Boolean Search Tips

Today, the ERE Exchange ran an article giving some tips on how to use Boolean search.  To me, it was just a great reminder of how bad Boolean search really is.

For example, if you want to see somone with a bachelor’s degree in science, you type:
           ((bachelor* AND science) OR bs* OR “b.s.”)
Sadly, that won’t find anyone from MIT or other schools that call the degrees “SB.”  And Stanford awards ABs instead of BAs. As clever as the Boolean string is, it doesn’t really get the job done.

Of course, if you’re a recruiter and want to see a resume of someone who went to a top school, has 5 to 8 years work experience, and has enterprise software experience, Boolean can’t do a thing for you. 

Boolean search for job seekers is an even worse idea. Think about looking for a sales manager job.  You might also search for area manager, sales representative, sales associate, business development and a dozen other titles. And you’ll still get back jobs selling cell phones, cars, software and life insurance. 

The good news is that the feedback we’re getting from job seekers and recruiters is that with our search, they don’t need to worry about Boolean any more.     

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