June 22, 2018

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Super Strings

There's more to sourcing resumes on a job board than just the traditional "string" or Boolean searches for candidates with a specific skill set who might live in a particular location. Finding the right candidate often entails a more specific approach, like targeting workers from the "competition", workers with certifications, or workers with past experience on certain types of projects. Sometimes these criteria will be spelled out to you by the client, or it may be up to you to develop this profile based on less specific reqs.

Target: The Competition

Whether the client has indicated a desire to hire out of certain companies, or you have targeted a few firms that are experts in the field, the process is the same. You want to develop a series of "strings" or key terms that will appear in the resume of your ideal candidate. Start by going to the company's website. Log on to their corporate site and click through until you find corporate email addresses. Often there are many email servers with names that are different from the main web domain name: i.e., the Smith & Jones Company may have the Web domain of, while an email address from the site might be Because individuals may be "blinding" the information on their resumes - leaving out their current employer - having a full arsenal of terms for a given company will assure that all candidates associated with that firm will come up on a search.

When you return to search resumes, load in a string with OR separating each term, using the company name (Smith & Jones), Web site address ( and any email servers (

Target: Certification

In many job searches a common concern is to find candidates with certifications appropriate to the positions you are filling. If you are already familiar with these certifications (i.e., Project Management Institute or Project Management Professional), go to the website and research the terms used to describe the certification. Is there a common abbreviation used (PMI or PMP)? Is there a website associated with explaining the certification, one that a candidate might hyperlink to his resume ( Again, take all of these terms back to your search for resumes, plugging them into the more conventional strings targeting skills or location.

Target: Academia

Sometimes an employer expresses a desire for candidates associated with a particular graduate school program or curriculum. In all areas, technical and non-technical, there are always schools that are considered the best in their field. One way to determine these schools is to work backwards from your best candidates' resumes. Notice if a few university or college names re-occur. Log on to those schools and see if their curriculum would provide the training for your type of candidate. Bring up the name of the school (extended and abbreviated, i.e. University of Michigan and U of M), the school's main home or alumni page URL, and research institutions or schools within the larger university.

Building Momentum

Each of the techniques outlined can have a cumulative effect on your ongoing search efforts. Save information on colleges, universities and certification bodies in your browser bookmarks. Keep a data file of email servers associated with your favorite companies. Group these by technology or skill set. Once you've been through a search a few times you'll be able hit the ground running when you get a new job order. If you have ongoing needs in a given area, you can regularly search these same terms and pull up just the freshest resumes as they are made active online!

-Carl Kutsmode
Founder & President