Googling for Resumes is Obsolete

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CV OR Resume

There are still many resumes on the Internet. Google is still by far the best search engine. However, Googling the world wide web for online resumes has stopped being productive for the majority of locations and industries, with few exceptions.

I’ll share some thoughts, as to why Googling for Resumes is Obsolete, shortly. Let us first look at a typical Google “Boolean String” in the style still taught in some Sourcing classes or auto-created by a “Boolean builder” system.

jquery javascript (engineer OR developer) (415 OR 650 OR “Bay Area” OR “San Francisco”) -embedded -expected -student -professor -designer -manager -scientist (filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc OR filetype:docx OR filetype:txt) (intitle:”CV” OR inurl:”CV” OR intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) -job -jobs -sample -samples -template -linkedin

In this example, I have used a “light” target keyword set – jQuery JavaScript (engineer OR developer). I have excluded some keywords (embedded, etc.) to make the search more focused. I have used some location keywords. The rest is a typical “template” search string.

Even with a search this “open-ended”, the number of results is small – and there are still plenty of false positives. We have found fewer than 100 resumes worth viewing; some of them are outdated.

(Note that the target here is Software professionals who are more likely to own websites and more comfortable posting content than many other professionals. In a search for accountants or registered nurses, chances to get any results at all would be slim.)

Compare the above Google search with these searches. (A comparison can only be approximate, of course; I am trying to look for similar target profiles):

You see? Way fewer people post resumes online on their sites, compared to ~10 years ago. Many more people post professional information on various social sites.

Here are some additional reasons why Googling for Resumes in the above “old style” is not productive.

  1. The location keywords are less precise than they used to be. Almost nobody lists zip codes on resumes (remember the Google numrange trick to look for those?). People list mobile phone numbers – so the area codes “travel” with their owners to the “wrong” locations.
  2. There are more online resumes in “document storage” type of sites (such as than on personal sites – but a Google search like the above will not find them, since the template uses the operator filetype:
  3. Sites that want to sell resume search, have learned how to best structure their pages. Searches like intitle:resume OR inurl:resume OR intitle:CV… will often show teaser pages from those sites, with no useful info. This just complicates the search by creating a need to exclude these results.
  4. A long time ago, Google was showing the first 1,000 results if there were more results than that. Now, Google often “decides” to show 200, 300, or 600 maximum. Google usually responds to very long search strings with fewer results.

It’s time to stop Googling for Resumes “old-style”. I have and will be sharing ideas and methods that do work for Sourcing on this blog and elsewhere. You can count on that.

If you feel like seriously updating your Googling Sourcing skills, I recommend coming to the Boolean Basics presentation. It is a repeat of a recent webinar, now scheduled for June 16/17, 2015, in response to multiple requests. Here are three fresh quotes from the attendees: “great presentation and learned a few new tips.” “That was very informative and really wonderfully relayed.” and “This is the most in depth lesson I have had.”

Your Favorite Boolean Strings

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I have created the above word cloud out of the “Favorite Boolean Strings” submitted by the members of our Boolean Strings Sourcer’s Network on the Ning platform.

If you are a member, you can see everyone’s “Favorite String” when looking at their profile. You can also search for members’ search strings in the Member search dialog.

Prompted by the recent “Boolean Strings Basics” webinar, I took a look at this crowd-sourced library. Here are some data and reflections .

The most common words (operators) used are:

  1. OR – mentioned 2397 times
  2. AND – 707 times
  3. inurl: – 643 times
  4. site: – 224 times
  5. intitle: – 212 times
  6. filetype: 122 times

The most common keywords:

  1. resume – 107
  2. linkedin – 198
  3. jobs – 125 (perhaps being excluded from searches)
  4. cv – 120
  5. java – 102
  6. vitae – 76 (wow!)

Here are some observations on this crowd-sourced String Library.

1) Some search syntax has changed since members had posted their Boolean Strings. For example, the tilde ~ no longer works as a special symbol on Google.

2) Some search strings do not follow the correct search syntax. Mistakes in syntax include:

  1. using AND as an operator on Google
  2. searching for the symbol @ to look for email addresses on Google
  3. using an asterisk * as a wildcard (to look for part of a word) on Google.

I’ll publish a separate post about the most common Boolean Syntax mistakes.

