How to Search for Candidates on Indeed

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Posting a job on Indeed can be a great way to attract candidates to your open role — but there are other ways to find quality candidates who meet your hiring criteria.

According to an Indeed survey, 73% of employers say candidates sourced from resume databases — like Indeed Resume — are “extremely qualified” for the role.* With Indeed Resume, you can instantly search for and contact job seekers open to new opportunities. Our talent database of 225 million resumes allows you to find candidates with exactly the right skills and qualifications you’re looking for.

Let’s dive in and explore how to find quality candidates with Indeed Resume.

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Searching for resumes vs. posting a job

Searching for resumes and posting jobs on Indeed can bring you a different set of candidates.

Candidates that apply to job posts are typically known as “active” candidates. As the name suggests, these candidates are actively looking for a new job and are often immediately available. Resume databases, like Indeed Resume, include a mix of active and “passive” candidates. Passive candidates are not actively applying to jobs but are open to new opportunities.

When active candidates apply to your job posts on Indeed, you can easily filter for those that only meet your desired criteria. You also have the option to add skills tests to screen for certain skills such as typing, personality fit and more. If you find that your job postings aren’t attracting the right candidates, check out these tips on how to improve them. You can also pay to sponsor your job to boost its visibility.

If you’d like to target both active and passive candidates, you can proactively search for the right fit on Indeed Resume. This strategy can be especially beneficial if you’re looking for highly skilled candidates or if your job posts aren’t bringing in the right candidates.


What is Indeed Resume search?


Indeed Resume is an employer resume search engine that helps you find quality candidates for a particular job. From a single workspace, you can search through 225 million prospective candidates and immediately contact the ones you’re interested in. Target your search by job title, location, work history, education, availability and a host of other criteria.


When you find a candidate you’d like to discuss your job opportunity with, send them a message to start the conversation. (Note: You must have an Indeed Resume subscription to view full resumes and contact candidates. Here’s how to purchase a subscription.)

Start searching resumes


Benefits of using Indeed Resume to search for candidates


Beyond being able to browse millions of resumes across your industry and location, there are several other benefits of using Indeed Resume search, including:

  • A wide range of candidates: Reach the 20% of candidates that update their resume but don’t search for a job.** Indeed Resume search also spans 16 key job categories (e.g., management, software, business), letting you reach candidates for nearly any role, industry or location.
  • Active and engaged talent: Candidates who upload their resumes are open to engaging with employers. In fact, Indeed Resume has a 50% average candidate response rate.** You can also search and filter by candidates who are #ReadyToWork now.
  • New talent added every day: 8 million resumes are added or updated every month, and recently updated resumes are highlighted in search results.
  • Precision search tools: Indeed Resume has over 25 search filters including Boolean search functionality. You can also save alerts for new resume matches.
  • Organization features: Organize your talent search into “projects” to align with your workflow. You can organize by location, role, hiring manager, requisition number, etc. Learn more about adding candidates to projects.


How to search and filter resumes on Indeed

To start searching for resumes on Indeed, go to the Indeed Resume homepage. Type in the criteria you’re looking for (e.g., skills, job title, company name) and the location where you’re hiring. Click “Search” to browse through available candidates that best match your job description. You can use the left-hand sidebar to filter your results further.

How to search and filter resumes on Indeed

Filters include:

  • Distance from chosen location
  • Last updated
  • Availability (i.e., ready to work now)
  • Education level
  • Years of work experience
  • Job titles
  • Previous companies
  • Indeed Assessments taken
  • Military service

Indeed Resume also supports Boolean searching and search operators with the advanced search feature.

After narrowing down your list of candidates, you can then view full resumes that match your criteria and reach out to candidates you’re interested in (if you have an active Indeed Resume subscription).

Tips for screening candidate resumes

Deciding which candidates to message or invite for an interview based on resumes can be a challenge. To determine which candidates are best qualified for your open position, start by conducting a quick resume scan. Look for the skills, experience and education that align with the job description and your ideal candidate profile. You’ll also want to look for any must-have requirements — for example, if the job requires a specific certification, does the applicant have it? If not, put their resume in your “no” or “maybe” pile.

