How to Run a Boolean Search


I. What is a Boolean search?
A.  Boolean search is an advanced keyword search method used to target specific results. When searching through resumes on a job board such as CareerBuilder.com, it can be invaluable in maximizing your time spent searching!

B.  When running Boolean searches in the CareerBuilder.com Resume Database, it is important to remember that no search is ever final. Once run, you might find that your Boolean string still needs to be modified.

II. Running Simple Boolean Searches
The logic behind running a Boolean search is very simple. Basically, by using words such as "AND", "OR", and "AND NOT" (to name the most common), you can quickly cut through a database to find the results that you are looking for.

AND Searches

Boolean AND Searches The result would be everything in the purple area: the solutions that contain both blue and red!

For example, if you constructed the following search on CareerBuilder.com...
Search For: design and html
Using: Boolean Search
The results would be everyone who had "design" as well as "html" listed somewhere in their resume.


OR Searches
Boolean OR Searches In this case, the result would be everything in the blue, red, or purple area: the solutions that are either blue or red!

For example, if you constructed the following search on CareerBuilder.com...
Search For: mechanic or diesel
Using: Boolean Search
The results would be everyone who had either "mechanic" or "diesel" listed somewhere in their resume.


AND NOT Searches
Boolean AND NOT Searches In this case, the result would be everything in the blue area only – nothing that contains any red!

For example, if you constructed the following search on CareerBuilder.com...
Search For: pharmaceutical and not sales
Using: Boolean Search
The results would be everyone who had "pharmaceutical" in their resume, but would automatically exclude everyone who had "sales."



III. Other Simple Boolean Search Methods
Once you've got the main three down, you might want to explore a few of the expanded search methods that CareerBuilder.com offers. Though less commonly used, sometimes they're just what you're looking for.

 

NEAR Searches

Boolean NEAR Searches In this case, results would be pulled that include blue as well as red and they appear close together.

For example, if you constructed the following search on CareerBuilder.com...
Search For: java near xml
Using: Boolean Search
The results would be people who have "java" in their resume, but only if it's within close proximity to "xml."

 

ROOT WORD Searches
Root word searches allow you to pull words that contain the same prefix. The operator for root word searches is an asterisk (*).

For example, if you constructed the following search on CareerBuilder.com...

Search For: nurs*
Using: Boolean Search
The results would include "nurse," "nurses," and "nursing."

STEM WORD Searches
Stem word searches allow you to pull words that contain the same base stem. The operator for stem word searches is two asterisks (**).

For example, if you constructed the following search on CareerBuilder.com...

Search For: fly**
Using: Boolean Search
The results would include "fly," "flew," "flown," "flying," etc.

IV. Running More Advanced Boolean Searches
Once you can create a simple Boolean string, moving on to a more advanced search is really not much harder. It's all in how you group things!

Parentheses
The most important tool when constructing more advanced Boolean strings are the parentheses (i.e. the characters that are enclosing this clause).

While they seem intimidating at first, using parentheses is actually very easy. If you think back to high school math, things that are in parentheses are always "grouped together"...

2 * 3 + 1 = 7
but
2 * (3 + 1) = 8
The parentheses add clarification on which operation should be performed first.

The parentheses function much the same in a Boolean search. For example, if you were looking for an engineer who has CAD experience and either mechanical or electrical experience, you could use the following:

Search For: CAD and engineer* and (mechanical or electrical)
Using: Boolean Search
The results would be everyone who has "CAD," "engineer" / "engineers" / "engineering," and "mechanical" listed, or everyone who has "CAD," "engineer" / "engineers" / "engineering," and "electrical" listed.

Double-Quotes
Another very important set of operators is double-quotes. Double-quotes allow you to search for a specific phrase, not just individual words. For example:

Search For: "web design" and html
Using: Boolean Search
The results would be everyone who has the phrase "web design" in their resume and the word "html."