If you’re waiting for your ideal job applicant to send their resume your way, get comfortable — because there’s no telling how long that might take. With the unemployment rate at its lowest since 2000 and more and more employers competing to hire top talent, sitting back and waiting could mean missing out on the right person for the job.

If you take a more proactive approach, you’re more likely to have an edge over other companies in discovering quality candidates sooner.

In a previous post we showed you how to use Indeed Resume’s advanced search functions to find candidates with the right combinations of qualifications. But we’re just getting started. Keep reading to learn how to get even stronger, more targeted Indeed Resume results using Boolean searches.

Understanding Boolean searches

Before we jump into what Boolean searches look like, let’s start with a little background on the term “Boolean.” Boolean search operators are named for the 19th English mathematician and logician George Boole, who laid the foundation for the search logic we use for many search engine databases today which means you’ve likely already worked with Boolean searches without even realizing it.

Because Boole was a logician, these search operators are highly logical and intuitive. By simply combining words and phrases with terms like AND and OR, you can connect search terms together and effectively narrow your search results.

How to use Boolean search operators.

Using Search Operators and Boolean Operators

Just as with search operators, Boolean search operators can be used in both the “What” field and the advanced search page on Indeed Resume.

Let’s look at some examples using the anytitle: search operator we covered previously. But this time, we’ll add Boolean operators to narrow our search even further.

Targeting candidates

If you want to find candidates who’ve worked as either Creative Directors or Art Directors at some point in their careers, simply run a search using the Boolean search operator OR. As we mentioned in part one, you’ll need to use quotation marks because your search terms contain more than one word.

Therefore, you would type the following into the search field:

anytitle: (“Creative Director” OR “Art Director”)

On the other hand, if you’re looking for candidates who have worked as both a Creative Director and an Art Director at any point in their careers, you’d simply use the AND operator in place of OR. So you’d type in the following search:

anytitle: (“Creative Director” AND “Art Director”).

Excluding candidates

So far we’ve covered how to use search operators and Boolean operators to search for specific resumes, but sometimes you need to exclude certain resumes from a search. For example, let’s say you don’t want to pull up anyone who currently holds the position of Chief Creative Director.

Just as you would with simple arithmetic, you use a minus sign before the search operator you want to exclude:

-title: “Chief Creative Director”.

As an example, if you wanted to find someone who has worked as a Creative Director at some point in their career, but who isn’t currently working as a Chief Creative Director, you would run the following search:

-title: “Chief Creative Director” anytitle: “Creative Director”.

In this example, it’s important to note that we can create a search for titles while also excluding titles from the search only because we’ve used two different operators (title:) and (anytitle:). What’s the difference between “title” and “anytitle?” You’ll want to use “title” if you’re looking for a candidate’s most recent position, but if you’re looking for candidates who have held that title at any point in their career, you’ll want to use “anytitle”.

Not too difficult, right? Visit Indeed Resume to try out some searches of your own. When you understand how to use regular search operators and Boolean search operators, Indeed Resume becomes an even more powerful resource for making sure you have the right candidates in front of you at the right time, no sitting and waiting required.

Want more tips? Learn how to read between the lines of a resume here.