These Are a Few of My Favorite Strings

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Imagine that you could get the magical core list of search strings somewhere and just keep using them… The truth is, there isn’t one. Pre-built sets of strings are good as examples but that’s it. Every search is unique, and the info out there gets updates continuously, so you need your own strings. I was glad to hear at a recent joint webinar with Andrea Mitchell – from across the globe from me – that she shares this view with me!  🙂

That said, some of the same questions and examples come up on a regular basis at the Boolean Strings Group and Network , so I thought I’d list a few strings here.

In all cases, add variations of your keywords. Single words are always better than phrases, unless the phrase must be there, as in the case of the “SQL Server“, which is a product.

  • Look for resumes on Google intitle:resume OR inurl:resume -job -jobs. There’s usually no need to put all sorts of synonyms for the word resume. Change “resume” for “CV” if you are in Europe or are looking for an academic. Looking for intitle:vitae when you are searching for a Java Engineer in the Bay Area is not likely to bring many results. Use filetype:PDF OR filetype:DOC, perhaps along with the words you’d find in a resume, to discover more.
  • Look for LinkedIn profiles in the US on Google inurl:pub OR inurl:in-inurl:dir -inurl:jobs Add the exact location names as LinkedIn spells them. (X-raying is cool but searching within LinkedIn may be more productive because it is structured.) For the two-letter-abbreviated geographies such as or searching is a little easier and may look like inurl:in OR inurl:pub -intitle:directory
  • Yahoo/Bing seems to find more results and would happily pick many profiles with words like “view full profile” or “public profile powered by” or even just powered as opposed to Google. On Yahoo, search for powered Don’t forget the parenthesis around OR statements on Yahoo/Bing.
  • Find email pattens: search for email * * on Google. Vary the number of asterisks. You may want to exclude words like info, support, or the company site and add words like my to get there faster.
  • Looking for lists: filetype:xls name title company phone email -form. It helps to add the names of your target companies to this one.
  • Here is an interesing advanced string: intitle:”index of” modified directory may find directories with files with all sorts of information.

Altering strings multiple times, examining the strings for correct syntax and the results for guidance on how to modify strings, and being creative always helps.

Your comments and strings are very welcome!

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