While you search jobs free, it pays to be sure that you have mastered the basics of Boolean search logic. If you’re like most job seekers, you have been searching the Internet regularly for years, but there may still be opportunities to save time and get better search results.
Boolean logic is just the technical term for the system that operates automatically when you search for something online. The principle things to keep in mind are the operator words that serve as instructions. When you enter keywords with no further instructions, your search results will typically be the same as if you typed “OR” between the keywords. The other main options are “AND” to get results that contain all the keywords or “NOT” to exclude specific words. You can also use “NEAR” if you only want to see results where the keywords are close to each other.
Wildcards like “*” allow you to get multiple variations of a keyword. Parentheses are helpful for complicated searches where you want to prioritize certain keywords. Quotations around keywords limit the results to those exact words in that exact order.
You should also keep in mind that there may be individual differences in how searches operate on different sites. For example, LinkedIn does not currently support a wildcard option. You may also find that it’s easier to conduct multiple searches than to try to write a complex formula to cover all scenarios.
All of these factors matter because they can make your job search more efficient and effective. For example, entering “pediatric nurse” will eliminate your having to search through openings in gerontology. Entering “nurs*” may help you to find all listings in one click for nurse, nursing and other variations.
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