The ability to find free CVs is a valuable skill, particularly now that the free LinkedIn party looks like it’s over.

Here we’ll show you how to find candidate CVs that are on the web free of charge.

First up, use Indeed! I’ve lost track of the number of clients that use it for advertising but didn’t even realise they had a free CV database.

Indeed’s mission is global domination, so while it may not yet have the depth of candidates of a Monster, it’s got a decent pool that is growing by the day.

Second up, you can use X-Ray techniques to uncover candidates and their contact details that you might not otherwise find.

Start by looking for CVs / Resumes. The inurl: operator does exactly what it suggests – searches within the URL (or address bar) for the words that you specify. In this instance, words relating to CV / Resume.

inurl:CV OR inurl:vitae OR inurl:resume

Then start adding the skills and locations you’d like to see. In this instance, we’re going to look for a PHP Developer in London, so start adding your Boolean search here. (Pro tip – you don’t need brackets or AND when searching on Google, but if you’re new to it, it helps avoid confusion)

inurl:CV OR inurl:vitae OR inurl:resume
PHP AND (Developer OR Programmer OR Engineer) AND London

As you can see, this gives us some false results such as templates, jobs pages, so we’ll start excluding those terms that are giving us bad results.

inurl:CV OR inurl:vitae OR inurl:resume
PHP AND (Developer OR Programmer OR Engineer) AND London
-template -sample -jobs

So now we’ve got some pretty reliable results, we can quickly and easily contact these people about vacancies. You’ll find that with different skill sets, the quality of your results will vary. If you find you get a lot of irrelevant noise, have a look at the words that feature that are irrelevant and just exclude them from your search, like we did with template.

To get even more results, you can remove the inurl: before CV, Resume, Vitae and it will return more pages. While this will increase the amount of results you find, it will also increase the noise.

So the message is to adapt based on what you’re looking for!