3) The operator OR is overused. In some rare cases, perhaps more on LinkedIn than on Google, long OR statements continue to make you productive. In many cases of Googling, they would not.

4) A good number of the Favorite Strings are copied from a template that perhaps everyone has seen at some point:

…intitle:vitae OR intitle:CV … OR inurl:vitae (etc.)

The syntax is correct… However, these search strings were useful about 10 years ago – they rarely provide anything useful these days. Why? Few people publish their online resumes outside of some social networks or sites like Many vendors, who know how recruiters search for resumes, have flooded the internet with the sites having “resume”, “CV’, and “vitae” as part of their site URLs- only to try and get you in and pay for their services. There will be another blog post about that.

So – what is your today’s favorite String? :)

Let us know? Please edit yoru string on the Ning profile and please share on the Forum or on our LinkedIn Boolean Group.

Hint: You can source Boolean search strings on Google by searching for something like

Google site filetype inurl OR intitle

If you “borrow” one of the strings published somewhere, just make sure they follow the current search syntax and produce useful results.


Boolean Strings Basics Webinar – New Dates! – June 16-17

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Hello Followers: 

You are invited to attend my most popular presentation – Boolean Strings Basics Webinar – on June 16, 2015, and an optional hands-on Practice on June 17.

Boolean search syntax and algorithms keep changing. Online references become obsolete. It is time to brush up on your searching skills if you haven’t lately. 

This webinar covers the core Boolean search functionality. It can serve as an excellent resource and an up-to-date reference guide for the “beginner” and “intermediate” level users of searching systems. I also recommended it for experienced professionals who want to refresh and update their advanced Boolean search skills. 

We’ll go over the basics of Boolean Strings building for Google and other search engines; LinkedIn; job boards; and people aggregators. Included with the webinar, and delivered to all who sign up, are 100 (one hundred!) “top” sample Boolean Strings, to help you in crafting your own, and a Boolean Tip Sheet. 

Who Should Attend: Recruiters, Sourcers, Researches, Talent Acquisition Specialists, Sales, Business Development, and Managers who are looking to find qualified professionals online as part of their job. 

What You Will Learn: The fundamentals of the Boolean Search syntax and the best practices for searching for professionals online. 

Included: The slides, video recordings, and one month of support on any “Boolean Strings” questions 
Included: A completely up-to-date Tip Sheet with the Boolean syntax 
Included: A new list of 100 “Top” Boolean Strings 

The format is Double-Webinar: 
Lecture – June 16 (Tuesday) at 9 AM PDT/noon EDT 
Practice Session – June 17 (Wednesday) at 9 AM PDT/noon EDT (bring your questions and see the Boolean techniques in action!)

Sign up for either or both. See more detail and register at 
Seating is limited. 

-Irina Shamaeva


Candidates: Why You Don’t See the Salary Range on LinkedIn Job Posts

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In the previous post Why You Lose Potential Candidates with LinkedIn Job Posts, I talked about the (wrong) estimated salary ranges used on LinkedIn Job posts and – unfortunately! – in the advanced Job Search.

Here’s another piece of information on how LinkedIn job posts work. It may unpleasantly surprise you even more. (Sorry!) If you read further, you will see that stating the salary range on a job posted on LinkedIn is allowed – but it does exactly nothing. Read on.

As a side note, candidates often don’t realize that those who post jobs are often not in a position to state the expected salary ranges.

However – many recruiters and hiring managers can post the salary range. In fact, I just did that – I posted a salary range on a job description on LinkedIn. To do that, I (appropriately) used the “edit” job post function on LinkedIn, then saved the result. Here is a screenshot of the edit window; the arrow points to the salary range I had entered:


Great! (I expected the estimated salary range not to be a problem any longer.)

Here is what the job post looks like after editing:


Where is that salary range? – You might ask. The answer is: the posted salary is (still) not shown anywhere on the job page. The only salary mentioned is still that “estimated” one, on the right, and it provides the same wrong info as before (for this job):


You may also notice that I am getting desperate for qualified candidates and am offering a serious referral fee of $5K . That lucrative offer is also nowhere to be found.

Then, I proceeded to check what happens in the job search dialog. If the correct salary range is taken into account in the search, it would be an indirect pointer to the range, but at least this job will not be filtered out by candidates when they search.

