Two Common Misconceptions about Searching Google for Resumes

... (or for anything). It seems that there's a lot of interest in mastering one's skills to look for resumes and contact information on the web. Some people think that creating a search string is straightforward and all you need to know is AND NOT and OR - those operators you learned in college x years ago. Well, it turns out that just refreshing your mind about these operators in not enough. There are several ways in which Google syntax is different form the "classical" Boolean search strings syntax. I have noticed some postings on the "Boolean Strings" groups where people had the wrong assumptions about Google search. Here are the two most common misconceptions.

1) The wildcard * means "part of the word" in classical Boolean but not in Google. Search for eng* will not return engineers and engineering on Google. 065* will not return zip codes starting with 065. etc. Instead, * means a word (or a few words). As an example, "senior * engineer" will return "senior software engineer", "senior mechanical engineer" etc.

2) Google ignores special symbols in most cases, with a number of well defined exceptions. You may think that symbols =, @ or % tell Google to look for something special, like keep two words together, look for email addresses or percentages but in fact Google just skips these symbols.

There's certainly more in-depth knowledge and "tricks", that go beyond understanding the syntax.

Have questions or advice about web search for recruiting and sourcing? Please join "Boolean Strings" groups!
* On RecruitingBlogs

We would love to see more postings from experts here.
* On LinkedIn

By the way it is a rare LI group where postings stay on topic - see for yourself.
Also, watch for expert advice by Glen Cathey of on both groups and his excellent blog .


Views: 124

Comment by Irina Shamaeva on November 25, 2008 at 12:07pm
Comment by Faisal Javed on November 25, 2008 at 1:19pm
nice and informative...
Comment by Santiago Pauni on November 27, 2008 at 8:28am
Excellent tips. I was using it the old way until now, just because it's the way to find candidates in Monster and other job boards. If I'm mistaken about that two, please let me know.


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