Recruiting & Sourcing Blog

Practical Sourcing & Recruiting Tips and Tricks

Boolean Basics

Boolean searching is the basics of what all sourcers do. Understanding the basic operators is key to getting the results you want and fast. A small search is easy to perform although as your list of requirements keeps growing its really useful to understand how your boolean can be used to improve your results and the basic learnt now will help toward this goal.

AND – This will include both terms ie anything with mineral or deposit. IE mineral AND deposit

OR – This includes everything with either mineral or deposit. It will show the result that have just mineral, or just deposit or both. IE mineral OR deposit

NOT – This will exclude the second term from the first term, IE mineral NOT mining, will show all those results with mineral but not any mineral results which also include mining. It’s worth noting sometimes you need to use AND NOT rather than just NOT on its own.

Tip 1 – When writing boolean searches I would recommend keeping them all on a notepad file and not a word document. This is because notepad will remove all formatting, so makes the searches clear. Using notepad will also allow you to keep a record of all your searches and you can reuse parts of old searches, as everyone hates having to reinvent the wheel.

Tip 2 – When writing boolean searches, keep your AND’s, OR’s and NOT’s in capitals, because whilst most job boards will not mind about the case of your search terms, LinkedIn searching will mind and lower cases will not work. This way you can ensure your searches work across all platforms and don’t need to rewrite it. Search are also easier to read this way and to spot mistakes.

BRACKETS () – When using AND’s and OR’s you shouldn’t mix them up, whilst some job boards will understand you and get the right results, it might not always work and can cause problems. I would recommend putting all OR statements of the same kind in brackets and leaving the AND statements outside brackets
(mineral OR mining) AND deposit AND (coal OR gold)

SPEACH MARKS “” – Use these for when you want an exact sentence or phrase to be searched ie “coal mining”. You wouldn’t need to use speech marks for single words such as “mining” and by doing so certain job boards will show up other terms that you might not want such a remineralize for “mine”, note the word ‘mine’ within remMINEralize.

Tip 3 – When writing searches it’s good to get in the habit of putting the OR statements all on one line within a bracket and then keeping the AND statement on a line on its own. This makes your boolean easy to read, easier to copy parts from and to stop any errors. Most job boards will allow you to copy the text below without having to make it all on one line.
(mineral OR mining OR mined)
(deposit OR deposits OR deposited)
(coal OR gold)

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2015 by in Sourcing and tagged , , , .



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