How to Find Resumes on the Internet with Google

Posted by | February 23, 2009 | Google, How-To's, Resume Sourcing | 36 Comments

 

Want to learn how to find resumes on the Internet using Google?  You’ve come to the right place!

Whether you are new to searching the Internet for resumes or you are a veteran Interent sourcer, I’ve included some tips, tricks, and observations for the novice and expert alike.

Targeting Resumes

When using Google to search specifically for resumes, it’s a good idea to begin by searching for the word “resume” in the title and/or the url of web pages.

For example: (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume)

Here is a sample result to illustrate how this works – we can see the word “Resume” in the blue TITLE line, as well as in the green URL line. The first line of any search result is the title of the webpage, and the url is the specific web page’s address.

Targeting the word “resume” in the title and/or url is very handy, because for many people, it’s simply common sense/instinct to either title the web page containing their resume with the word “resume,” and/or save their resume using the word “resume” in the name of the file.

Eliminating False Positive Results

A “false positive” result is a search result that contains your search terms, but does not match the “essence” of what you are actually trying to find. For example – if you’re searching for resumes, there are many sites that will be returned in your search results that are in fact not resumes, such as sites advertising resume samples and job postings that mention phrases such as, “submit resumes to…”

In order to remove most non-resume false positive results, you can use Google’s version of the Boolean NOT operator, which is the minus sign, to prevent your search from returning results with words such as sample, job, etc.

For example:

(intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) -job -jobs -sample -samples

Other ideas of terms you can try to eliminate that may return false positive results:

-eoe -submit -free -”resume service” -template -”resume service” -“resume writers” -“resume writing” 

Targeting Local Resumes

Area Codes

Some people who decide to make their resume available on the Internet also decide to publish a phone number. To find these folks, you can try and include local area codes in your search in attempt to find them.

Here is my favorite area code lookup site

Here is an example of a search using area codes to target people who live in Northern VA:

(intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) -job -jobs -sample -samples -“resume service” (703 OR 571)

What you’ll notice, however, is that searching for area codes can easily produce false positive results, as can be seen in the screenshot below – which are the first 4 results from the search. Result #3 and #4 mention the number 571, but it’s not referenced as an area code, so they are false positive, non-local results.

To clean up the false positive results that mention 571 or 703 but are not of resumes of people who live in VA, you can add the state and state abbreviation to the search as well as exclude more non-resume terms and phrases:

(intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) -job -jobs -sample -samples -template -”resume service” -“resume writers” -“resume writing” (703 OR 571) (VA OR Virginia)

While there are still a good number of non-resume false positive results, this can be expected because we didn’t even search for any keywords/skills. Once we do, we will notice a significant drop off in false positives.

For example:

(intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) java oracle -job -jobs -sample -samples -template -”resume service” -“resume writers” -“resume writing” (703 OR 571) (VA OR Virginia)

 

Zip Codes

Another way to search for local resumes is to target a zip code radius.

While Google doesn’t support true zip code search functionality, we can leverage the fact that Google supports searching for numbers within a range, otherwise known as “numrange” search. You can perform a numrange search on any sequential (low to high) set of numbers by typing two periods between the numbers without any spaces. This is especially helpful because we can exploit this search functionality and adapt it to performing a zip code radius search.

For example, take your target zip code and use this handy zip code radius lookup application, which you can use to search for zip codes in a radius and sort the zip codes within the radius from low to high.

Using a central zip code of 75201 in Dallas, TX and targeting a 20 mile radius, we can use that zip code radius application to get a range of zip codes from a low zip code of 75001 to a high zip code of 76155.

Using Google’s numrange search syntax, here is an example of a search string targeting people within a 20-mile radius of 75201 in TX:

Java (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) -job -jobs -sample -samples -”resume service” 75001..76155 (TX OR Texas)

Sample results: you can see the zip code search worked beautifully:

Be Aware

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when searching for local resumes:

  • Not everyone will publish a phone number on their resume
  • If they do publish a phone number on their resume, it could be a cell phone with a non-local area code if they relocated from another area – this is why is can be helpful to search for zip codes as well as area codes
  • If they don’t publish a phone number at all, they should at least mention a city and/or state

Targeting Resumes That Are Not Titled As “Resume”

Although plenty of people do title their resume or the web page containing their resume with the word “resume,” there are some people who don’t. After searching for all of the results that DO contain the word “resume” in the URL or title of the web page, you need to try to eliminate them from future search results using Google’s NOT operator, the minus sign, to specifically target the results that don’t mention resume in the title or URL. For example:

-inurl:resume -intitle:resume

Don’t be tempted to try and write that as -(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume), because Google will not read that search string in the manner in which you intend. Instead of eliminating results with the word “resume” in either the URL or the title, Google will in fact will do the exact opposite. Click here to see the sad reality. Sorry Google.

