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Apr 13, 2020

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” – Doe Zantamata

With everything going on with the Coronavirus around the world, many companies are starting to restrict budgets and reduce their workforces. This is a great time for many of us to practice some of our more frugal techniques for searching and generating candidate resumes. There is no telling if that cool tool your company pays for right now is going to be available to you in the coming weeks due to budget cuts and spending restrictions.

Many of the “old-school” Sourcers and sourcing Recruiters can easily generate resume files through an online search, but I’d love to demonstrate my technique here for the rest of the class.

Building your Boolean String

It isn’t as simple as typing in “resume” AND “enter keywords here” – while that might give you some results, it isn’t the most efficient way.

Let’s start by taking a look at what we want to target – resume files. What are the file extensions? How can we leverage that data in our search? When I am conducting a search targeting specific files like this, my go-to combination is:

(filetype:doc OR filetype:docx OR filetype:pdf OR filetype:rtf OR filetype:txt)

This allows me to target some of the most common resume formats, which are also easily uploaded into CRM’s and ATS’s. Now all you will need to do is add in your own flavor of keywords. Some of the primary keywords you should use are “resume” OR “cv” OR “vitae” in order to pick up the actual resume files, and then add in your specific skills or job titles you’re searching for after that.

Upgrade your Scraping Ability

There are a plethora of scraping extensions and platforms for us to use, especially free or freemium ones, but it seems like a problem I know I’ve had is not having the ability to direct the scraper to automatically download attachments or files from a URL. If you’re up to it, I’ve got a way to really upgrade your scraping ability with another extension – there are others like it, but this is the one I am using right now.

Multi-File Downloader will automatically search the page you are on for all file extensions for every URL on the page, and then you can direct it to download them either to your browsers Download folder or a subfolder that you can name in the extension.

  • You can filter the links by type – both to exclude a certain file type or only include a certain file type
  • You can filter by file name if you want to get more specific
  • You can name a subfolder, which will create a new folder in your “downloads” folder when you hit the download button
  • I’d also recommend checking the “Scan Link Text” box – this will save the file using the text in the link vs. the original file name (which many times will be just “resume” meaning you’ll have duplicate names for different files)
  • Now hit the download button and watch the magic happen!

It is worth noting that while I am using this on Google Search results, this could be useful for other sites that might have URLs that end with file extensions (it does not work with the large professional social media site that starts with L and ends with N…that “Save to PDF” link initiates a profile scrape / download and doesn’t actually host a PDF file).

Windows Wins!

Wow, the search gave us so many results and we downloaded them all! How can we ever get through all of them in one go? Should we click into them one by one? If only there was a way to make the files themselves searchable. . .

One way to do this is to mass-upload them into your CRM. Some of them have an email Dropbox where you can send them in to be parsed automatically, and some allow you to upload multiple files through other means. With so many different CRM’s I won’t go into that here.

If you’re like me and don’t have a CRM on hand, there is a way to tackle this problem. If you weren’t aware: YOU CAN BOOLEAN SEARCH FROM WITHIN WINDOWS EXPLORER! This is one of my favorite sourcing “hacks” I’ve found this year, because it allows me to keep a repository of physical (digital) resumes without losing the ability to keyword search and find the right resumes without leveraging an expensive CRM or other tool.

  1. Go to the folder your new resumes are saved in
  2. Click in the search box on the top right corner
  3. Start your string with content: to tell windows you want to search within the files themselves and then include the rest of your Boolean string (AND, OR and NOT are all recognized)

And voila, you’ve just completed a Boolean search within windows explorer! Now you can filter down to the most relevant resumes, possibly to open and visually screen or to upload them into your CRM or ATS to enable the rest of your team to find those candidates in the system.

If you’ve got some old-school techniques that you’ve upskilled, let’s chat about it! Join the SourceCon community on Facebook and share with everyone!

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