Searching the database for candidates

Available for Roles Super Admin, Admin, Team Member, Limited Team Member
Permissions • Manage profiles and view associated postings
Packages Lever Basic, LeverTRM, LeverTRM for Enterprise


This article depicts Lever's Structure Candidate Locations feature included in the Winter 2024 Product Release, scheduled to rollout progressively in February 2024. Learn more in the Structured Candidate Locations section below. For release information, refer to our Winter 2024 Product Release Notes

While applying filters enables you to narrow down cohorts of candidates, running a direct search can help you pinpoint specific candidates that you are looking for. Lever's search functionality allows you to use keywords and an array of searchable fields to locate specific candidates (or groups of candidates) in your database.

Using the search bar

To run a search, type into the search bar in the platform header (next to your avatar). As you type your search term, the menu beneath the search bar will populate with suggested candidates. Search results are pulled from your entire Lever database including both the active pipeline as well as the archive. 

Close up of search bar with candidate name input and search results menu expanded.


You can click Advanced search at the bottom of the search menu to be taken to the advanced search page. To learn more about Lever's advanced search feature refer to our help article on using advanced search and rediscovery.

If you have LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect with LinkedIn Unified Search enabled, you can click LinkedIn Unified Search in the dropdown to search your LinkedIn RSC pool. Refer to our help article on discovering and adding candidates via LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect.

The search algorithm will look for candidate names as well as any parseable content attached to candidate profiles including resumes, notes, and feedback forms. To help structure your search, use the filter chips below the search field in conjunction with the search operators (AND, NOT, OR). For example, if you wanted to search your database for candidates that meet all of the following criteria...

  • Have worked at Google or Microsoft
  • Are located in the United States
  • Have roles with the title "Engineer" in their work history

You could build that search using the filter chips and operators as shown in the image below:

Close up of search bar with search filters applied for company, location, and title

Using the 'Resume' filter chip will restrict the search to only content that was parsed from the resume (i.e. it will exclude any matching search terms that appear elsewhere on the candidate's profile, such as in notes and feedback forms). For example, if you were filter your search using 'Resume:' "Manager", the search results would only include candidates for which the word "Manager" appears in their resume (excluding candidates for which the word "Manager" only appears in notes or feedback linked to their profile).

Close up search bar with search filter applied for resume keyword

You can also use the search field to search for candidates by phone number:

Close up search bar with search filter applied for phone number

Once you have typed out your search term, you can select from one of the suggested options in the menu, or hit 'Enter' on your keyboard to be taken to a full page of search results.

Full candidate search results page

The search results page lists the following information about each opportunity that matches your search query:

  • Name/company
  • Location - see details for location searching in 'Structured Contact Location' below
  • Education
  • Jobs 
  • Stage and archive reason 
  • Average rating 
  • Last interaction - i.e. the date that activity was last recorded on the candidate profile (e.g. stage change, attachment of a form); search results are sorted by last interaction date starting with the most recent
  • Owner - hover over the avatar to reveal the owner of the opportunity
  • Remove - Snippets - text within the candidate profile that matches your search query, as well as surrounding text; hover over the icon in front of the snippet to reveal where the snippet was found (resume, tag, work history, etc)

Structured Contact Locations

Lever’s Candidate Structured Locations update rolls out in February 2024, bringing an improved and simplified candidate information and search experience. In the past you would need to search for location information based on parsed candidates' resumes, which exist in many different permutations such as ‘San Fran, CA’, ‘San Francisco, CA’ or ‘SF, CA.’ 

As of February 2024, the structured location field will be added to newly created candidate profiles, meaning candidate profiles will be assigned a single, structured location. When adding candidates to Lever either directly, via the Lever Chrome Extension, or by referral form, the contact location field will be parsed from the uploaded candidate resume.

If you do not upload a resume or a location is not parseable, the location field provides a dropdown of verifiable, standardized locations. As you type into the location field, the location recommendations menu will appear. 

Lever candidate profile with arrow pointing to Candidate Contact Location field with dropdown location menu.

With this update, you can search for candidates by searching on the basis of a single, structured location rather than searching many different permutations of a location.

As you start typing in the Location field in the Candidate Search Bar, you will see a drop down list of matching locations. Select the best match and you will find all relevant candidates under this location.

