Boolean Searching for Jobs, Companies and People

The definition of Boolean search is that it’s a type of search that allows users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to produce more relevant results.

Here are the basic operators for Boolean searches when looking for jobs, types of companies and people. This can be used in any search engine like google or in the search bar of LinkedIn


When you want to include two (or more) criteria in your search, the operator AND narrows down your search. For example, a Boolean search string if you are looking for a job which is in Management and Banking, adding the AND will produce results (web pages or company/ people profiles) that include both keywords.


The OR operator, on the other hand, allows us to expand our Boolean search results. People might use different words to say the same thing. OR is particularly useful for synonyms, like ‘bank OR finance OR financial.


The NOT operator excludes unwanted terms from your Google sourcing search. Instead of NOT, you for Google you need to use the minus symbol followed by your unwanted term without leaving a space (e.g. in LinkedIn you can use NOT recruiter in Google -recruiter.)

Brackets ()

You can use brackets to group multiple search strings and set your priorities. This will come in handy, as most searches are complex and combine different keywords. For example, (developer OR designer) AND Java indicates that Java knowledge is a must-have both for developers and designers. But, in a designer OR (developer AND Java) search, Java knowledge is important only for the developers you’re looking for – not the designers.

Quotation marks “ “

If you want Google to consider the phrase you’re searching for as a complete phrase, you should put it in quotation marks. For example, leaving a blank space between project and manager will provide pages that contain both of the words project and manager, but not necessarily together. You should type “project manager” to get more relevant results 

The wild card (*)

You could use an asterisk (*) to get more results for the term you’re looking for. For example, account* will provide you with results both for accounting and accountant. 


Let’s say you are looking for a job as a Project Manager or a Project Director in Hong Kong in Consumer or Retail Industries. A search in Google would look like this:

(“project manager” OR “project director”) and (consumer OR retail) AND “Hong Kong”

This will bring up a list of jobs.

This search in LinkedIn will bring up a list of people you can connect with

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