A Simple Boolean String to Help You Get Results With Email Addresses

We have all tried endlessly to get an edge, in any way possible, to find talent whether they are actively looking or hiding under a rock someplace distant, even in other galaxies. I, too, have aspired to be that Boolean master, a sourcer that knows every “operator” and every workaround to find attendees at a conference for accountants who play badminton.

I’ve been a full-cycle, devoted sourcer, recruiter and trainer for the past 13 years. I have viewed and evaluated thousands of resumes, and many have been through exhaustive Boolean strings that returned some decent results and some “eh” results. Enter the new Google.

Google has changed and improved their artificial intelligence and algorithms so you can dig deep effortlessly with your search. You no longer have to use a complicated Boolean search string listing every conceivable synonym to get what you want. You don’t need many Boolean operators at all circa 2019.

Try this search (below) in Google and see how it finds and retrieves all potential candidates; not just on Linkedin. By using the following simple string, you are not only getting real resumes, but you are also getting personal emails. The word, viola comes to mind. Let’s say you are looking for a Web Developer in New York. Try this simple string in the Google bar:

resume “web developer” HTML CSS “New York” gmail

This search produced thousands of results, most of which are extremely relevant for my search. A nice, simple search string. You don’t want thousands and thousands of results, but it is fun to bathe in all these riches. Of course, you can narrow your results by adding additional keywords.

resume “web developer” HTML CSS “New York” Python gmail

Why is “Gmail” in the string? Because MOST people use a Gmail account and their email address will be on their resume. You can try a different email domain, like Yahoo or Hotmail, too. Google will pick up on it.

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I am no hater when it comes to popular platforms out there that create those long strings for you. I have learned, however, that those synonym-filled strings are unnecessary in the Google bar and that when you try an incredibly long string in, let’s say, the Monster search bar, the strings will confuse some search engines making your computer rumble and make strange noises.

It is important to note that the only “operator” needed when using this updated strain of Boolean are quotation marks around the job title if there are multiple words to describe the position. For instance my above example “Web Developer” (and “New York” just to be safe). This concept is crucial to this whole approach, especially when using LinkedIn. Additionally, try putting a long string in the LinkedIn search bar. You are likely to effect a change in the tides.

If you separate the two words, Web AND Developer, as many pros suggest, you will get returns where anyone that has the word Web and the word Developer on their resume or LinkedIn profile will show up in results. That is a huge problem and a waste of your time. Keeping the words together will get you more spot-on results, not results where someone has the word Web in a position they had in 1928 that wasn’t even about web development and the word Developer appearing in a role they had in 1955 where they were the “developer” of a new dermatological procedure to remove scaly skin. Key takeaway:  The “OR” operator is not necessary when using a string in the Google bar, BUT, I still use it when searching on LinkedIn.

If you stay with the K.I.S.S. concept (Keep It Simple Sourcer), you can free yourself from your terrible Boolean addiction. Please note: you may experience some intense withdrawal symptoms and discomfort. Once they pass, what awaits on the other side is a simpler life; one full of simple strings and personal emails to help you find and engage.

Ken Frank is the Sourcing Director at Sterling National Bank in NY.  Sterling is on the Forbes’ list of Best Banks in America and is always on the hunt for effective strategies to share with internal colleagues and the sourcing community at large.  

Ken has 13 years of talent strategy leadership and an emphasis on deep-dive sourcing and talent engagement. He is driven by a real passion for making a difference in people's lives through career advancement in the Financial Services and Technology verticals. He is a Technology Recruitment Certified Professional. Feel Free to connect with Ken on LinkedIn.

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