Good search results do not happen at random. We drive them through our queries. Whether you are searching CareerBuilder or Google the biggest mistake recruiters make is not thinking about their queries. Most recruiters just look at their new acquired job requisition and just start typing directly into the screen those keywords that they deem to be the important skills.
I went to indeed.com and pulled this position at random. I thought that this job description exemplifies the horrible descriptions we receive to work off of but it can demonstrate how we approach our searches.
If you would indulge me in reading this job description: (The only editing I did was take the company name out.)
Oracle Developer needed to design, develop, and maintain Oracle and web-based applications. In-depth knowledge of Oracle and Oracle tools is a must. 3-4 years of strong programming in PL/SQL, Oracle Forms and Reports required, plus a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent work experience. Experience in UNIX, C++, JSP, Java, and related tools is a major plus. This is a direct hire opportunity with full benefits.
The normal query would look something like this in a database like CareerBuilder:
[ oracle PL/SQL UNIX C++ JSP JAVA]
When you run the query in at first glance it seems to have done well pulling quite a few software developers but as we look closer they are a total mix of results including a few resumes of recruiters.
Here are my suggestions; since PL/SQL (Procedural Language/Structured Query Language) is Oracle Corporation’s proprietary server-based procedural extension to the SQL database language, you don’t have to use the keyword “Oracle”; especially if you use some of the subset of PL/SQL like DDL or DCL or DML . Our query would begin to look something like this;
[ (PL/SQL OR DDL OR DCL OR DML) ]
Also this position calls for web based application development and JSP is mentioned specifically. Since JSP generates html and xml there is no need to use those acronyms, but we can use Java to draw more of the web based work. Some people would use JSP OR Java Server pages so it would we good to use both formats.
[ (PL/SQL OR DDL OR DCL OR DML)(JSP OR “Java-Server pages” ]
If you went outside of the resume databases into a search engine like http://www.google.com/; you’d have to add a little something extra to re-emphasizes the database portion of the job try adding (RDBMS OR ORDBMS). In google the query would look like this:
[ resume (RDBMS OR ORDBMS)(PL/SQL OR DDL OR DCL OR DML)(JSP OR “java server pages”) -job -jobs -submit ]
The point of this exercise is that you need to visualize the results you want and then work the keywords to drive them out through the query. The one thing to remember as researchers/sourcers/recruiters is that we are not called to be engineers or programmers or experts in whatever field you are recruiting for but you do have to develop an expertise at finding the right keywords for your query.