Boolean queries are a type of search allowing you to combine keywords or phrases to produce more relevant results. This method of searching is supported when searching across candidates in Greenhouse. In this article, we will provide instructions on how to enable Boolean queries for candidate searches as well as some tips and external resources on Boolean queries.


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, navigate to the left-hand panel to Full Text Search and toggle the button to ON.


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 are unfamiliar with Boolean queries we suggest reviewing our assorted tips and resources below.


Tips and Resources 

You can find an in-depth look at basic operators and modifiers in this external resource. In this section, we have organized the most fundamental Boolean operators and modifiers to help you get started:

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 are using quotation marks in your search, please type them in or copy from a basic notepad program. For additional details on smart quotes, please click here

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words that connect your search terms.

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.

This 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" (but not both).

OR trainer OR instructor OR teacher  OR provides options into 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. In the provided example, you would receive 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.

In the provided example, the search would give you results that contain the word architect, but leaving out any that use the phrase "software architect".

Boolean Modifiers: Phrase Searching

The modifiers listed below enable you to keep phrases intact or to perform sub queries within your main query.

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. For example:

senior engineer 

This would return any Candidates that had the words senior and engineer attached to them.

"senior engineer"

This would return only results that had the words "senior engineer" next to each other as phrase.

( )


(MIT OR Harvard) AND "Computer Science" Use parentheses to group clauses to form sub queries.  For example, to search for "MIT" or "Harvard" and "computer science":

Boolean Modifier: Wildcard searches

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.  In the provided example, you will receives matches for Java and words like Javascript