Is it possible to write a Super Query ?

Super queries

How do Recruiters recognize good search strings?

There is a big difference between good and bad queries. Many Recruiters can identify a good one, but they don’t know what makes the difference.

Most of them are not looking at a search strings and thinking:

“That query has strategic keyword positioning and excellent use of exclusions!”

Nope, I don’t think so.

Maybe you do?

In my opinion, Recruiters just feel like there is something good about it. Maybe it’s the keywords choices or the use of parentheses, but they never actually know for sure. There is something more to good search string crafting than looking right.

So, what more is there?

Effective search string crafting boils down to one thing:

“defining a clear request to your database in a way that it has no other option but to deliver it”

You don’t need a three-year learning curve to learn how to do it.  


The common assumption is that searching is largely a matter of about identifying and selecting the right keyword. This assumption creates search strings defined by combinations of keywords, synonyms and the like, and is the basis for what is considered to be well designed queries.

While identifying and selecting keywords is important; it is not nearly enough.

Selecting the right keywords is an important step in the query writing process but it doesn’t even rank around the most important steps.

Most Recruiters will probably find this statement to be utterly absurd or even crazy.

After all what could be more important than using the right keyword, right?

Not only is it true, it strikes at the core of the sourcing problems today.

When the search strategy is focused on keywords, in a very real sense it becomes an obstacle to finding the right results.

So, if searching is not about the keywords what is it about, then?

To understand “search,” it would be helpful to think of searching as the process of coordinating the activities of the algorithms that make up your database or search engine.

That sounds like a mouthful. Isn’t it?

Writing effective search strings is about recognizing that your keywords are only a part of your query. They are your tools for delivering a word image that directs the databases to do what you need them to do.

All parts of a query are chain linked to create and deliver these instructions to your database.

Every letter, every space, every symbol used or even omitted, is an instruction to your database. As a result, all affect your results.

Once you understand the principles of search that bind all the pieces together, finding candidates isn’t all that difficult.

The difference between the best search results you could ever achieve and the worst; have less to do with the keyword that you choose or the database that you are using.

It has everything to do with how you searched.

It took me years to figure this out. To communicate with a database my search strings had to change.

Throughout the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting about the different steps I take steps to create what I call a super search string.

What do you think?

Getting back to the headline that inspired this post … Do you think is possible to write a supper query? If so, how do we define them?

Let’s discuss below.

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