Advanced Boolean search with SeekOut

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SeekOut supports advanced search syntax. If you want to go beyond keywords and basic Boolean, try these advanced query functions. Many of these methods can be combined to form very specific candidate searches.

Start with the article Boolean and Field-Based Search before reading on.


Proximity searches are used to find two or more non-consecutive terms in a document. Insert a tilde ~ symbol at the end of a quoted phrase followed by a number. The number specifies the maximum number of words that separate the terms.

Proximity searches are bi-directional. This method will return candidate profiles that contain your search terms in any order.


"senior engineer"~1 

Finds profiles with terms including:

  • senior software engineer
  • senior electrical engineer
  • senior operations engineer
"clinical scientist"~2 

Finds profiles with terms including

  • clinical retinal research scientist
  • clinical biological scientist
  • scientist specializing in clinical studies
"customer support manager"~2 

Finds profiles with terms including

  • customer support and training manager
  • manager of customer support
  • support manager and head customer outreach supervisor


Wildcards are placeholders for any value. You use * or ? to indicate the wildcards. 

  • * is used to represent multiple characters
  • ? is used to represent a single character only



Finds engineer, engineering, English, engine, and more.


Finds store, story, stork, etc.


Finds woman and women.

  • Wildcards only operate on single terms, not phrases.
  • You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Fuzzy search

A fuzzy search finds matches in terms that have letters in common. 

To run a fuzzy search, use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a single word. SeekOut will return profiles which have similar spellings. 



Finds profiles with SDE2, STE2, SDE3, etc. 

  • Fuzzy search can only be applied to terms, not phrases.

Preferred / "Nice-to-have" 

Sometimes you have skills or experience in mind that candidates aren't required to have, but it would be nice if they did. List each "nice-to-have" term inside a parentheses, separated by OR. At the end of the list, add OR true:y and close the parentheses. Candidate profiles with nice-to-have skills will appear at the top of your search results, and candidates without these skills will be placed lower in your results.


past_companies:(google OR facebook OR microsoft OR true:y) cur_title:ceo

Finds all candidates whose current title is CEO. Candidates who worked for Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in the past will appear at the top of your search results.

(seekout OR bullhorn OR glassdoor OR true:y) cur_title:(sourc* OR recruiter)

Finds all candidates who have the terms sourc* or recruiter in their current title. Candidates who have SeekOut, Bullhorn, or Glassdoor in their profile will appear at the top of your results.


Combine a search term with the caret ^ character followed by a number to boost the relevancy of that term in your search results. Candidate profiles containing a boosted search term will appear at the top of your results.

You can use any whole number between 2 and 99 when boosting. The higher the number, the greater the emphasis on that term. You can also de-emphasize a term by using a number between 0.1 and 0.9. Candidate profiles with de-emphasized terms will appear near the bottom of your search results.


majors:(physics^5 OR math OR computer)

Finds candidates with college majors containing the terms physics, math, or computer. Physics is boosted by 5, so candidates with a major in physics will be displayed at the top of your results.

schools:("Carnegie Mellon"^10 OR stanford^5 OR california)

Finds candidates who went to schools named Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, or one with California in its name. Carnegie Mellon is boosted by 10 and Stanford by 5, so candidates from Carnegie Mellon will be displayed first, followed by candidates from Stanford, then candidates from other schools with California in their name.


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