Future Webinars

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Dear All:

I am giving a LinkedIn for Sourcing and Recruiting webinar on Friday 9/24.

I am preparing a webinar on Bing.

If you have any requests or suggestions for future topics (advanced search, Boolean, Deep Web, Semantic, Tools, Twitter, etc.), please leave a comment or send me a note.


P.S. I am available for custom webinars or face to face training for your company.

Seven Custom Search Engines

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Google Custom Search Engines let us hide “unreadable” operators and reuse them. Search engines on Recruiting Blogs, CVFox, Big5Hire, Referyes are all custom search engines or are based on this technology.

Custom engines have their tricky side but it’s not too hard to create a basic one. On your control panel, use the sections “sites” and “refinements” to start with, and just with those two one can create wonders.

Custom engines let us do some things that are not possible to do in Google search itself. As an example, we can:

  • use refinements (an example would be to search for doc files only or excel files only)
  • expand the max number of words and symbols in a search string
  • use special characters in a search; that one is tricky (thanks, Mike Notaro!)
  • use URL patterns to define sites to search in; the patterns can contain special characters such as ? or @

Here are some engines I created a while ago. (When you try them out, notice refinements.) I hope to get back and design more. If you create one or discover some exciting features in the technology, please share!

Custom engines are not likely to decide that you are a bot. For those of us who struggle with Google’s “I’m human” dialog lately, it’s a big plus.

Cool Advanced Operators on Bing

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Bing has very limited documentation at the search site. There’s much more available if you just dig a little deeper. Here is the full operator documentation posted to the Boolean Strings Network, take a look.

Here are some examples of using the advanced syntax:

Looking for an Email Pattern

Searching for Resumes

Searching for LinkedIn Profiles (thanks for the hint on Glen Cathey’s blog today).

… and there’s so much more.

Let’s explore!

Comments with examples are very welcome.

Google Instant Search of Little Benefit to Sourcers, Recruiters

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Being a really slow typer I love to be helped. However, I don’t think that recently introduced instant search is likely to become a favorite tool. Here’s just a few reasons:

  • I use Google operators, and if you do, too, you may notice that it’s slower with instant search than without. Just try typing intitle:resume OR inurl:resume with and without instant search (luckily, we can turn it on and off).
  • With instant search on, I can only see 10 results on one page; I like to see 100.
  • Words guessed by Google may be of more interest to Google (since it would show more ads to click on) than to me.

What do you think?

Confidential Resumes

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In our practice as recruiters once in a while we look at “confidential” resumes, with the name and the contact info stripped off. If we are curious to find out more about the person, we can try to check the person out on the web, perhaps starting with LinkedIn.

Here is a quick example. Let’s look at a resume from the job board Jobs for IT and ERP.

Senior Applications Architect … + years of
SAP product experience.
SAP Americas Mar  till Date

BearingPoint Jan  to Mar 
As a Senior
consultant with this company, worked on a number of clients in the areas of SAP R/ and ECC .. …
IBM Corporation Aug  to Jan 
Initially joined their global services division after which worked for one of the internal divisions within IBM. Worked on a production support and new project development activities including for a large upgrade from . to .c initiative involving + users and  different geographies..

Searching for phrases in quotation marks may prove helpful:

site:linkedin.com “Initially joined their global services division after which worked for one of the internal divisions within IBM”

…it’s not always as easy as in this case, but using company names and titles it’s quite often possible to locate the person in question.

So, the info is out there and nothing is wrong in locating it. Of course, we must remain professional in ways we might use it. At the same time, we should not forward resumes of our candidates anywhere without their approval, even in a “confidential” format.

I Won the #SourceCon Contest

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I Won the #SourceCon Contest and will be going to the SourceCon later this month at the Spy Museum in Washington DC! Read more at

The #SourceCon Contest Winner is…

Webinar: LinkedIn for Recruiters

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Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
[This webinar is over and was well attended and appreciated. I will be repeating it in 2 weeks from now. Interested? Send me a note.]

88% of recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn. Yet many of us would do much better, find more candidates and contact the right candidates if we have more knowledge, insights, and examine our assumtions about this social network.

Join me for a webinar packed with information and hints on LinkedIn utilization. The webinar will be useful and have advice for people with all levels of accounts: basic, business, and “LinkedIn Recruiter”. Here are some topics I will cover:

* LinkedIn advanced search syntax
* Public and private profiles
* Out-of-network profiles
* Profile views at different level of accounts
* Why even LinkedIn Recruiter owners need to remain social
* How to get the most info for a given LinkedIn member
* Utilizing Emails, Inmails, messages, and invitations
* LinkedIn groups as a recruiting tool
* Sharing content and job posts on LinkedIn
* Company research and alerts on LinkedIn
* Searching LinkedIn from Google
* Searching LinkedIn from Bing/Yahoo
* How to cross-reference using LinkedIn
* How barely filled out profiles may be useful
* How LinkedIn is different from a Job Board
* Combining LinkedIn with Job Boards
* LinkedIn add-on tools
* Resources

The webinar is at an intermediate-to-advanced level.

Length: 90 min
Cost: $79
Date/Time: Sept 2nd, 9 am PDT/noon EDT

Unlimited Q&A for one month and the slides are included.

Boolean vs. English

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I think Boolean syntax seems hard partially because many people still try to use English to talk with search engines, while software only understands the exact syntax it is programmed to understand.

As an example, whether a particular operator works or not on Google is not a matter of someone’s experience or opinion, it is either true or false, such as whether 3+5 equals 8 or not. We wish Google would warn us about syntax mistakes but it doesn’t! If you are in doubt about an operator- or about any syntax rule –  run sample searches and test its validity.

An operator in Google is a special word followed by the column : (Examples of operators on Google are: siteinurl: intitle:) How do you verify whether a particular word works as an operator on Google? There’s a way to test, and here’s how. If a word is NOT an operator, changing the column : for any non-meaningful special character (as an example, the question mark) will leave the results the same. If the word is an operator the results will be very different. Examples follow.


sourcecon site:twitter.com

and sourcecon site?twitter.com

(or use another character, as in sourcecon site\twitter.com)

site: is an operator on Google, so the results are very different.


sourcecon linkdomain:twitter.com and

sourcecon linkdomain?twitter.com

linkdomain: doesn’t work as an operator on Google, that is why the results are exactly the same. Special characters are ignored in both cases.

Google keeps improving its searching capabilities, trying to display the results we would want to see, so testing is not always easy; but it is certainly necessary to test.  It also helps to discuss the syntax and compare notes to find out what works and what doesn’t.

The First Step in Sourcing Candidates

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The first step in Sourcing Candidates is research. We can’t just jump to write Boolean strings or to call prospective candidates before we understand the essentials about a job requisition. Though we may be pressed for time, this stage is critical to our sourcing success.

We talk to the hiring manager, the team, perhaps ask for an example of on-target resumes – and do some Internet research. Here  are some useful things to do during the research phase:

  • Explore the terminology and industry in general
  • žBased on the Job Description, find:
  1. Title synonyms
  2. Top keywords
  3. Keyword synonyms – especially for must-have’s
  4. Target companies
  5. Target geography
  6. Target schools, degrees
  7. Certifications
  8. Online places where potential candidates “hang out”
  9. Conferences, meet-ups

(Hiring Java Engineers? It would be important to know that Java and Java Script are two very different things, that “Object Oriented” is not a good keyword, that J2EE on a resume means the person writes in Java and some other things.)

I find general semantic search engines like Kngine very useful at this stage, along with other Internet places. Above you can see a screenshot from Kngine, taking us straight to the definition of a keyword.

Where do you like to perform research?