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Career Research: Library Search Strategies

Searching Basics

Keyword Search Strategies

Use Synonyms

Make sure to try multiple search terms when searching for books or articles on a specific career:

Common synonyms for "career" =
vocational guidance, career, career guidance, vocation, occupation, occupational guidance, jobs

Please note that the official library subject heading/search term for career exploration in a specific field is vocational guidance.

The occupations themselves may also be described with a variety of search terms (e.g. graphic artist, graphic designer, etc.).

Brainstorm synonyms or ask others for ideas.


Use Quotation Marks

Quotation marks can be used around a phrase or concept of two or more words. Doing this ensures that the concept will be searched for as a whole and not as individual words.

For example, "mechanical engineer" "forensic science" etc.


Use Truncation

Adding a truncation symbol to the stem of a word will find that stem plus anything that comes after it. The symbol used to truncate a word depends upon the database you are using; common truncation symbols are the asterisk (*) and the  question mark (?).

For example,   vocation* will search for vocation, vocations, vocational, etc.

nurs? will search for nurse, nurses, nursing, etc.