Find CV documents on the open web

Some might say that the résumé has been replaced by social media profiles and homepages – but that’s only partially true. Fact is, creating and publishing CVs as actual documents is still a thing – mostly when people don’t trust giving out their data freely to networks like LinkedIn. Googling for these files might serve as an interesting and relevant sourcing approach even today.

The basics of document search

When you look for CVs on the open web, you don’t target a specific site or a network – you create different hypothesis instead: such as guess key words in header or url, and let Google do the “dirty job”.

Let’s try finding candidates with experience in “digital marketing”. Since typing only this would return many results regarding topic “digital marketing”, we have to narrow down the search by telling Google that the results should include “CV or Curriculum Vitae or Resume” in the header or the url.

Let’s type this into the search field on Google:

ext:pdf OR ext:docx intitle:CV OR intitle:curriculum OR intitle:resume OR inurl:CV OR inurl:curriculum OR inurl:Resume “digital marketing”

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… where the search query consists of:
ext:pdf OR ext:docx – PDF or Word documents (you can also try other extensions, but docx and pdf are most popular document formats)
intitle:CV OR intitle:curriculum OR intitle:resume – Page header containing CV or curriculum or resume
OR inurl:CV OR inurl:curriculum OR inurl:Resume – Or URL containing CV, curriculum or resume
“digital marketing” – Keyword (in quotation marks) that these CVs should contain

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There’s your list of “digital marketing” CVs! But…. let’s play with the results a little more.

Advanced techniques to narrow down search results

Location

Let’s say you only want CVs from Paris-based digital marketers. This can be only done when the actual CV contains such information. Parisian ZIP codes range from 75001 to 75116.

So let’s add this condition to your search query:

Paris 75001..75116

(Paris is the name of the location and 75001..75116 indicate RANGE operator, i.e. any number between two values)

screenshot-2017-03-05-15-08-16

Now your full query should look like this:

ext:pdf OR ext:docx intitle:CV OR intitle:curriculum OR intitle:resume OR inurl:CV OR inurl:curriculum OR inurl:Resume “digital marketing” paris 75001..75116

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… and you have narrowed down your digital marketers to those who (seem to) live in Paris. As you can see, none of the results come from typical social and professional networks, so we might have found candidates that don’t really appear anywhere else!

Fresh and recent results

Great thing with Google is that you are able to filter and sort results based on date. This way you can only focus on recent (or recently updated) CVs. To do this, you click on tools just below your search bar, choose the results from last year, for example, and sort them by relevance.

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  •   Try including other extensions into your search (for example presentation file formats such as ppt or pptx).
  •   When searching for a location, try using the local and English name of the location (Munich vs München)
  •   You can find ZIP codes for any town or city online
  •   When no results show up, try to broaden your search (use France instead of Paris)

Good luck! 🙂