Open Google, type your phrase and search. That's what most of us do on a daily basis and that's fine. But, Google can offer much more powerful results if only you know how to use and set-up Boolean commands and operators. In the recruitment industry, Boolean searches are widely used to source good job candidates but Boolean isn't limited to just this industry and instead, can produce highly relevant and targeted content.

Recruiters should be doing more by building their personal brand.

The Basics of Boolean

Invented by George Boole, this mathematical theory is a search that combines keywords and phases with various Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT) with intent to limit, broaden, or define your search.


When including two (or more) keywords in your search, the AND operator narrows down your search and refines your results. For example, a Boolean search for Tech news in London should appear like ('Tech' AND 'London'). This way, it will be searching specifically for results that include both keywords.


Unlike refining results with AND, the OR operator will expand your Boolean results. For example, it could be a useful way to use different words to say the same key phrase especially, if the keyword can be abbreviated. For example, ("Tech" OR "Developer").


The NOT operator (also set up with the minus symbol) excludes unwanted keywords from your search. For example ('Marketing' AND 'London' -Manchester)


Brackets are used to group multiple keywords together and maximise results, allowing you to build complex and refined searches. For example, ("Tech" or "Developer") AND "London.

Quotation marks

If you'd like your search to consider a phrase, quotation marks will complete that phrase. For example, "customer service" would require quotation marks as without any, it would be searching for the individual keywords of 'customer' and 'service' separately.

Related: How to optimise your LinkedIn posts.

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