Tutorial Tuesday - Practice Makes Perfect – How to Hone your XRay Skills

I’m sure you’ve read about XRay or heard someone mentioning it as a way to source. It is an easy and somewhat universal command across search engines expressed as:


I mention this because last week I was speaking with a distinguished AIRS alumnus, that just re-certified in January ’09 and he said that the one thing every recruiter can do to get better at internet research is take 15 minutes a day to practice and that he, in his early years, had practiced a skillset for an entire week to master it.

That thought process is one that many of our trainers champion. I myself do something additional. Instead of just using XRay for work I use it for everything. For example, if I need to find out when my kids last day of school is, I’ll XRay the Montgomery County Public School domain like this:

site:montgomeryschoolsmd.org "last day" 2009

And quickly within the first couple of results I locate my answer. Certainly this string is simplistic. And you can practice this theory on any kind of site, any type of domain you visit regularly as opposed to endless click throughs. I also like to practice it on Twitter like so:

site:twitter.com “tweetup” (Maryland OR md OR Columbia OR Frederick OR Rockville)

In this case I’m scanning the site for Twitter meetups in areas I know usually host that type of thing.

Now let’s practice from a business standpoint, let’s XRay a site where we know we’ll find resumes but we don’t want to go through the site itself:

site:visualcv.com pharmaceutical

You should receive over 100 results, and now you can tweak your initial search with additional keywords to pick out the candidate you need.

Need help with your string as you practice? Feel free to email me anytime at Kelly.dingee@airs.rightthinginc.com.

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Practicing is so important in everything we wish to "master".

“In your training, do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in the Art of Peace.” ~ Morihei Ueshiba
Great post, as usual. Thanks Kelly.
Thanks for mentioning 'practice', Kelly.

That's the way I mastered it - by practicing & refining - it will sink in!

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