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: “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.



and sourcecon site?

(or use another character, as in sourcecon site\

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


sourcecon and

sourcecon linkdomain?

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?

Powered by Bing

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For those who are wondering what is happening with the Yahoo-Bing deal, here’s an update.

We all know that Yahoo will power its search by the Bing algorithm – all over the world – soon. How does the transfer happen? It’s not that the Yahoo syntax will “gradually” be moved to the Bing’s syntax, adding Bing special search operators and removing Yahoo special operators. (Also, for those who wonder, this transfer does not affect Google – other than in its stock price.)

The way the transfer happens is that more and more users will see exactly the same results from a Yahoo search as they would see by searching on Bing. This is happening in the US. If you are one of those users – your Yahoo search, in fact, does this:

  • picks your search string,
  • sends it to Bing,
  • gets back the resulting pages,
  • shows to you.

This is a complete switch: the Yahoo syntax no longer works and the Bing syntax does. At this point, Yahoo in the UK, Yahoo in Russia and Yahoo in many other countries are still powered by the Yahoo algorithm. Many (if not all)  US folks already see the Bing search results when we use

To check which algorithm “your” Yahoo uses, try searching in Bing in parallel and compare the results. Or, take a look at the very bottom of the Yahoo search page and see whether it says “powered by Bing” in very small letters.

By the way the operator linkdomain, used alone, still works on, forwarding us to its “site explorer“.

Partial Profiles

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For those of you lucky folks who are using LinkedIn Recruiter this wouldn’t be a surprise – but I haven’t tried the service up till this weekend, when I was looking at a client’s search together with the client who has this type of account.

Here is what I’ve observed. With all the industrial strength search and ability to send dozens of inmails, the results we see in the LinkedIn Recruiter search are very partial views of the profiles.

(To start with, the LinkedIn Recruiter doesn’t highlight the search keywords while a search with a basic account does.)  And here’s what you would see in a profile viewed from a LinkedIn Recruiter account:

Compared to the profile view someone from a person’s network would have (log in to see what I mean; a “basic” LinkedIn account is fine) the view from a LinkedIn Recruiter has none of these:

  • picture
  • status
  • Twitter ID
  • public profile URL
  • groups the person is a member of
  • attached files, possibly including a full resume
  • latest blog posts from WordPress – or any other LinkedIn applications’ addition to profiles.

Even the public profile accessible without logging into LinkedIn would have the picture and the groups, but the LinkedIn Recruiter view lacks that info and hides the URL of the public profile along with that.

As a LinkedIn Recruiter user, would you want to see any of these: attached files, groups, blogs, the missing “social network” content, like seen in the screenshots below? OK; log into LinkedIn with a personal account from a different browser and you will see all that. So, if you use LinkedIn Recruiter, it’s best to run your personal LinkedIn account side-by-side and check profiles from there. (Want to know how? Shoot me a note.) Maybe you will save yourself an inmail or two and altogether will be much more efficient while recruiting.


How to Find Candidates Using the Internet – Aug 31st @ 11 am

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Space is limited. The last webinar was sold out.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
This webinar is for Boolean “beginners”, beginner-to-intermediate level sourcers, “old-school” recruiters wanting to jump on the web sourcing bandwagon, and for those who use the web for sourcing but are questioning whether they are using the best available tools in the best possible ways.

We will go over:
• Sourcing on Google and other search engines,
• Sourcing on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks,
• Sourcing terminology such as semantic, deep web and real time search.

The purpose is to create a mental “map” of sourcing tools and possibilities. After attending the webinar you might decide to venture out with Google advanced operators if you haven’t yet, to get deeper knowledge on a specific tool – or perhaps delegate your sourcing work to someone else.

Come prepared for a fast-paced webinar. All attendees will receive the slides. We will include an interactive Q&A period at the end. One month of unlimited Q&A over email is included.

Length: 90 min
Price: $79
Date/time: Tue Aug 31st, 2 pm EDT/11 am PDT

How to Find the Hidden Person’s Name

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If you have a basic LinkedIn account, chances are that you keep running into those “private” and “out-of-network” profiles – as on the screenshot above – with no names, just the titles. We’ve discussed before that one can try and find the hidden name by pasting a sentence or two from the profile into Google with the hopes of finding the public profile of the mysterious person.

This works quite often, but not every time. Search engines may miss pages, miss keywords, and it takes some time for the engines to discover new results. Here is how to find the name of the person – without leaving LinkedIn. This should work for true “private” profiles as well – those that are visible only for LinkedIn members.

Step 1. Click on the nameless search results in LinkedIn and look at the URL; you will see the person’s LinkedIn ID “embedded” in it – it is a number (typically, large – close to 80 mln. for the people who joined recently). Copy the number.

Step 2. Click on this link. You don’t have to send me a message (please do, if you like, of course); the link is here for the purposes of our name discovery: Send me a message on LinkedIn

Step 3. Paste the number you have saved instead of my LinkedIn ID that you will see at the end of this link.

Et voilà…