Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Getting Started » Perfect Your Search with Boolea ...
Perfect Your Search with Boolean Basics

Perfect Your Search with Boolean Basics

Learn the Logic for More Effective Job Seeking

Whether you're looking for a new job or a rhinestone monkey pendant, searching the Internet for it may require more than a simple keyword. For example, uncovering an engineering job via a search engine will be time-consuming and frustrating if you simply use the keyword "engineer." The search will likely return thousands of irrelevant results, and you'll have to sort through scores of openings for artificial intelligence, electrical, sanitation and locomotive engineers.

To conduct more advanced searches -- that is, to find more precise results on Monster and other sites -- understanding Boolean logic is a huge plus.

What Is Boolean?

Don't let the name scare you: Boolean logic is actually easy to understand. The word Boolean is derived from the 19th-century British mathematician George Boole, which, if nothing else, is a great factoid for your next dinner party.

Database administrators have used Boolean logic for decades. It's an information retrieval technique that allows several search words and phrases to be combined using operators or commands. Operators are instructions to the search engine such as "and," "or," "not" and "near." Learning to use these Boolean operators for keyword searches will help narrow your results.

Basic Boolean Operators


This operator combines keywords so that a document is retrieved if it contains any or all of the keywords.

For example, searching for "developer or engineer" will find all documents in which the words "developer" or "engineer" appear. "Or" is the default command on most, but not all, search engines, so if you use more than one word in a search without an operator, the search engine assumes each word is linked by "or."


Use "and" to combine terms so that information is retrieved only if all terms occur in the same document.

For example, "software and engineer" will find only documents where both keywords occur.


The "not" operator prevents retrieval of documents in which specified terms occur together. This operator is also helpful when a keyword has multiple meanings.

For example, "engineer not software" will find documents in which "engineer" occurs but "software" does not.


The "near" operator indicates that the search words you have entered must appear within a certain number of words of each other (usually between one and 20).

For example, a search for "sales near management" would turn up results in which the two words appear close together.

Wildcard Symbol: *

The asterisk can replace one or more letters at the end of a word. This might help you search for something that can be phrased differently.

For example, "nurs*" will find documents containing the words nurse, nursing and nurses.

Quotation Marks: " "

This operator searches for words or a phrase exactly as typed. Putting quotation marks around the words "ultrasound technologist" will find only those documents containing those two words in that exact order.

Other Boolean operators can help you fine-tune your search results, but mastering these basics will increase your accuracy and decrease your frustration. It's also worth noting that various Web sites will tinker with Boolean logic to create their own versions of the search language. For example, the popular search engine Google has its own variations.

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/27/2015
San Francisco, 94105
Posted: 05/27/2015
Posted: 05/27/2015
McAllen, 78502
Posted: 05/27/2015
La Feria, 78559

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-310