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Constructing and writing powerful Boolean searches on job boards

Boolean searching


A “Boolean search” can be used to identify potential candidates through Broadbean using keywords which can be found in a CV. Sourcing/writing an effective Boolean search allows you to both limit your searching to more exact matches for the skills you are sourcing as well as broaden the scope of your search past the obvious searching for a job title.

What is a boolean search?

Answer here

Question: What is wrong with the search above? 🤔

In order to input your boolean search you need to login to Broadbean and input your search into the search bar of the marketplace as below

Inputting your search

This will now only return CVs with the exact phrase “office administrator” listed on it. Suppose you search for an office administrator without quotation marks. In that case, it will split up the words office and administrator and highlight them as relevant matches even when not mentioned as an exact phrase – this will produce results of people who are in a different office or administrator role.

In order to ensure that the job board searches for those two words together (office administrator) you must input quotation marks (as below)

Using quotations

You can add AND's, OR's, and NOT's to your search to refine your search.* Hot tip: ensure these are capatilised in order for it to work.

Using AND, OR's and NOT's

To add to your search you will want to add other synoynms of your search criteria to try and identify key words on the candidate's CV.But how do I do this?

Adding to your search

This search will search for the office administrator and IT and excel written on candidate's CV's.

The AND operator narrows and refines your search. It should be used for targeting required skills, experience, technologies, or titles you would like to limit your results to. Unless you are searching for common words, with every AND you add to your Boolean query, the fewer & more targeted results you will typically get.See below the office administrator example, but I am also looking for someone with IT and excel experience.


In the above search you can see the consultant's criteria of search is the job titles, therefore they have searched for a few possible synonyms of almost the same job title

Many people incorrectly think the Boolean OR operator is an either/or operator, when in fact it is not. The OR operator is technically interpreted as “at least one is required, more than one or all can be returned.”


For example, if you wanted to search for an administrator but did not want to include someone in the insurance industry. Can also input '-insurance' for same affect.

Omits specific words from the search to refine further


Think of the difference between AND/OR as the following:'AND': will narrow your search'OR': will expand your searchAlso - consider spelling variations!


See the above example, you could use admin with an asterisk and it will show up in words such as administration, administer, administered, etc (conversly you might end up with lots of badminton players 😄)

You can use an asterisk to replace several letters, and it searches the root of the word in all manners


To start putting this all together, you will need to add brackets to your repertoire.Think of brackets as a way to separate certain criteria.You might want a detailed search to match your clients requirements and could include some of the following:- Job title (synoynms of the job title)- Academic qualifications (a list of relevant industry qualifications)- Skill (relevant skills for the role)- Sector experience (a demand for certain sector experience)- and more

Using brackets

In the imaginary job above, if you were to reverse engineer this you can see I am looking for the following:Someone with office/admin experience, with at least GCSE's (with ideally english/maths), with a background/knowledge of insurance, and with typing/microsoft office skills.

See example below

Question here

You can see in this example I have searched (job title) AND (qualification) AND (relevant skills) AND (sector).

("HR assistant" OR "HR advisor" OR "HR coordinator" OR "HR co-ordinator" OR "HR administrator") AND (CIPD) AND ("MS office" OR word OR Microsoft OR recruitment OR peopleHR OR sickness OR absence OR onboarding OR leaver OR offboarding) AND (legal OR law)

There are also helpful Boolean builder websites that can help with synonms and structuring your Boolean.https://toolkit.hireez.com/solutions/boolean-builder/

You can use these skills elsewhere in the world! For example you can use it on Google or even on LinkedIn and then connect with candidates who fit your criteria

Use these skills!


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