If the resume appears to be a match at first glance, perform a deeper dive. Previous job titles, years of experience, achievements or measurable impact in previous roles, and specific tools, programs or other hard skills listed can all give you clues about whether a candidate could be a match.

Other things to take note of include:

  • Excessive job hopping
  • Gaps in employment
  • Grammar and spelling

Additionally, consider creating a rating standard or scoring rubric to use throughout your resume screenings to help avoid bias. If you want to prioritize certain factors (e.g., years of experience, hard skills), you can weight them by assigning a percentage to each factor, as long as the total remains 100%.

Here are some examples of resume rubrics to try:

  • 1= very qualified, 2 = qualified, 3 = not qualified
  • 1 = not a match, 10 = best match
  • 1 = poor, 2 = below average, 3 = average, 4 = above average, 5 = excellent

How to write effective messages to your top candidates

When you find a candidate that may be a match for your job opening, send them a message to gauge their interest and/or schedule a phone screen or virtual interview. Once a candidate replies, you’ll receive an email with their message as well as a link to their Indeed resume with contact details.

Here are some tips for getting candidates’ attention when contacting them on Indeed Resume:

Note: Only message candidates about a specific, relevant job opening — not a list of jobs for them to browse through.

Make it personal

Use the candidate’s name and introduce yourself and your company. If you’re using a message template, replace all placeholder fields with relevant details. You can even implement a hyper-personalization strategy (focusing on a single detail that is unique to the candidate) to boost engagement.

Explain why the job is a good match

Only reach out to candidates about jobs that are relevant to them (i.e., don’t offer an entry-level job to a seasoned professional). In your message, explain why your job opportunity is a good fit for their experience and career level.

Try including aspects of the candidate’s resume that stand out to you. For example, “I’m really impressed that you improved your previous company’s blog traffic by 200% YoY. [Company name] has plans to build out a content strategy, and your expertise might be just what we need.”

Include job details in your message

Include the job’s location, title, key duties and salary range (optional) to give candidates the opportunity to learn more about the job upfront. If possible, provide a link to the job description that you have posted on Indeed.

Another way to stand out from the competition is by listing any unique benefits or perks your company offers.

Add details about next steps

To close out your message, include a clear call to action, or CTA, that guides candidates to the next step. For example, you could say: “If you’re interested, please reply to this email and I’ll send over more details.”

Email reminders will also be automatically sent to candidates three separate times to encourage them to respond — two, four and seven days after your initial outreach.

To help you write effective messages to your top candidates, we’ve compiled three cold recruitment email templates to get you started.

Indeed Resume search FAQs


Can I view resumes on Indeed for free?

You can search the database and see a preview of candidates’ resumes for free, but you’ll need an Indeed account and an active Indeed Resume subscription to view full resumes and contact candidates.

How many candidates can I contact?

An Indeed Resume subscription gives you a set number of contacts each month depending on the package you select (30 or 100). These contacts are deducted from your subscription each time you contact a candidate. You can also purchase additional resume contacts.

Check the number of credits remaining on your account in your subscription management dashboard.

How much does it cost to view resumes on Indeed?

You can choose from the following Indeed Resume subscription options:

  • The “Standard” subscription is $120 per month (or $1150 per year) and grants you 30 new contacts a month.
  • The “Professional” subscription is $300 per month (or $2,880 per year) and grants you 100 new contacts a month.

The Standard subscription is best if you plan on making 1-11 hires per year, while the Professional subscription is recommended if you plan on making 12 or more hires per year. Learn more about Indeed Resume subscription options.

What are contact credits?

Contact credits are the number of times you contact a new candidate on Resume Search each month.

Do resume contacts expire?

Yes. All contact credits expire six months after the date the original contacts were granted. Learn more about contact credit expiration.

How many times can I contact a particular candidate?

You can contact the same candidate once in a 30-day period. After 30 days, you can contact the candidate again.

*Indeed survey, n=1,000
**Indeed data (Worldwide)

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