Searching with Boolean

What is Boolean Logic?

Boolean Logic is nothing more than the language we use to speak to our computers. It is a series of commands and operators we use to combine keywords into meaningful phrases for our search engines.

If you would like to find candidates using a Boolean keyword search string, SearchMonster makes it easy. Just follow the steps below.

1. Click to select the Boolean Search Field button under the search bar. The search bar will update and you will see Boolean in the first field.

2. Then, enter your Boolean keyword search string in the Boolean field. To learn how to craft your search string, keep reading this document.

  • For best results, use lowercase keywords, and all caps for commands and operators. Example: secretary OR receptionist  

Command: OR

It’s best practice to start your search wide and fill in different criteria you’re willing to consider through OR. This command tells the engine that you’re looking for any of the search terms to be in the document. In short: one or one of these should pop up in the results.

In this example, we’re looking for a candidate to fill a clerical role and know that they could have used any variety of job titles from receptionist to secretary. To ensure both keywords are considered our search string would read: receptionist OR secretary.

Command: AND

To help you refine your results, you can use the AND command. In this instance you are telling the engine that both terms need to be included in the results.

For example, if you’re looking for candidates with knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Outlook, your Boolean string would read: excel AND outlook.

Command: NOT

At times you may wish to exclude terms from your results; this can be achieved by adding NOT and the required keywords at the end of your search string.

If you are looking for a junior candidate, you may want to exclude resumes that have experience working as the CEO of a company. In this instance your Boolean search would end with NOT CEO.

NOT is also commonly used to exclude resumes of candidates who currently work for your organization. To do this, the command NOT [Company name] can be added to your string.

The resulting search string

When you combine the elements above, the resulting search string would read:

(secretary OR receptionist OR “executive assistant” OR “administrative assistant”) AND excel AND outlook NOT (CEO OR Monster)

Make sure to group similar job titles and search criteria together using OR and parentheses, we have given the search engine a Boolean string that is simplified and easy for you to edit as well. It is best practice to capitalize the commands so that they can be easily identified when edits are needed. Remember Boolean will take some work to get a search string that returns the types of resumes you’re looking for.