Alas! I did a very narrow search, to display that one job only…


… and then looked at the salary selection on the left:


It was clear that my job, in spite of the explicitly posted salary range, is still found in the salary range that is “estimated” and is about $20-30K lower than what I had posted.

Conclusion: In the case of LinkedIn Job posts, please blame LinkedIn, not Recruiters for not providing the correct salary information. (For hiding the referral bonus info, blame LinkedIn, too!)

P.S. I hope LinkedIn will fix this very soon.

Why You Lose Potential Candidates with LinkedIn Job Posts

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While professionals may consider changing jobs for many reasons other than money, the salary is one of the most important factors. If you post jobs on LinkedIn, you need to be aware of the salary information, automatically communicated to your potential applicants. Look what happens when you post a job on LinkedIn.

Here is a screenshot of a job opening, showing the salary info. The low end shown is $67K, and the average is $88K.


This job requires: “Bachelors with 6 years of industry experience, Masters degree in computer science or related field with 4 years of industry experience, or PhD in computer science or related field with 2 years of industry experience.
Industry experience working for 3+ years in of system software development using C++ , and python. Knowledge of Java is a plus. Hands-on experience working on Linux/ Unix systems – preferably RHEL and SLES.” and more.

If you have even a tiny bit of experience hiring Software Engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area, you would be surprised seeing the “estimated” salary numbers. The real numbers are much higher. I would think that anyone with these qualifications, working in the industry, at this location is earning at least a six-digit salary.

Here’s even more surprising salary info, in a similar but more senior job post:


The second post requires “Bachelors with 8 years of industry experience, Master’s degree in computer science or related field with 5 years of industry experience, or PhD in computer science or related field with 2 years of industry experience.” – i.e. this post calls for more experience than the first one, yet the “estimated salary” is lower.

Now, suppose you are sharing a link to the job post with a potential candidate. If that person subscribes to a premium LinkedIn account (which is free for the first month), he or she will see the salary data on the job description and may hesitate whether to respond because of that.

Premium LinkedIn members can also search for jobs by the target salary range.

A job search for the title Software Engineer C++ with keywords Distributed Systems in the San Francisco Bay Area results in these salary choices:


The job seeker will likely assume that these salaries are provided by those who post jobs. In the above search results, out of 14 found job posts, only two seem to be in the realistic desirable salary range. The potential applicant will filter out the jobs where the salary is (wrongly!) stated as too low for him or her to apply.

The wrong (or the right) estimated salary information is provided by the site and is included on LinkedIn job posts and in the LinkedIn advanced job search dialog. The info may be misleading, but we have no control over it other than changing the job description.

Conclusion: If you don’t want to lose potential candidates, you may have to tweak your LinkedIn job description to sound more senior – to raise that estimated auto-calculated salary range. (Well, you’d better do this at least if you are looking for Senior C++ Developers in the Bay Area!)

Since we have little idea about the algorithms, we’d have to guess what the right job titles and wording should be for the salary ranges to look more on target. Since we also need to provide correct information in the job description, editing may be challenging and time consuming. But who wants to lose potentially qualified candidates?

If you are in need of improving candidate engagement, please join me at the new webinar “Improving Candidate Response Rates” coming up this week. We’ll carefully go over various factors and measurement of candidate engagement, depending on the social media channels. I will also cover the best ways of sourcing contact information, to be able to reach potential candidates directly. Seating is limited, register early.

The Boolean Template for International Lists

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Here is how to find lists of professionals in a specific industry, from given countries or regions.

1) Start with one of the words: members, list, participants, attend (etc.)

(Note: Do NOT combine these words with an OR statement).

2) Add two to three specific country email domain extensions such as “de”, “nl”, “au”, “za”, etc.

3) Optionally, add a few phone codes such as 44, 31, etc.

4) Add one or two job titles or industry key phrases.

Here are some examples:

Repeat multiple variations of 1)-4) until you see some interesting results.

What you can do next:

Work with the lists: narrow them down to the “right” professionals by filtering and cross-reference to find out more about those that are promising.

These searches are simple, do not use any advanced Boolean operators, yet they can be quite efficient.

Want to master your search for professionals across countries? Join me and my business partner, Master Sourcer David Galley for a deep dive into Sourcing Internationally (Lecture and Practice Session), coming up this week. Hurry, seating is limited.

