Boolean Search – So Simple Yet So Powerful

Boolean searches are a way to search LinkedIn, Google and other search engines, and job boards. The basic operators are AND, OR and NOT. These must be in ALL CAPS when using them to do a Boolean search..

AND: Provide results that only contain both elements

Example: LinkedIn Jobs tab: You want jobs in the Philadelphia area that have marketing and “social media” in the job description.

Note that I put social media in quote marks. This forces the search engine to look for that exact phrase.

For those of you who remember Venn diagrams, the Boolean AND is the intersection of the two sets:

This search gives in 1,321 results. Hmmm… maybe get more specific? Try “digital marketing” and “social media”:

         

Getting more specific gives us 330 results.

OR: Provide results that contain either element

Example: LinkedIn Jobs tab: You want jobs in the Philadelphia area that have marketing or “social media” in the job description.

       

This search gives 12,868 results. You can narrow down the search by being more specific in your search terms or narrowing the geographic area.

NOT: Excludes results with this word/phrase

Example: LinkedIn Jobs tab: You want jobs in the Philadelphia area that have marketing but not “social media” in the job description.

         

This returns 10,461 results

Simple, but powerful. You can combine these, using parentheses, for more complex searches.

For example: (digital OR seo OR marketing OR online OR advertising OR web OR multimedia) AND (associate OR analyst OR manager OR producer)

         

This returns 14,966 results. To narrow the search down, use your zip code and a radius. For example: 5 miles from zip code 19141 produces 92 results:

So far, all the examples have been using LinkedIn’s Jobs tab. Let’s look some examples from doing LinkedIn searches:

NOTE: To learn how to do these types of searches, see How to do LinkedIn searches on this page.

So, next time you search on LinkedIn, Google or another job board or search engine, try a Boolean search!

Need help with how to do searches on LinkedIn? Unsure what Boolean search terms to use? Looking for other job search or career transition assistance? Contact Debra Franke, Assistant Director of Alumni Career Programs at franke@lasalle.edu.