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Don’t Lose Hope; Make It Easier On Yourself By Doing A Job Search Using Boolean Method

Posted: November 9, 2020

Worried because you’ve lost your job in the pandemic and it’s a pain searching online? Do your job search using Boolean method – it’ll help!

“I have no job please help.” Such posts are very common on LinkedIn these days. Sadly, due to the pandemic, many have lost their jobs.

We are all going through a very tough phase, but a little maturity in how we search for a job a will be good idea. As a Resume Writer and Job Consultant, this is my personal opinion, if you have lost or you are on the verge of losing your job – Please don’t lose hope and never beg for a job.

Take up freelance assignments, explore your hobbies, and change your field accordingly, start-up a small-scale business etc. If you are willing to try there are a plethora of options.

A simple and accurate way is ‘job search using Boolean Method’.

Knowing where to look

Without the right approach, searching for something on the internet is like looking for a coin in the ocean. You know it is there, but unless you’re extremely lucky, you won’t be able to find it.

An internet search is much more than a keyword input for generating the desired results. Unless you know the right way to search, the internet is like a huge ocean of data where you might get lost trying to search for the desired information.

How to do a job search using Boolean method?

This is where Boolean Logic comes to the rescue.

In simple words, it is an easy and quick way of searching for what you want, meaning, that you can get results that are accurate and exactly what you desired.

To illustrate this, imagine you search the internet for a managerial role by simply putting ‘manager’ into the search engine. Now, this will (frustratingly) generate an array of results, ranging from actual jobs to articles or news with the word ‘manager’ in it. You will have to sit down and manually lookout for the jobs you were aiming for, which is in itself a time-consuming task.

A job search using Boolean method eliminates unnecessary results in the search string by retrieving only that information which has been specified in the search parameters. It allows for the inclusion of multiple search words or phrases, or a combination of both, using operators/ commands such as quotation marks, parenthesis, operators [AND, OR, NOT, NEAR, etc.], and asterisk. By using these commands with the correct keywords, you can refine your search output significantly – we’re talking initial results from, let’s say, 5,00,000 hits, down to 60 results after using Boolean logic. Let us see how this is achieved.

Operators are quite easy to use.

Quotation marks – “…”

Combined with keywords, quotation marks will yield a specific set of results, and in the same order as stated. For example, the search string “Product Manager” will return results containing both the keywords in the exact order, whereas a search with Product Manager will yield all results with both words in them, mostly with both the keywords scattered throughout the page, separately.

And

Take for instance, the use of AND. This operator combines two or more search terms, into a single search string, and generates results containing the given keywords.

For example, you wish to search for Systems Engineer job postings in LinkedIn. All you need to do is to type “Systems Engineer” AND jobs AND LinkedIn, and voila! The refined yet exact search results will be right in front of you.

Or

OR brings back search results that contain any or all of the keywords specified. For example, you want to search for either Project Manager or Project Lead roles. The search would go something like this:

“Project Manager” OR “Project Lead” AND jobs

This would generate job postings on the internet with the keywords “Project Manager” or “Project Lead”, or both, within a company.

Not

This operator is used when a keyword has multiple meanings, or when you wish to eliminate a search term in which specific terms crop up together. For example, a search for “Manager” NOT “Sales” will retrieve results that contain “manager”, but not the term “sales”.

Near

The NEAR operator is used when you want two keywords to appear in close proximity of each other, usually within one to 20 words. An example of this search would be something like this: “Engineer NEAR Software”, which would generate results for engineers appearing in close proximity to the software.

Parenthesis – (…)

Incorporating brackets in a search is usually done for complex search strings, which involve results from multiple, large data sets. They are usually used in searches involving the use of OR, where one or more search criteria are defined, for example, a search for “Product Manager” OR “Product Head” would generate results that contain the very keywords. However, should you want to limit you search further, by let’s say, targeting candidates who have worked at top companies, you need to refine your search, and this is where parenthesis turns up. You don’t need to specify an order for the search; rather, you just need to put your search terms separately in a single string, such as:

(“Product Manager” OR “Product Head”) AND (“KPMG” OR “Deloitte” OR “Ernst & Young”) and this will generate results specifically within these terms.

Asterisk – *

An asterisk is used to replace unknown terms in a search string. For example, if you wish to search for jobs related to project management, the search would be defined as “Project *” AND jobs.

While there are other Boolean operators that can refine your search even further, learning these basic operators will reduce your frustration and bring accurate results more in line with what you were looking for.

P.S.: These operators are for searching on Google. Other search engines might tweak Boolean logic to set their own variation of search language.

First published here.

Image source: shutterstock

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