Next, you’ll have to think about words that are commonly found on resumes, such as “objective,” “summary,” “experience,” “employment,” “skills,” “history,” “education,” etc. Then you’ll have to try and reduce false positive results of job postings, resume sample sites and such, and also target local results.  Putting it all together, your search string could look like this:

Java -intitle:resume -inurl:resume (objective OR summary) (experience OR history) education -job -jobs -sample -samples (301 OR 240 OR 410) (MD OR Maryland)

First page results:

Analyzing the Results

We can see that the first result is essentially of a resume, yet the person saved their work history as “biodata.” See?  Some people don’t use the word resume. :-)

Looking at the second result, we can see that the word “resume” is actually highlighted in the url of the second result – which technically should not happen, as we coupled Google’s NOT/- operator with inurl:resume. Yet more proof that Boolean search does not = Internet search.  That’s 2 strikes, Google.

The third result is definitely not a resume – it is a LinkedIn directory by name, within which is at least one positive hit on our search terms.

When You Stray, You Pay

While there are no doubt resumes on the Internet that do not mention the word “resume,” anywhere within them, I have found that when you stray from targeting the word “resume” in web page titles and URLs, you can quickly find yourself swimming in a sea of false positive results, which is a huge time drain.

I believe the 80/20 Pareto principle solidly applies here: You will get 80% of your viable results from targeted resume searches and the other 20% from searching without targeting the word “resume.” Likewise, you can easily waste 80% of your time trying to sort through the sea of false positives in order to dig up the 20% of resumes that do not mention the term.

Conclusion

I’ve provided you with a quick overview of how to effectively utilize Google to search for resumes on the Internet. Be aware though – all is not perfect in when hunting for resumes in Google land – if you have not already, please read these 2 posts: The Internet has Free Resumes – So What?and Boolean search does not = Internet search.

Have Unanswered Questions?

For those of you who read this post and asked why I:

  • didn’t talk about searching for CV’s
  • didn’t suggest using the tilde ~ operator in conjuntion with the word “resume”
  • didn’t use -~job when trying to eliminate false positive results
  • didn’t talk about targeting filetypes
  • didn’t talk about just searching for the word “resume” without using it in conjunction with inurl: or intitle:
  • didn’t mention Google CSE’s

…you’re in luck.  All you have to do is read this post in which I debunk common Google resume search suggestions and assumptions.

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About Glen Cathey

Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually). Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300 recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent Connect - U.S. '10, '11, '12, Toronto '12, London '12, 2X Australasian Talent Conference - Sydney & Melbourne '11, '12, 6X SourceCon, 2X TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone other than himself.

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  • http://www.nityo.com Sunil Bhattu

    Excellent Article! Real insight seen in the description and also hands on expertise. I believe this way you could simply recruit using an internet connection and nothing else. This is very impressive. Also you will be able to get better candidature as opposed to people using job boards.

    Thanks Glen! This really was a value addition to my efforts!

  • Gururajesh

    Hi Glen,
    I have tried the search as ‘site:linkedin.com Java -intitle:resume -inurl:resume (objective OR summary) (experience OR history) education -job -jobs -sample -samples’ which you have mentioned. But I didn’t get any result from linkedin site. If I modify the search keyword as ‘site:linkedin.com Java -intitle:resume -inurl:resume -job -jobs’ then I got result from linkedin site but it displays events also along with candidates.
    Regards,
    Gururajesh.

  • http://www.ptc.com Paul, Amit

    Hi,
    I found this article very interesting and appealing as I have been trying to learn ways to do sourcing for resumes on the internet. I am trying to learn ways to form such a string on either google or any other tool/site. I am new to this and can hardly understand all the requirements.Could you be kind enough to post an article for the same? I have already subscribed on this site.
    Best,
    Paul.

  • Shan

    Hi,

    Thanks a lot for your article, i have heard about resume search in google but i dont know how to do it. After reading your article i have got an idea to do it.. i will try

    please post me the articles related to this search and job search in US.

    i do appriciate your help…

    thanks
    Shan

  • sunitha

    Thank you so much.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR

  • Venu G Cirra

    Hey, thanks a lot for all the information you are sharing with. Its real cool. How ever I would like to know more about sourcing the resume. Please help me out.

