns. To keep it simple, remember there are three crucial elements to every search string, two of which will rarely change. Let’s go over these three elements in more detail:
- Identifying the Resume: Our goal is to find all of the homepages/web pages that give us resumes or give resume information. We can do this by telling the search engine to give us those pages that are resumes. How do we do this? First, think of all the terms one might find on a resume i.e. resume, CV, Bio, Homepage, Objective, Education, Experience, etc. A web page is made up of several elements on which one can search. The URL, Title, Links, Text, and Images are among those elements on which you can search. By specifying that you want those pages that have the word resume in the URL, text, or title of the page – you are increasing your chances of getting a resume. This part of the string might look like this:
(title:resume OR title:CV OR title:bio OR title:homepage OR url:resume OR resume)
Of course, using this part of the search string alone would generate thousands of results so let’s continue to the next key element to your string.
- Eliminating Pages that are not Resumes: Our goal is to sift through the millions of web pages, locate the ones that could be resumes and throw away the pages that are not. These pages are usually in the form of a job posting. Think of all the words that are typically on a job posting but NOT on a resume i.e. submit, “equal opportunity,” EOE, job, opening, send, apply, “your resume,” classified, etc.. This part of the search string might look like this:
(job OR “career opportunity” OR “equal opportunity employer” OR “employment at” OR EOE OR “employment opportunity” OR opening OR “submit resume” OR “your resume” OR “sample resume” OR “career development” OR classified OR book OR books)
- Job Specifications: Last but certainly not least, you need to take all those key terms we developed in my last article on your job and put them in the form of a Boolean search string. For instance, if you are looking for an Embedded Software Engineer in the telecommunications industry you may use a string like this:
(cdma OR dsp OR cellular OR wireless) AND embedded AND (Motorola OR Lucent OR Ericsson OR Nokia etc…)
Your final Search String should look like this:
(title:resume OR title:CV OR title:bio OR title:homepage OR url:resume OR resume) AND NOT (job OR “career opportunity” OR “equal opportunity employer” OR “employment at” OR EOE OR “employment opportunity” OR opening OR “submit resume” OR “your resume” OR “sample resume” OR “career development” OR classified OR book OR books) AND (cdma OR dsp OR cellular OR wireless) AND embedded AND (Motorola OR Lucent OR Ericsson OR Nokia)
Once you have an initial search string created, you can now continue to mold and form it to fit your particular needs as well as mix it up to get a wide variety of good results. Most Search Engines will want to see this string in different forms but the concepts are the same. Remember, if you build it right, the results will come!