Enhance Your Job Search with a Few Basic Tips

OhioMeansJobs offers two options for job seekers to obtain search results – Job Title and Keywords.

These can be used independently or in combination, and the results will be returned according to the values provided by the job seeker.

The Job Title field will only search against the Job Title, while the Keyword field will search against Job Title, Job Description and Company Name.

Both fields utilize a concept called 'stemming', in which a word such as Manager is shortened to Manag and all associated results are returned that include the stem of the entry. For example, this search will return all job postings containing the words manage, manager, managing, managed, management, etc.

When entering search criteria on the OhioMeansJobs website, the following are a few helpful hints to help narrow your results. These can be applied to either the Job Title or Keyword search criteria. Following these guidelines will ensure that you are able to minimize search engine confusion and retrieve accurate results.

Note: When searching by location, Radius is measured in geographical distance. Driving distance may vary.

Operator: AND

Simply stated, the "AND" operator links words or phrases together to ensure that both are included in the results.

If you wanted jobs that involve software engineering, your search would be Keyword = software AND engineering. In this case, any of the results you receive will contain both of the words: software and engineering.


  1. The AND operator is supported only within the Keyword box.

Operator: OR

The "OR" operator requires that at least one of the keywords exist in the job posting. The list of job postings returned can have any of the words entered in the search criteria.

For example, an engineer position may be posted under a variety of Job Title or Keyword entries, such as Keyword = developer OR engineer – using or allows you to expand the search to include multiple keywords, of which at least one will be in the job posting.


  1. The OR operator is supported only within the Keyword box.
  2. It is advisable for the job seeker to use parentheses on any side of the operator if it includes a multiple word phrase.

Operator: AND NOT

There may be times that you wish to exclude terms from your results. The search command associated with this functionality is "AND NOT".

If you were looking for an experienced position, you might want to eliminate those jobs that are listed as entry level. In this scenario, you could add Keyword = AND NOT "entry level" to your search string.


  1. The AND NOT operator is supported only within the Keyword box.

Operator: quotes " "

While commands are very helpful, they alone are not enough to effectively target your ideal job. Quotes offer you the ability to search for multiple words as an exact phrase, like Administrative Assistant, Project Management, etc. Simply place quotes around the words you would like the search engine to find within the job posting.

For example, you may choose to enter a Job Title = "administrative assistant" or Keyword = "project management".

Note – the Job Title currently wraps quotes around the entire string, so the result will be consistent in this box whether quotes are utilized or not.

Note – stemming will apply to all searches, regardless of whether quotes are applied. Quotes dictate the order in which a string is processed, and ensure that the values are next to each other and in the proper order within the output. When searching for "Project Manager", the job seeker may return a Job Title of Project Management Executive, but they would not get Manager/Project Lead.

Operator: PARENTHESES ( )

Parentheses group keywords together to create a sub-search within a complex string. If you want to build a search string containing multiple commands, parentheses are a must.

Combination of Operators

The search criteria can accept a combination of operators, which allows the job seeker to target a very precise set of jobs. A few examples of this complexity are listed below.

Keyword = (developer OR engineer) AND NOT "entry level"

  • This search will include all positions with developer or engineer in the job title, job description or company name, but will exclude any which contain the words "entry level".

Keyword = nurse (icu OR "critical care")

  • This search will include all nurse positions, with a focus in ICU or critical care. The results could be present in the Job Title, Job Description or Company Name.

Job Title = administrative assistant
Keyword = excel AND outlook AND NOT (ceo OR monster)

  • This search will return all results which contain the job title and both of the skills (Excel and Outlook)... but do not reference the words CEO or Monster.

Best Practices

When building a complex string with an OR operator, it is always a best practice to use parentheses.

All operators should be entered in uppercase, while job title and keyword strings should appear in lowercase. This will allow for maximum clarity.

At this time, Boolean operators (AND / OR / AND NOT) are only supported in the Keyword box.