Permissions: Job Admin and above

Product tier: Available for all subscription tiers

Boolean queries are a type of search that allows you to combine keywords or phrases to produce more relevant results. This querying method is supported when searching candidates in Greenhouse Recruiting.

In this article:

Enable Boolean queries for candidate searches

To enable Boolean queries for candidate searches, click All Candidates from your navigation bar. From the All Candidates page, toggle Full Text Search on the left panel.

Boolean queries are now enabled for candidate searches. You can use the Search candidates field to find candidates using Boolean operators and modifiers.

Note: If you're unfamiliar with Boolean queries we suggest reviewing the additional resources below.

Additional resources

In this section, we have organized the most fundamental Boolean operators and modifiers to help you get started.

You can find an in-depth look at Boolean operators and modifiers in this external resource.

Note: If you are copying and pasting your Boolean search string from MS Word or other programs, quotation marks will be treated as "smart quotes" which are not compatible with Boolean search. If you're using quotation marks in your search, type them in or copy without formatting using a notepad program. For more information on smart quotes, click here.

Boolean operators

Boolean operators connect your search terms. Use the table below for examples of common Boolean operators.

Boolean operator Example Description
AND engineer AND "senior developer"

AND limits your search because you're requiring that any search term following AND must appear in the results. This should help when you're trying to find candidates who possess a certain set of skills and experience.

Example: engineer AND "senior developer" will return results that include both the word "engineer" and the phrase "senior developer." All search results will include both. Results will not include resumes, notes, or scorecards that have either "engineer" or "senior developer."

OR trainer OR instructor OR teacher

OR provides options in a search so that the results will include either or both terms. In other words, it expands and broadens your search so that you get more results. Using the OR command allows you to create a list of possibilities for which only one match is important. 

Example: trainer OR instructor OR teacher will return results that contain one or more of the stated words that are synonymous.

NOT architect NOT "software architect"

NOT is the command of exclusion. If there are closely related terms that mean very different things, then using NOT is extremely helpful.

Example: architect NOT "software architect" will return results that contain the word "architect," but leave out any results that use the phrase "software architect."

Boolean modifier: phrase searching

Boolean modifiers enable you to keep phrases intact or to perform sub queries within your main query. Use the table below for examples of common Boolean modifiers.

Boolean modifier Example Description

" "

quotation marks

"senior engineer"

Quotation marks are used to capture a phrase that is to be kept intact in the exact word order stated. Not using "" around a phrase will mean that each word is treated separately, usually with an assumed AND in between each one. 

Example: senior engineer will return any results that have the words "senior" and "engineer" attached to them, while "senior engineer" will return only results that have the words "senior engineer" combined as a phrase.

( )


(MIT OR Harvard) AND "Computer Science"

Use parentheses to group clauses to form sub queries.

Example: (MIT OR Harvard) AND "computer science" will return results that have "MIT" or "Harvard" and "computer science."

Boolean modifier: wildcard searches

Boolean wildcard searches enable you to search for variations on the modified text, allowing results for plurals or different word forms. Use the table below for an example of a common Boolean wildcard search.

Boolean modifier Example Description



Use * to represent any number of characters. This enables you to search for the root of a word and obtain results containing several variants.

Example: Java* will return results for "Java" and words like "Javascript."