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Finding candidates on the Web

By Michael Stamp

You have all heard about them, you've all probably tried to find them but you probably just don't have the time to search for them through all the recruiter ads and articles to find that perfect free CV.

In this months article I am going to show you how to harness the power of the WWW, using search engines, so that the information you want comes back quickly and accurately.

The first thing you have to do is to choose the best Search Engine for the job. No two search engines are the same, so choosing the right ones to use is imperative. Remember though, to do a thorough search of the WWW, you must learn to use multiple search engines as different engines will find you different results. The ones I recommend are:

These three engines all have good sized web site indexes and all of them allow us to construct our searches using advance search techniques.

Before we start, lets take a quick look at the advanced features of the search engine that we need to use. These advanced features are called 'field seaches' and they allow us to look for keywords in very specific areas of a web site. The two main 'field searches' are:


Searches for our keyword(s) in the actual title of the webpage (The blue bar that runs across the top of the page)


Searches for our keyword(s) in the web address

The first thing we must consider are the words we could use to identify a CV on the web. Worlds like cv and vitae are normally a good starting point.

We will use for our search. This is the advanced search section for Altavista.

The first thing that we need to do is construct the basic search to find our CV's and typically it will look like this. (feel free to copy and paste these searches directly into the 'search with' box)

(url:cv OR url:vitae OR url:resume)

If you enter these basic criteria and run the search you will see that you get in access of 27,000 UK based results. Some of the results are not exactly what we were looking for and this is common in this type of search until you add some additional search criteria.

Supposing we are looking for the CV's for Web Designers, typically you would look for a software developer or software engineer. Lets add these terms to our search.

(url:cv OR url:vitae OR url:resume)AND (developer OR designer OR programmer)

Now we have almost 3,000 CV's for developers. Now we can start adding the skill sets we are looking for to give us a more manageable set of results.

(url:cv OR url:vitae OR url:resume)AND (developer OR designer OR programmer) AND java AND html AND "C++"

Now we have almost 500 CV's for UK based Web Developers with JAVA, HTML and C++ as their skill set.

Try experimenting with the skill sets and industry sectors. You will be amazed at the information that is freely available on the WWW if you are willing and patient enough to take a look.

First article: E-cruitment is revolutionising the Recruitment Industry

Previous article: A Searching Strategy

Michael Stamp is the Managing Director of Recruitmate. Website:, or contact him at

Copyright ©Michael Stamp 2004


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