Lever candidate search bar with drop down list location results

The unstructured contact location will be updated on a going forward basis. For now, any opportunities created prior to the update will not be automatically updated with the structured location. You will still see your candidates with unstructured locations appear in relevant search results, while searching using a structured location. For example, if you search using a structured location like San Francisco, CA, USA, candidates with close, unstructured locations like "San Fran, CA" will still be returned in your candidate search results.


Note that there will be no updates to reporting or job posting locations with Structured Contact Location.

Search result visibility

The opportunities and candidate profiles that appear on search will be impacted by a user's access role in Lever. For example, opportunities associated with hired candidates will not appear in the search results to a user that is not a Super Admin, does not have the necessary Sensitive Information Privileges, or is neither the owner or hiring manager on the posting against which a candidate was hired. Similarly, search results for Limited Team Members will be limited to opportunities associated with postings to which they have access.

Filtering search results

You can refine your search from the search results page by using the filters on the left side of the full search results page. 

  • Job posting
  • Stage/archive reason
    • Filter for opportunities in your search results based on their location in the pipeline or archive. Setting this filter to 'Archive' will allow you to further filter search results by opportunities' archive reasons as well as their last stage reached in the active part of the pipeline (prior to being archived).
  • Owners
  • Origins
  • Sources
  • Tags
  • Locations
    • The location filter allows searching by city or country but not state or region. This is because Lever searches within 100 miles of a selected location for any non-country.
  • Skills
  • Last interaction
  • Average rating
  • Application question
  • GDPR
    • Only appears if GDPR is enabled; returns opportunities based on if the candidate is protected by GDPR, open to future jobs, or due to be anonymized.
  • Data Compliance
    • Only appears if Data Compliance is enabled; returns opportunities based on if the candidate is protected by a Data Compliance policy, open to future jobs, or due to be anonymized.
  • Company
    • Filter for candidates who have experience at particular companies. Companies are parsed from the candidates’ resumes.
  • Job titles
    • Filter based on job titles that have been parsed from the resume.
  • Education
    • Filter based on schools/universities that have been parsed from the candidates resume.
  • Years of experience
    • Filter for candidates based on how many years of experience they have. Years of experience are calculated based on parsed dates from the candidate’s resume.

Search results page filtered by new applicant.

The filters on the search results page can be applied in combination with a keyword search or by themselves.


Once you have run a search and applied filters, bookmark the page in your browser to save the search. When you open the bookmark in the future, the same search query and filters will be applied.

Searching by field

In addition to running searches based on keywords, you can also run searches from the search results page based on fields that appear on candidate profiles and opportunities. Below is breakdown of the fields you can include and in your search on the search results page:

Field Examples Note
tags tags:Javascript
tag:"Recruiting Lunch”
Tags are case-sensitive, so if your search is not working, try changing the capitalization of your terms. Or, try using the tag filter on the left-side of the search results page. You can use tag: or tags: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
sources sources:LinkedIn
sources:"Manually Added"
Try using the source filter on the left-side of the search results page. You can use source: or sources: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
location location:Miami
locations:"New York"
You can use location: or locations: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
companies orgs:Google
org:”Goldman Sachs”
You can use org: or orgs: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
education school:"UT Austin"
You can use school: or schools: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
email address
You can use email: or emails: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
interviewer rating card:"4 - Strong Hire"
cards:"2 - Strong No Hire"
If you have customized this scoring system with text that’s different from the default, you may have to use that exact text in order to search by interviewer rating (e.g. card:“4 - Move forward to onsite interview”). Try using the average rating filter on the left-side of the search results page. You can use card: or cards: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.
titles title:"Executive"
The search will look for any matching titles in candidate work histories (parsed from their resumes). You can use title: or titles: in front of your terms — both work in the exact same way.

When using fields in your search, ensure that there is no space between the colon and the search term. For search terms consisting of multiple words, include quotation marks on either side (as shown in the table above).

Connecting field-specific search terms with Boolean operators

Use the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT to connect multiple field-specific search terms in a single search from the search results page. You can also group field-specific search terms into clauses using parentheses.

Close up of search results page with field-specific search terms connected with Boolean operators

Below are examples of how operators can be used to connect field-specific search terms:

  • tag:"Recruiting Lunch" AND source:LinkedIn
  • tag:Favorites OR tags:"Warm Prospect"
  • (location:Orlando AND org:Microsoft) NOT tag:"Do not contact"
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