The 3 Key Mistakes Recruiters Make When CV Searching

Let’s face it. We’re up against a vacancy that’s pretty urgent and when running some basic searches on our chosen job boards, we’re quite simply not getting much back. The pressure is on, we’re running out of time, and we’re feeling fairly helpless.


We’ve generated a quick-fire way to generate a greater number of targeted results when CV searching, through carefully structured Boolean strings. It’s logical, quick, easy, and we’ve even provided a few templates for you to use, enjoy, and succeed from.

 1.       Other Relevant Job Titles


90% of the time, there are multiple different ways you can describe a vacancy. A ‘Sales Executive’ can be called ‘Sales Consultant’, ‘B2B Sales’, ‘New Business Development’ and a variety of others. By simply searching only for your selected job title, there’s a critical possibility that you’re missing out on a range of exciting candidates. Don’t be that Recruiter.

Old Search: Sales Executive

New Search: (“sales executive” or “sales consultant” or “B2B Sales” or “New Business” or “generating revenue” or “attracting clients” or “salesperson” or “telesales” or “phone sales”) OR (sales and (“New business” or “B2B” or “phone” or “revenue” or “generating”) )

If you’re not familiar with Boolean searching, the above may look a little daunting. It actually couldn’t be simpler. Anything within “Quotation marks” tells the CV Search to search for an exact phrase. Separating multiple phrases with “or” allows you to run a search for multiple phrases, saving you time. Anything within (Brackets) is a search string, however by simply running two sets of brackets, separated by “OR”, you’re able to run multiple searches at once. Within the second search string, this’ll return any CVs that contain the word ‘sales’, AND any of the phrases within the brackets. Great for targeting additional CVs.

 2. Not Using Boolean


Let’s face it, Recruiters are busy people. It’s very rare that you, as a Recruiter, will have time to spare, running thousands of searches for once role. Boolean, as mentioned above, is able to generate results for multiple search strings under one search. Simply create your Boolean string and save your search for later use. Let’s take another example; you’ve been given the task of finding a senior director with experience within a marketing company. Pretty niche, right? Here we go:

Old Search: director marketing

New Search: (director or “MD” or “FD” or “OD” or “PD” or “senior level”) and (“marketing agency” or “digital agency” or “Marketing Company 1” or “Marketing Company 2” or “Marketing Company 3” or “Marketing Company 4” or “Marketing Company 5” or “Marketing Company 6” or “Marketing Company 7”)


This one’s a little tricky. The search above will tell the CV Search to find any two phrases, from two lists. The first set of brackets will search for anything with either ‘director’ or the other phrases within the body of the CV. The second set of brackets will tell it to display, from those results, only CVs that have “marketing agency” or “digital agency” or the local marketing company names you’ve researched.

It won’t bring back many results, and you may need to expand on the search, but it’ll give you a far more targeted set of results. It’ll save you time and effort, which is something that every Recruiter could do with, right?


3. Keeping Your Search Open


So you’ve got your job description and candidate profile in front of you. Great. Many Recruiters will go straight into a search using ‘Advanced Search’ functionality and start narrowing down the mileage, salary expectations, user-chosen industries and more. Right?

Wrong. The best way to run a search is to start with targeted Boolean searching (above) and keeping the rest of the results open. Expand your search distance by an additional five miles. Speak to a few candidates a little further away and gain feedback. Gather information on whether or not the average candidate would be happy to travel the extra distance. After all, you’re an awesome company, right?

Many Jobseekers will create an account with multiple job boards, progress within their career, and simply forget to, or won’t have the time to, update it. Human laziness isn’t something that can be controlled, of course, or how busy an individual is, or how they personally schedule their day.

What you can do, is factor this into your search. As long as you have a targeted Boolean search, and are reaching the right people, the worst thing that can happen will be that your vacancy doesn’t pay enough, or the candidate is a little too far way. Again, as a worst-case scenario, you’ve pushed your employer brand, and the candidate you’ve spoken to may know of some similar level candidates to push the vacancy to, that may not be on job boards yet.

‘When do I use the additional options?’ I hear you ask. This is great for when you’ve written a great, targeted search, and still have thousands of results coming back. Although the chances are, if this is happening, you’ll have no issues filling the role quickly, with a great supply of candidates available. Here’s what you start with:

Old Criteria: Within 5 Miles, £20,000 - £30,000, Marketing and PR Industries
New Criteria: Within 15 Miles, All Salaries, All Industries
Next Criteria: Within 15 Miles, All Salaries up to £40,000


Let’s wrap things up. Use highly targeted Boolean searches, research other job titles for your ideal candidate, and keep the other search options open for now. Don’t dive straight through the eye of a needle just yet.


Select Jobs is a UK Job site, with over 380,000 live UK vacancies. With a unique job advertising platform, Recruiters in any location or sector are able to pay only for what’s delivered to their vacancies, without the need for pre-purchasing advertising credits, or even for prepayment. Have a browse at the job advertising options today.

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