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Conducting Candidate Searches

Find cleared candidates instantly via IntelliSearch or Boolean search methods. Save searches and create alerts.

Candidate Search provides a quick method of finding a candidate based on keywords the candidate used in his or her resume. ClearanceJobs offers two ways of searching: IntelliSearch™ or Boolean Search.


IntelliSearch uses deep machine learning to find relevant candidates based on keywords and concepts.

Learn how IntelliSearch can simplify your cleared recruiting.


Performing an IntelliSearch from the Candidate Search Page

Select the IntelliSearch tab at the top. Copy and paste your job description or an ideal resume into the Job Description box (no need to remove formatting or special characters). Select any additional filters as needed and click Search Candidates.

Once you’ve viewed your results, you may add keywords to further drill down your search results.

The candidates returned will have a green outline around their photo. This indicates the strength of their profile to the job posting or ideal resume you searched for. The more green you see, the more likely the candidate will be a match to what you’re looking for.


Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using words like AND, OR, and NOT to limit, widen, or define your resume search.

Performing a Boolean Search

From the Candidate Search page, select the Boolean tab at the top. Enter your keywords and phrases into the Keywords box using the following standards:

Separate all keywords and keyword phrases with AND or OR.

For example:

  • “java” and “oracle”
  • “java” and “oracle” or “unix”

Group sections of keywords or keyword phrases together with (parenthesis).

For example:

  • (“java” or “c+”) and “windows”
  • (“armed guard” and “license”) or (“armed guard” and “certification”)

To exclude resumes from a search, use the AND NOT separator.

For example:

  • (“java” and “oracle”) and not “javascript”
  • “apple” or “microsoft” and not (“unix” or “linux”)

For EXACT phrases, enclose the keywords in “quotes”.

For example:

  • “unix” and “linux” and “windows nt”
  • “security guard” or “armed guard”

To search on partial keywords (sometimes called “wildcards”), insert an asterisk at the end of the partial keywords.

For example:

  • “peoplesoft” and sap*
  • “peoplesoft” and sap* and eng*

To search for keywords that are within a certain number of words from each other.

For example:

  • “windows system”~5
  • “malware reverse”~10

Other search tips:

  • Search text is not case sensitive, so there is no need to CAPITALIZE text
  • Only the “quotes” character is recognized, so only create Boolean search text in ClearanceJobs or a text editor like MS Notepad

Once you’ve configured your Boolean search in the Keywords field, you may select a location and clearance level. You may also drill down using any of our Additional Search Options: Resume Age, Polygraph, Candidate Name, Job Category, Career Level, Degree Earned, Desired Salary, Employment Type, States, Willing to Relocate and Desired Locations.

Begin with a general search
Start your search by selecting general criteria and then “drilling down” to meet your specific needs. Drill down by adding more keywords or selecting more criteria.

Consider alternate spellings and wordings
If you are searching for a job using only specific keywords, you may be excluding some opportunities from your results. When using keywords, there is usually more than one way to phrase or spell your keyword. For example, a “Database Administrator” may also be phrased as “DBA”, or “Database Admin”, or even “Database Guru”. Similarly, a “Software Developer” may also be listed as a “Software Programmer”, or “Software Engineer”, or “Software Coder”. A “Windows NT” expert may be “WinNT” or “Windows-NT” or “WindowsNT”.


Saving a search allows you to receive updated search results emailed daily, weekly or monthly, if you wish. Alternatively, you can save your results to revisit at a later time, without receiving any emailed updates. By doing either, you’ll be creating a Saved Search.

Creating a Saved Search from search results
After running your IntelliSearch™ or Boolean Search, click “Save Search” at the top next to the search bar. From there, choose a Search Name and how frequently you’d like the search results emailed to you. You can also assign the Saved Search to a specific folder. Finally, click “Save Search.”

Creating a Saved Search from scratch
From the Candidate Search page, select the Saved Searches tab at the top. Alternatively, visit https://www.clearancejobs.com/resumes/advanced-search/saved. Click “New Search,” choose a Search Name, assign it to a folder, and indicate how frequently you’d like the search results emailed to you. You may also choose to email these results to two additional email addresses.

Next, perform either an IntelliSearch or Boolean Search as described above. You can either save this Saved Search or save and perform the search at this time.

Locate your saved Saved Searches by visiting https://www.clearancejobs.com/resumes/advanced-search/saved.