DIY Shoestring Resume Archive with Full Boolean Search

There are a lot of small companies and small recruiting firms out there trying to recruit talent, but don’t have the resources or money for expensive applications.  I know that often the challenge is to get by with very little.

However, one of the most valuable assets for a recruiting function is the resumes we have on file (our resume archive).  These resumes might be from applicants to specific jobs or just people who have been sourced by the recruiter.  We get these resumes from job boards, Google searches, Scribd, other sites online, or from the job seekers directly.

I once worked at a recruiting firm where each recruiter had resumes on each of their own computers (so the files were not really shared) and there really was no way of searching through them to find particular skills.  They had gotten creative with the file names, so you could tell which ones were Java developers or .Net developers or Oracle DBAs and such.  I worked out a solution for them back then, but today I wanted to share with you my new solution to similar situations.

You need to create a resume archive.  This is a central place for all the resumes to go, so that everyone in the office will have access to the resumes.  Also, I think the best place for them is online…so that people can search from home/remotely or on smart phones/tablets.

If you are interested in this, I suggest you create a Google email account for your company…and activate a Google Drive account for that email.  The Google Drive account as 15 GB storage, but can go to 100 GB for a very small fee ($1.99/month as of today).  My old 3 page resume is 50K, so 100 GB will store about 2 million such resumes.

Once you have a Google Drive account, you will need to install the Google Drive application on each computer in the office.  That way you can quickly and easily upload resumes into the account.  Here is how…

  1. Install the application on your computer.
  2. On your computer, you’ll see a folder called “Google Drive”.
  3. Drag files or folders into that folder. They will upload to Drive and you will see them on

You can upload Word Docs, Open Office Docs, PDFs, RTFs, TXT, etc….most formats are accepted.  It may take a while for the files to be index and therefore searchable (in the top search bar labeled “Search Drive” in Google Drive), but I find files are usually available in searches within a few hours.

If you install the Google Drive app on your smart phone or tablet, you can take a picture of a resume with the camera and it will store it instantly as a PDF.

Once the documents have been indexed (automatically) by Google Drive, you can then use full Boolean to search the content of the files.  Each person in the office may sign into the Google Drive account and conduct searches.  As everyone is using the same email account and log in, some of the advanced searches are of no use and I will not mention them.  Below are the advanced search options that may be of interest:

Advanced search options:

Operator Action Example
“search term “ Exact words within the quote marks “project manager” Document name or contents include the exact term project manager
OR Files that include at least one of the words developer OR programmer Document name or contents include one of developer or programmer
AND Files that include both of the words java AND web Document name or contents include both java and web
Does not include, can be used in front of any operator to search for the negative i.e. is not a folder would be -type:folder -sales -type:folder Document name or contents do not include the term sales and search will ignore folders
is:starred Items marked with a star is:starred Files that have been starred.
type: Search for document types – document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, image, video, pdf type:pdf Finds all pdf files
before:YYYY-MM-DD after:YYYY-MM-DD Files modified before and/or after the entered date – ie search between a set of dates before:2012-10-12 after:2012-10-08 Files modified between the 8th and 12th October 2012
title: Search by title of the file or document (combine with ” ” to perform exact title search) title:”project manager” Files with the title including the exact phrase project manager


I believe this is the least expensive and simplest way to make all the resumes the recruiting team accumulates shared and searchable in a centralized resume archive.  You can start with 15 GB of free space, which will hold 300,000 resumes (averaging 50K each) and it is inexpensive to get more space (if needed).



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Eric Putkonen is a public speaker / presenter and he is passionate about recruiting / talent acquisition & retention, culture & employment brand, engagement, and leadership (which affects all of the prior). 

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