What is the most interesting/creative Boolean search string you have seen (that you can remember), either invented yourself or have seen others use in a search engine? What was the result?


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While this certainly isn't the MOST interesting Boolean string I've used - it is creative (I think). If you have access to a search engine or job board that recognizes the NEAR operator, such as Monster, you can reliably search by specific GPA values if candidates mention them.

For example:
(GPA or "G.P.A." or "grade point") NEAR (3.2* or 3.3* or 3.4* or 3.5* or 3.6* or 3.7* or 3.8* or 3.9* or "4.0")

Although Monster goes a little crazy and also highlights other numbers in the resumes, it does reliably isolate poeple who mention that they have GPA's from 3.2 - 4.0.

The Boolean Black Belt
I'll add another one: A little over a year ago, I had a recruiter come to me for advice on how to find a network performance test engineer for a contract position at Google. He had been struggling with trying to find well qualified candidates for a couple of weeks and wanted to see if I might be able to help him. The position had been open for 4 months, and although it had been worked by countless other recruiters/vendors to Google, he assured me this was not a "black hole" requirement and that Google would indeed interview and hire candidates.

Here is the search I gave him:
Test* and (qa or quality) and (perl or tcl*) and (cisco or rout*) and (lab* or case* or plan* or script*) and (ixia or smartbit* or "smart bit") and (L2* or LACP or STP or RSTP or VRRP or UDLD) and protocol* and (bgp* or eigrp or rip or ospf or mpls)

Once I gave the above search to the recruiter and he put it to use, in 2 weeks he called to let me know Google had hired one of his candidates, and he had an interview request for another. So where did he find these candidates that no one else had been able to find and submit to Google for the network performance testing positions? Cold calling? Referral recruiting? Blogs? User groups? LinkedIn? Twitter? Nope - he found them on (drumroll please)..............a major online job board.

Yes - this recruiter was able to use a resume database that presumably quite a few other vendors to Google (and likely Google's contract recruiters) have access to and most likely used to find candidates for these positions for several months. Interestingly enough, the candidates this recruiter was able to find were not new candidates who just posted their resume - their resumes were over 3 months old, which tells me that they had been in the online job board's resume database ever since Google released their network performance testing positions. I point this out because I love to continuously disprove the commonly held belief that if many recruiters have access to the same resume database that they will be able to find the same candidates, the best candidates, and all of the appropriately qualified candidates. Holding onto that belief is as foolish as thinking that if 10 people go fishing in the same lake, that they will all catch the same fish, as well as the biggest fish in the lake.

"All Boolean searches are not created equal."
- Boolean Black Belt
Hello Glen, thank you for your input and insight! I like your philosophy as well.

PJ Cunningham
(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume OR inurl:cv OR intitle:vitae OR inurl:bio OR inurl:profile OR intitle:profile OR resume.html OR “home page”) AND “oracle” AND “configurator” AND (-openings OR -positions OR -opportunities OR -jobs OR -submit OR -staffing)



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