Boolean Logic and How It Can Improve Your Job Search

What is Boolean logic?

Boolean logic is an advanced internet search tool that uses a variety of commands to include or exclude important keywords and phrases. Instead of conducting 15 different searches using every possible keyword, you can use Boolean terms like AND, OR, and NOT to consolidate these into one single search.

What are the Boolean search terms and how do I use them?

There are 6 Boolean commands:

  • AND
  • OR
  • NOT
  • ( ) = parenthesis
  • “ ” = quotations
  • * = asterisk

Easy enough, right? Well, not really. Here is what they actually mean:


AND

Using this command will require ALL specified keywords to be included in your search.

Example:
Nurse AND remote will only show job listings that have both of these words included.

Note: “AND” is actually the default command when entering any amount of words without commands. So, entering remote nurse really translates as remote AND nurse, meaning it will only show listings that include both words.


OR

Using this command will allow ANY specified keywords to be included in your search. This is a great way to account for all the different words employers use to communicate the same term.

Example:
Counselor OR LPC will show jobs with EITHER the word Counselor OR the word LPC.


NOT

Using this command will EXCLUDE the keywords that follow it. This is a good way to eliminate keywords that do not pertain to you.

Example:
Nurse NOT NP will show jobs with the word Nurse, but it will exclude any jobs with the word NP


( )

Parenthesis can be used to section off commands and create a more complex request using a combination of AND/OR/NOT commands. It does get a little complicated, but with some practice you will find that it significantly improves your search results.

Example:
(Nurse OR RN) AND (Remote OR telecommute): This will show jobs with EITHER the word Nurse or RN AND jobs with EITHER the word Remote or Telecommute.

Remote (Counselor OR LPC): This will show jobs that have the word Remote AND EITHER the word Counselor or LPC

(Remote OR telecommute OR telehealth) LPN: This will show any jobs that include EITHER the word Remote, telecommute, or telehealth AND the word LPN (add as many AND/OR/NOT’s that you need).


“ ”

Quotations can be used to indicate that a string of words should be treated as one phrase.

Example:
“work from home” will show jobs with that exact phrase, whereas work from home will show any results with the words work, from, and home.


*

An asterisk can be added to any root word to include all variations of that word.

Example
nurs* will show nurse, nursing, nurses
therap* will show therapy, therapist, therapists


Play around with the different commands and measure their effectiveness by the quality of postings they produce. If you are getting a lot of non-related jobs in your searches, find out what terms you might be able to select for exclusion. For example, Indeed has an option for Employers to Select Work from Home: YES/NO. This shows up as Work from Home:  No. You can experiment by using this term in quotations as a NOT statement and see how it improves your searches (I have an example of this further down).

Where can I use Boolean search terms?

Basically any search engine on the internet, including job boards! I have started using this on Indeed with incredible results. By using Boolean search methods, I now include all my keywords on one search, subscribe to that search on Indeed, and receive one email update daily on the new postings.

What are some good Boolean searches for remote healthcare jobs?

Here are some good examples for NURSES

Here are some good examples for NURSE PRACTITIONERS

 Here are some good examples for PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS

Here are some good examples for MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Takeaway

Using Boolean logic can vastly improve the quality of your job searches. Stop following 5, 10, 15 different search histories! In fact, click any of the links above and activate that job alert for yourself. Consolidate your search into ONE line, ONE email alert, and ONE pathway to an awesome new job!

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Remote Medical Jobs is a space designed to help medical professionals find work-from-home jobs. I am a nurse who works from home and, like a lunatic, I spend all my free time helping others do the same. Happy hunting!