The Unconventional Boolean

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I have realized that I have been using some “unconventional” Boolean Strings in sourcing. This technique applies to LinkedIn or any database, but not to Google (where ORs are rarely helpful and long ORs are tricky).

Let me explain. It is straightforward to search by ORs of synonyms, for example,

Title = (Senior OR Sr. OR snr.) (software OR java) (developer OR engineer OR coder) (etc.).

On LinkedIn, we must do this because its semantic interpretation is flawed. But here is a twist.

Collect keywords intended for the title field and keywords, and, optionally, employers, and skills. Give the word “weights,” depending on how important they are. For example:

  • Java – must have
  • Back-end OR Full-Stack – must have
  • Developer or its synonyms – must have
  • Javascript OR Python – nice to have
  • Elastic search – nice to have
  • MongoDB or similar – nice to have
  • Scalable or its synonyms – a plus
  • Healthcare OR Medical Device industry – a plus

Group must-have, nice to have, and the “plus” keywords into OR statement, and search for the resulting string. (If you wish, use more granular weights.) Depending on the resulting quality and number of results, put the expressions either all in the Keywords or some, in the title and other fields separately. Run something like this:

Keywords = Java (Back-end OR Full-Stack) (Developer OR engineer) (Javascript OR python OR elastic OR mongodb OR nosql) (scalable OR performance OR healthcare OR “medical device”).

Then, you can expand each of the ORs in the string to accommodate the most essential and optional terms and add exclusions if you see false positives (for example, managers). You can also move the terms from the keywords to the title to see if you get more targeted results.

You will be un-digging results that nobody else does.

Try it!







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