How to effectively search the RDB and use Semantic Search?

The Energy Job Search CV database runs Keyword and Semantic search. We advise to use the keywords, filters and /or the word clouds to enter criteria!

The difference between Boolean and Semantic Search

Boolean search.

Boolean searching is built on a method of symbolic logic developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician. Using these operators can greatly reduce or expand the amount of records returned.

Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search. When you are using multiple keywords they all have the same relative importance, and the more keywords and operators added, the less likely you will get results. Only candidates that are an exact match for the Boolean statement will be returned.

Semantic search

Semantic search can utilize functionality far beyond simple keywords and operators to return ranked results that are more similar to when a person compiles them. The search logic here is not restricted by the recruiter’s knowledge of keywords and simple Boolean operators.

When performing a semantic search all search terms are provided and then ranked or weighted to identify how relevant they are for the search. This permits candidates in the search results to be ranked based on how closely they match the criteria. It is important to use the correct Semantic filters and Relevance functionalities to get correct results.

The results of a semantic search will return content matching the meaning of a query, as opposed to Boolean search which literally matches words in the query.

Keyword Relevance

When performing semantic searches it is possible and important to indicate the relevance of each keyword in your search query. Marking certain keywords as more relevant than others influences the ranking of the results that are returned.

There are three possible levels of relevance: Must Have, Should Have, and Nice to Have.

  1. Must Have:

    1. Use Must Have to indicate that the term is required to be present in all search results. Any candidates that do not include the Must Have item will not be returned in the results.
    2. This relevancy is set by default on all your keywords!
    3. Example:

  1. Should Have:

    1. Most search keywords will be marked as Should Have. Candidates that include the Should Have item will be ranked higher in the results than candidates that do not have it. Should Have allows results that do not include the term to be returned but they will be ranked lower.
    2. Typing “^” in front of a keyword gives the option to rank the result higher if a certain keyword is added after “^”. (The should-have query parts are marked with condition STRONGLY_FAVORED.)
    3. Example:

  1. Nice to Have:

    1. Nice to Have to boost the ranking of items that are not mandatory but would make one candidate a better fit over another. The Nice to Have ranking weight is less than Should Have but still higher than candidates that do not have the term.
    2. Typing “%” in front of a keyword gives the option to rank the result higher if a certain keyword is added after “%”. (The nice-to-have query parts are marked with condition FAVORED.)
    3. Example:

How to best utilize the database with the new filters/semantic search options

As the filters and options to be used are very dependent on the type of candidate and search you use, we cannot advise on a general search or template.

For assistance on converting your previous Boolean strings you can reach out to your Account Manager.

Overall, we can advise to use the following filters to get the best results (please note there are more filters available as listed below and these should be used and experimented with to narrow down your search).

• Experience

Filterable by Last, recent and All experience. This will search only through the candidate employment history, making your candidate results relevant compared to using an ‘all text’ search.

• Location

Specify your location in this filter. Country, Region and City can be selected.

• Nationality

For any nationality requirements, always use this filter.

• Language skills

For any required language skills, always use this filter.

• Professional skill

For any specific skills (e.g. Autocad, CAD, Topside, EPC), always use this filter.

• Full text

(Open search, no filters selected): Any additional keywords you want to (re-)enter to ensure the system checks the full CV for the return of these keywords. Using only the ‘all text’ function will not return as relevant results. Within your keywords and filter search you want to make sure to use the Semantic Operators.

Using Semantic Operators that cover AND/OR/NOT/Quotation marks (Proximity matching)

Boolean Operator Semantic Operators Operator Explanation

Using the CV database

Search by Keywords

E.g. Process Engineer Amsterdam. Keywords are not case sensitive.

Search by Phrases

Phrases enclosed by quotes (“ ”)are used to match a sequence of words.

Boolean Search

The query language has a limited support for commonly used Boolean expressions. The given examples are interpreted as expected, respectively searching for a document mentioning the keywords provided.

Boolean operators are only interpreted in simple full-text queries. If the query contains any other above mentioned query syntax, such as field names or condition operators, boolean


  1. Experience

Any experience in previous positions a job seeker should have.

Options available:

  • Recent Positions - searches for your keywords in the recent positions a candidate fulfilled.
  • Last Position - searches for your keywords in the last position a candidate fulfilled.
  • All Positions - searches for your keywords in ALL positions a candidate fulfilled.
  1. Location

City, Region and Country - multiselect possible. This is the location the job seeker should be based in or near. KM radius auto defaults to +50 KM but can be adjusted to +5 KM, +10 KM, +25 KM and +100 KM.

  1. Nationality

Filter to be used to search for the candidates' nationality. Multiselect possible.

  1. Education

Required education of the job seeker

    1. Education level

Options available:

  • Post-Master
  • Master
  • Bachelor
  • Vocational Education
  • Secondary Education
    1. Education - Majors / Degrees

Required major / degree of the job seeker

    1. Education -Colleges / Universities

Colleges / Universities the job seeker attended

  1. Skills

Required skills of the job seeker

  • Language skills: Required language skills
  • IT skills: Required IT skills
  • Professional skills: Required Professional skills
  1. Employers:

(last) companies the job seeker has been employed by

  • Last employer: last company the job seeker has been employed by
  • All employers: companies the job seeker has been employed by
  1. Years of Experience

Number of years the job seeker should have working experience in their required role or field.

Options available:

  • Less than a year
  • 1 to 2 years
  • 3 to 5 years
  • 6 to 10 years
  • 11 years or more
  1. Open to relocate

Filter to be used to search for a candidates' relocation information (if provided by the candidate). Multiselect possible.

  1. Last Modified

This shows the last time the jobseeker updated their profile / CV.

Filter options available:

  • Today
  • Last 3 days
  • Last week
  • Last Month
  • Last 3 months
  • Last 6 months
  • Last Year


Use the + or – button on any “word cloud” to include (+) or exclude (-) skills, positions, and other filter options

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