Sourcing Certification Program News – April 2015

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The Program was created to keep Recruiting professionals and teams on top of all things Sourcing and Searching and to allow fair measurement of Sourcing skills. It is thriving and has evolved. We have made some changes in the format and content, based on our significant experience and user feedback.

We refresh the materials in the Guidebook monthly, to reflect everything important that has changed and the top new tools.

Sign up for the Info Session to find out the details about the Program.

Update after the Info Session May 6, 2015:

This was our largest info session ever! Also, now is the first time ever the Program is offering the premium subscription with HiringSolved.

The subscription prices go up June 1st. While the Program will continue to provide the best ROI among available sourcing training options after June 1st – if you are ready, you can go ahead and subscribe now.

Here, I will briefly outline the news:

Subscription. The Program now offers a yearly subscription to online multimedia materials that a participant can access at any time. The modules cover “everything” sourcing, from Search Engines to Social Networks and LinkedIn “hacks” to productivity tools. The formats include how-to posts with screenshots; videos; practice tasks; quizzes; and Tip Sheets.

Teams get special treatment: group discounts and interactive custom sessions.

At this time, we are also adding extra modules covering: candidate engagement; phone sourcing; and sourcing tips for various locations (in the US and worldwide) and industries.

Support. An outstanding feature of the Guidebook is that everyone receives support in navigating and applying sourcing skills for the whole year. (This alone is worth the price of the subscription!) We’ve been praised for caring about our customers.

If you feel you are ready, go ahead and subscribe.

Exams. While we now allow to take the exam and get certified without the subscription, the exam log shows that our subscribers do significantly better in the exams testing hands-on sourcing skills. The cost of the Exam is included with the Sourcing Guidebook subscription.

Reference Library. In addition to training and practice modules, the Guidebook contains Reference Tip sheets, including Boolean strings syntax chart, a library of “top” Boolean strings, lists of tips for “back-door” sourcing on LinkedIn, lists of tools and browser extensions, and more. Keep it open while sourcing.

Tools and Premium Subscription. We provide lists of Boolean strings and Custom Search Engines for participants to use.

As a new addition, we are excited to have a partnership with the people aggregator HiringSolved – the only people aggregator that searches across all locations and industries. Combined access to our training and reference platform is offered as a premium subscription (already available as an option) and provides outstanding ROI, as an All-in-One Sourcing Training/Reference/Tools solution.

Reports. We know that the measurement of training and sourcing performance is critical. At the request of team managers, we have developed reporting tools on the Guidebook and the tools usage.

Please note, all subscription prices go up on June 1st, 2015. Our solution will still remain the best in terms of ROI.

Please feel free to reach out to our Customer Support Manager George Glikman with questions or to help to get your subscription going.

Everything You Need To Know About XING X-Ray

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German holds the second place among the most spoken languages in Europe.  The top Social Network for the German-speaking people is More than a half of XING members, about 8 MLN, are German-speaking people from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In Germany, there are more XING members than LinkedIn members:


XING allows to message members; you need to have a premium account for messaging non-connections. This messaging ability is a clear advantage for a recruiter in Germany since reaching out to “passive candidates” has legal limitations there. (I am no specialist to explain further – check the appropriate sources if you need to know the details – but these restrictions do exist).

If your searches are targeting the DACH population, XING is a must-go-to.

Let’s look at XING X-Raying.

Here’s what a public profile looks like (note that you will see the profiles in German or English depending on where you are searching from). Clearly, you can X-Ray for a name and a job title.


An X-Ray Google string would look like this: <job title>

or, for better precision, search for: intitle:<job title>

Myth #1. You can’t X-Ray XING for company names. The company names are seemingly hidden from viewing unless you join the network. But, in fact, the company names are here, in plain sight:


The company name is present in the title of a XING public profile. So, to X-Ray by the company name, you can search for intitle:<company name>

Of course, can be combined with the job title search and keyword search.

Myth #2. You can search for locations in XING X-Ray.

That is not true. Public profiles have the locations hidden. You will get some results by including a location name in X-Raying, but the results will miss many members at that location. The results will also list some members that have the location name on their profiles for some other reason than living there.

You can only view the member location while logged-in:



Signing up for XING is free. It’s best to view the search results while you are logged-in.

