Searching in CATS

The powerful search tools in CATS allow you to find candidates, jobs, or other records that are in your system.

There are two search areas within the system and each serves a different purpose.

Search Everything

Have a specific record in mind and just want to pull it up quickly? We recommend this search option when you have a Name, Email, Phone Number, or Title to enter.

This is the search box on the top right corner of every page in your account. You can use this to quickly navigate to a certain record by using the autocomplete feature. It will return results of any record type, not just candidates or jobs. As you type something in, matches populate in a drop-down below the field. You can click any of these matches to go directly to that record.

The results displayed in the search panel are limited to 10 results per record type, but you can select a record type to expand the results for and you will be taken to that record's grid with your search already entered in the Search this grid field.

Search This Grid

Don't have a specific record in mind and would like to search for candidates in your database that meet certain criteria? Search this grid is the way to go!

This search box is contained in the top left corner of each of the different record types: candidates, job orders, companies, and contacts. You can use this for searching the particular record type of the page you’re on.

For example: If you want to search just your candidates, you can click on candidates in the main navigation and use the search this grid box near the top left corner. This supports keyword or boolean searches. For more info on boolean searching see the corresponding section in this document.

After pressing enter or clicking the search button, the results will populate in the grid below. You can use filters to target your searches to specific fields or refine the results. See how Filters work below.


Filters allow you to target any field contained within that record type, including custom fields. You can add as many filters to your search as you’d like by pressing the green + button.

Pressing the button adds the filtering section above the search box. If you click the filter button multiple times, you’ll see multiple rows added to this section.

The first drop-down in a filter allows you to select a field that you want to search within. After selecting that, the other options will change depending on the field type you’ve selected. A few options:

Zip code radius search
Allows you to find results within a certain range of a zip code you select. This filter allows you to specify how many miles or kilometers you’d like your radius to extend from the zip code you enter. 

You can find a list of countries that are supported for zip/postal code searches here.

Date Record Was Last Updated
Allows you to specify a start and end date with calendar drop-downs. This will return results based on the updated date of your records.

Some filters provide an option to find results that ‘contain’ a term from your search, ‘does not contain’ a term from your search, ‘is empty,’ ‘is not empty’ or ‘is exactly’ the term you searched for.

Boolean Searches

Boolean searches can be entered into the Search this grid box on the page you're trying to search.

The Basics

Quotation Marks
This requires words to be searched as a phrase, exactly how you typed them. If you need to find a candidate who previously worked as a project manager, enter “Project Manager” in your search box to find exactly the phrase or title you are looking for.

These words, when entered in between your keywords, can really help pull out the variations in how they might be listed on a resume. For example, you may need to find a developer who has experience with both Java and AJAX. In this case, you can search Java AND AJAX to return results with both skills.

Another good application would be to find synonyms and abbreviations. You might try a search like “Search Engine Optimization” OR SEO to find candidates with either of your search terms.

Use AND NOT to this to exclude results that may otherwise show up, e.g. “Project Manager” AND NOT Coordinator to get results for project managers that don't have the word "coordinator" in their profile or resume.

The wildcard character (*) is used for finding any words that start with the same letters. For example, searching Jen* returns Jenny, Jennifer, Jennie, Jen, Jenn, etc. This is useful if you can’t remember the spelling of someone’s name or if you want to find variations of the same word.


Here is the ultimate Boolean tool to create long, complex search strings. For example, searching (“HVAC” AND “Project Manager”) AND (California OR “Pacific Coast”) will give us results for HVAC Project Managers in California or along the Pacific Coast.

Sometimes, an exact phrase match may be too specific. Let's say you want “senior software developer” to be considered a match for the search “senior developer". In this case, you can use proximity operators to search for words that are located in close proximity to each other, though not necessarily side-by-side. For this, you could use the string: "senior developer"~3 . This string will return any instances of the words senior and developer with three or fewer words between them. You can make this more or less strict by decreasing on increasing the number in the string.

You can add more than two terms to a string as well. For a match to occur, all terms must be included within the total number of words you specified in the search string, regardless of their order. 

Resume Highlighting

There are multiple places around the system where you’ll see a magnifying glass icon. This indicates that a resume is present on that record. If you click on the icon, a quick preview will show in the system. This saves time from needing to download each and every resume to your computer in order to see them. You can click the Next and Previous buttons at the top of the preview window to flip through the resume results.

If you run a search and then click on the resume preview icon from the results grid, you’ll notice the system will highlight the terms you searched for. This makes locating those areas quicker for you.

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