Boolean Search Secrets for Becoming a Master Recruiter

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Earlier this year, Google announced that the tilde search functionality would no longer be supported by the Google search engine. Tilde was a handy little search operator for recruiters because it helped us uncover more of those difficult-to-find technology specialists. But now, sadly, Google is no longer supporting this powerful little search operator :(

No worries. I’m going to tell you about another technique that will get you similar results.

What is the tilde operator?

Just in case you’re not a Boolean ninja, the Tilde operator (~) was useful for expanding your search by finding synonyms on Google. When placed in front of a word (~finance), it would included a list of words that were associated with that keyword. This was really helpful when you wanted to add more keywords to a search, but you didn’t know all of the keywords to add.

A recruiter is only as strong as their search string

Since a recruiter is only as strong as their search string, the loss of the power of the tilde operator is like losing a trusty sidekick. RIP tilde!

But of course we have to move on. We have another technique that we love to use here at Stafflink is called nesting.

What is nesting?

Did you know that there is a 32 word limit for the length of a search string. Well luckily we have a workaround for that called “Nesting.”

Nesting is a Boolean search technique that let’s you sneak past the 32 word limit by nesting the intitle and inurl sections of the search string in brackets. Nesting works on both Google and Teoma search engines.

The key to nesting, like in mathematics, is to remember to always close your bracket. Leaving an open bracket will provide very different search results. So always keep that in mind.

Nesting in action

Here is an example of a nested string used on Google looking for a Java developer based in Toronto:

((“intitle:(resume OR cv OR vitae)” OR (inurl:(resume OR cv OR vitae)”) “(java OR j2ee) (developer OR programmer)” (Toronto OR TO) –job –jobs

Let me know if you have any questions about this technique and feel free to share your nesting strings as well!