(You may wonder if you can view the obscured member photo in the first image above without signing up, and the answer is yes, but that is probably not much of practical sourcing interest.)

Summary: here’s your basic X-Ray template: intitle:<job title> intitle:<company> <keywords> location

Example: intitle:Oracle sales

X-Ray for more info – in German

While XING is friendly to those of us who speak English, to X-Ray, you must have in mind the profiles in German. Here’s an example:


X-Ray for languages: “Sprachen, die” Englisch

(Searching for “languages spoken” will not do much good; just try it and you’ll see.)

This covers the basics for X-Raying XING.

Like LinkedIn, XING can be X-Rayed and can be searched using the provided member search functionality. Just like LinkedIn, XING restricts some advanced search filters and, most importantly, the number of fully visible search results from a basic viewer. But, unlike LinkedIn, XING charges under $10 per month to lift these limitations. If you must remain a free user, X-Ray is helpful. Otherwise, searching XING from a premium account may be less fun, but would probably be more productive than X-Raying.

Searching globally? I recommend signing up for our upcoming webinar

Sourcing Internationally

debuting this Wednesday April 29th, 2015, and learn about searching and X-Raying in ALL major social networks worldwide. As always, the webinar comes with one month of support on all “Sourcing Internationally” questions. Please hurry, the seating is limited.









Sourcing Internationally in Non-traditional Ways

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A true Sourcer needs to be open-minded, resourceful, and creative. While some sites and tools may seem to cover the “wrong” territory, many can be used quite productively if you give them a chance and dig a little deeper.

To illustrate, let’s take a look at ZoomInfo, one of the oldest sites to source for professionals, which is still going quite strong. It’s one of my favorite sites to use in sourcing. Accessing it is paid (and decisions to subscribe are all yours) but it’s also X-Rayable via Google.

Let’s take a look at the site through an incognito window, without logging in. Here is the Zoominfo people search dialog:


From a quick look, the site covers contacts in the major English-speaking countries only.

However – the site can also be used (as an example) for sourcing in the Netherlands – specifically, for professionals from global companies with offices in that country. Since we won’t be able to search by that location, we can try to imagine what the found records would look like, to help to design a search strategy.

Many companies in the Netherlands have “B V” as part of their name. A “B V” is a private company with limited liability, similar to LLC in the US, Ltd in England, and GmbH in Germany. Knowing that can help to uncover thousands of profiles. A search for B V as the company name in Zoominfo yields over 90K results, most of which will be professionals working for an office in the Netherlands.


If you don’t have a ZoomInfo subscription, you can still use that insight and X-Ray. The general X-Ray template for the site is: (add keywords).

Here is an example search for professionals working at a specific company at a specific seniority level: “Elsevier B.V” Vice-president

Note: I used the local Google for the Netherlands – – for better results.

Like the approach? Here are a couple of exercises to flex your sourcing muscle:

1) Generalizing the above tip, try to come up with search strategies for more contacts in the Netherlands and for contacts in a few other non-English speaking countries.

2) Can you X-Ray Zoominfo for a specific location in other ways? Take a look at a public Zoominfo profile to come up with some suggestions.


Numbers of Social Shares on LinkedIn

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How many times was a LinkedIn post (such as this one , for example) shared – on LinkedIn and on other social sites? When you view a LinkedIn post, you see the numbers of “views” and “likes”, but not the number of shares.

There used to be a hack to look up the numbers of shares – by opening the posts in an incognito window. That no longer works. However, LinkedIn doesn’t make a secret of the number of shares. In fact, LinkedIn has an API call that returns the number of shares for any URL.

If you do not write software code, you can still access this API call directly, via the following URL:<URL>

Replace the <URL> above with the actual URL of the page that interests you. As an example, here is the number of shares for my yesterday’s post:

Note: if you are copying a URL, make sure you strip off any parameters, i.e. the part that goes after the question mark (if present). For example, for the URL above, you may land on – just remove the part starting with the question mark (?trk=…) before checking the number of shares.

Of course, the above method is clunky and lacks user friendliness.

Other social networks have similar API calls that provide the numbers of shares for any given web page.

My favorite tool that takes advantage of those API calls on several social networks is the Chrome extension called ShareMetric. It provides the numbers of shares for the currently open URL on various networks. Here is what its display looks like:


View my LinkedIn posts and please feel free to share. :)