Boolean & Field-Based Search

When you type words or phrases into the Keywords search box, we use the latest machine learning and search technology to bring relevant results to the top. If you want more control over your search, you can use SeekOut's advanced Boolean search syntax.

This feature is available for users with Essential, Professional, or Enterprise licenses.

To use Boolean, go to SeekOut search and select the Public Profile tab at the top of the page. Enter your Boolean search string into the Keywords or Boolean box on the left side of the page.

Check out our blog for a deep-dive into Boolean and SeekOut: Boolean Search in Recruitment

Using Boolean Syntax


  • When using Boolean search, you can use the operators OR, AND, and NOT to control the fields which are required to be in your results.

  • Operators must be entered in all caps (e.g. advertising OR marketing).

  • Quotation marks are used to indicate a multi-word phrase.

    • When you use quotation marks around a phrase, SeekOut will also look for search results with special characters like & and - separating the words.

    • "pre sales" will return profiles with pre sales and pre-sales, "proctor gamble" will return profiles with Proctor&Gamble, etc.

  • Parentheses control how the Boolean operators are grouped

  • There is an implied AND operator between keywords if they are not inside of quotation marks or parentheses.

    • marketing manager will return candidates with marketing and manager in their profile, while "marketing manager" will return candidates with the term "marketing manager" in their profile.

    • The implied AND is present when there is a space or a line-break between keywords. You can add a line-break by pressing Shift + Enter in the keywords field.

  • The NOT operator cannot be used on its own. You have to have other search terms in your keyword box.

    • Entering NOT frontend as a search will return an error, but entering something before the NOT operator like backend NOT frontend will give you search results.

  • The minus symbol ( - ) can be used as NOT to eliminate terms or keywords from your search.

Note Tip: Press Shift + Enter in the keyword box to create a line break. Line-breaks have an implied AND operator between keywords. Press Enter to search with your terms.


software AND java AND NOT recruiter

Find profiles that contains the words software and java, but does not have the word recruiter

"product support" AND (automotive OR locomotive)

Find profiles that contains the phrase product support and either term automotive or locomotive

"Bank of America"

Find profiles that contain the exact phrase "Bank of America"

python AND geospatial AND past_titles:(engineer OR developer) -Scientist

Finds candidates who have python and geospatial mentioned on their profile, have past job titles as an engineer or developer, but excludes profiles mentioning the word scientist.

For more real-world Boolean search examples see our Definitive Guide to Boolean Searches for Recruiters.

Use the structure fieldname:searchterm to find words in a specific part of the candidate's profile. Boolean operators can be used with these field searches.


Find profiles with Java in their skills list. 

skills:java AND cur_title:("business analyst" OR engineer)

Find profiles with Java as a skill and having a current title containing the complete phrase business analyst or engineer.

You can also use wildcard operators in field searches.


Find profiles with a skill starting with java (e.g., java, javascript, javabeans, etc.)

List of Field Names

  • first_name:

  • last_name:

  • full_name:

  • city:

  • state:

  • country:

  • headline:

  • url:

  • projects:

  • skills:

  • industry:

  • li_industry:

  • positions/description:

  • summary:

  • publications:

  • patents:

  • cur_company:

  • past_companies:

  • cur_title:

  • past_titles:

  • prev_locations:

  • schools:

  • majors:

  • degrees:

  • grad_year:

  • languages:

  • certifications:

  • volunteering:

  • groups:

  • courses:

  • interests:

  • honors_awards:

You can even combine these fields together to create highly-targeted searches, such as:

cur_title:finance AND degrees:bachelors AND majors:(finance OR accounting) AND NOT cur_company:SeekOut

This example displays candidates whose current job title has the word finance, who have a bachelors degree in finance or accounting, and who are not currently working at SeekOut.

The Boolean operator AND NOT can be shortened to NOT when searching within SeekOut.

Expert Search Field Names

The following field names can be used in Expert Search.

  • full_name:

  • affiliations:

  • categories:

  • sub_categories:

  • tags:

  • conferences:

  • conf_instances:

  • journals:

  • doc_types:

  • publishers:

  • pub_years:

SeekOut's search supports even more powerful searches, including proximity/near searches and wildcards.

To learn more about these power features, see the article Advanced Boolean search with SeekOut.