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The Recruiter Files - News and Advice from the Recruiting Industry!

Get started using Boolean Strings, on linkedin

Are you using boolean strings in your recruiting and sourcing?   Why Not!?   What a great way to find the professional you are looking for.   You save money because it’s FREE and you do not have to post the expensive job ads that produce tons of resumes of unqualified candidates.    Boolean Strings will help your search so you can get the results you are looking for.

This post will focus on searching LinkedIn and narrowing down your search.   There are three main search engines to use: Google, Yahoo and Bing.    I would suggest using all three of them.   Each search engine has a different indexing system and will produce some different responses.  

Next we want to start narrowing the Boolean String so that it only does a Deep Dive into LinkedIn.   We start with a site command.




If you notice there are no spaces so far in this command.   Next, let’s say you are looking for a Mechanical Engineer, with a BSME, to work in Columbus, OH and they must have PLC and Lean Manufacturing Experience.    Do you know what to write next?  Try this:


  •       “Mechanical Engineer” Columbus (OH OR Ohio) Lean PLC BSME


This is a good basic Boolean String.   If you notice above, you do not have to type the word AND anymore if you are searching for different criteria and multiple keywords.   A simple space in-between your keywords will work.   If you look at the string above it says, we are looking in LinkedIn only, for the phrase “Mechanical Engineer” who lives in Columbus OH (we added an OR so it will look for the abbr. OH or spelled out OHIO) and key words lean, BSME and PLC.  

Hope this helps – this is pretty basic so far.    You can play with it and see if you can narrow it down, if you want.    Try it and see.


  • RyanSmith says:

    I like it!

  • Bruce Bixler says:

    You can also use Boolean search terms on LinkedIn itself. I got the following information directly from LinkedIn.

    Boolean searches – The site doesn’t support wildcard searches, but you can use advanced search operators and Boolean logic. You can also use these Boolean search types to refine your results:
    • Quoted searches – For an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks (e.g. “product manager”).
    • NOT searches – To exclude a particular term, type that term with an uppercase NOT immediately before it (e.g. NOT computer).
    • OR searches – To see results that include just 1 of 2 or more terms, separate those terms with an uppercase OR (e.g. sales OR marketing).
    • AND searches – To get results that include 2 or more terms, you can use the upper-case word AND as a separator (e.g. manager AND director). Note: You don’t need to use AND. If you search 2 or more terms, you’ll automatically see results that include all of them.
    • Parenthetical searches – To do a complex search, you can combine terms using parentheses. For example, to find people who have “VP” in their profiles, or have director AND division in their profiles, type: VP OR (director AND division).

  • gary cozin says:

    A more precise way to narrow down location when trying to find LI profiles from a search engine is to find LI profiles from that particular area/location and use the location as indicated on the profiles for that area:

    For example: “mechanical engineer” “columbus ohio area” (inurl:in OR inurl:pub) -inurl:dir

    Also, the inurl:pub OR inurl:in assures you get just LI profiles and not other non-wanted results. The -inurl:dir eliminates all directories to bring back pure profiles

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