    Thanks
    Venu G Cirra

  • Venu G Cirra

    Wonderful. Thanks

  • Sherwin

    Hi,

    I’m really great full about this article. I’m currently new in the field of Human Resource. And I’m currently using an online subscription based resume search. But unfortunately, it’s not enough to fullfill my search. I’m currently looking for a faster and accurate resume search.

  • Clint Buelter

    Excellent article, with a ton of great search refining information.

    I have what seems like a dumb question that I must ask. I am searching Google for Android engineers and have used the following string:

    android engineer OR Mobile Programmer resume filetype:pdf -guide -events -hire -amazon -job -jobs -manual

    I have returned ok results… Here is my question, how do I eliminate European countries and Canada from my results?

    I look forward to your reply. Thanks again.

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  • Rahul

    Thanks so much…

  • Sunil

    Spectecular idea

    Excellent

  • http://www.intelligentsearchagents.com Jason

    Internet Resume Search 2.0 does all the internet search work for you using the major search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing at: http://www.intelligentsearchagents.com/internet-resume-search.php

  • Chan

    Thank you so much for this article.

  • Gonanagesh

    Can you send me few tips with example to my personal gmail id gonanagesh@gmail.com

  • Juliette

    Great article! Thank you for sharing this knowledge. It’s going to be very useful for my searches. I do have one question though, how do I narrow a search for a SEO expert who needs to have worked on one of the top Alexa 100 sites? Basically, how do I add criteria to my search?
    Thanks!

  • Arjun Dev1988

     how to type the keywords for the need requirment………

  • Sandesh Kesarkar

    Thanks So Much

  • http://www.gurutechnoworld.com seo training chandigarh

    Designing was passion so got it worked for, have a look on the new trends of Designers

  • Ismail Recruiter

    Hi Glen; I tried your string on Google and indeed was very helpful i getting resumes in USA, but i mostly work on European requirements, can you please advise how to source if i am looking out for profiles in multiple countries in Europe with Bilingual language option. Thanks

  • https://www.techienow.com/virus-removal-services Charitydoherty

    Very informative, that’s exactly what i am looking for. Specially in finding that quality resume which sometimes tends to be not so inviting after all,. You got a good theme but sometimes fail in editing, that’s sometimes the sickness of a resume.

  • https://www.techienow.com/virus-removal-services Virus_removal_service

    You’re right. And, are you kiddin’me, i’ve been looking that information for weeks. Great Post plus i like the website’s layout. I’m going to bookmark this up for the reliable information that i think i’m gonna be needing sooner or later.

  • Palakverma

    Awesome! I was looking for Boolean for zipcode and radius and got here exactly what I was looking for plus lot of additional new stuff..Excellent way of putting the concept and explaination..Thanks for the article!
    Regards,
    Palak

  • Krisss

    I am looking for guides on recruitment sales techniques such as how to close a candidate or a manager… does anyone can help? Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

  • Dharani

    I learnt a lot from this article…..thanks a lot……

  • http://twitter.com/juliean83167422 julieanderson

    Finding the resume is easy but finding the good resumes with all the contents is very difficult!!

    Sample CV

  • Mohideen

    Need job send your resume to resumes@reclutaconsultant,

  • puneet

    awsome

  • Kings

    For what type of Position and Company?

  • Jeevan

    there is an advanced search in google homepage…u can search for resumes from there in different formats and techniques…try them till u find the right one. thanks.

  • Sophie Bousset

    Thank you so much for writing this article! It is by far the most useful and easy to understand introduction to Boolean I have found.

    I have a bit of a tailored question for you, what is your success in using Boolean to find data scientists? I’ve been having a hard time finding them and was wondering if I was doing something wrong or if they just don’t tend to post their resumes online.

    I would greatly appreciate any insights you have to offer! (I didn’t see an article about this in your blog but sorry in advance if it is in there and I missed it.)

  • vasanth sai kumar

    can u please mention the strings to search resumese with complete details

  • vivek pillai

    oh i need to fix my problem in various ways, how could help me in this situation …

  • vivek pillai

    Glen
    Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years
    of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO
    environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually).
    Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly
    advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the
    SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working
    out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300
    recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best
    practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to
    present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent
    Connect – U.S. ’10, ’11, ’12, Toronto ’12, London ’12, 2X Australasian
    Talent Conference – Sydney & Melbourne ’11, ’12, 6X SourceCon, 2X
    TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies
    (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This
    blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or
    opinions of anyone other than himself. – See more at:
    http://booleanblackbelt.com/2009/02/how-to-find-resumes-on-the-internet-with-google/#sthash.Hpf1fZHG.dpuf