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The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company [Kindle Edition]

Gayle Laakmann McDowell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Google Resume is the only book available on how to win a coveted spot at Google, Microsoft, Apple, or other top tech firms. Gayle Laakmann McDowell worked in Google Engineering for three years, where she served on the hiring committee and interviewed over 120 candidates. She interned for Microsoft and Apple, and interviewed with and received offers from ten tech firms. If you’re a student, you’ll learn what to study and how to prepare while in school, as well as what career paths to consider. If you’re a job seeker, you’ll get an edge on your competition by learning about hiring procedures and making yourself stand out from other candidates.
  • Covers key concerns like what to major in, which extra-curriculars and other experiences look good, how to apply, how to design and tailor your resume, how to prepare for and excel in the interview, and much more
  • Author was on Google’s hiring committee; interned at Microsoft and Apple; has received job offers from more than 10 tech firms; and runs, a site devoted to tech jobs

Get the only comprehensive guide to working at some of America’s most dynamic, innovative, and well-paying tech companies with The Google Resume.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Hiring bonuses, onsite pools, cocktails, flexible hours . . . meaningful work! This is the stuff of recent graduates' dreams—and the shimmering lure dangling at Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other top tech firms. Scoring those coveted positions requires brains, drive, a minimum of luck, and an abundance of smart moves. The Google Résumé is the only book that delivers the critical know-how to get you through the door, in the job, and up the first rungs of the tech ladder.

Former Microsoftie, Appleite, and Googler Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the mentor you need. Get crucial advice on choosing a major, minor, internship, and part-time job that will make you a superior candidate. Identify your weaknesses, and start developing a track record of achievement now.

The hiring processes and requirements of the tech industry are unique—and the competition, stiff. No matter your tech savvy, there are infinite ways to improve your chances of landing your dream job, from picking relevant extracurricular activities to striking the right tone during an interview.

Filled with answers to real job-seekers' questions, a list of 156 résumé action words, and examples of choice answers to tough interview questions, The Google Résumé also teaches you how to:

  • Develop a specialized skill while you're in school

  • Land an interview

  • Create a great first impression

  • Navigate the hiring procedures for programmers, designers, and game developers

  • Negotiate an offer

There are a lot of smart people in the world, and anyone can catch a little dumb luck. But if you want to stand out among the roiling mass of tech strivers, you have to do everything right. Here's how.

From the Back Cover

"The Google Résumé is a comprehensive guide to getting into the top tech companies. McDowell shows applicants how to create an effective résumé, how to prepare for interviews, how to negotiate an offer, and how to perform well on the job. This is truly the 'bible' of the tech hiring process." —Stephanie Jacobs, former recruiter, Google

"This book takes you behind the scenes at companies like Amazon and Microsoft with real-life stories from candidates, interviewers, and recruiters. Their experiences will show you how to position yourself for success. An excellent read for candidates at all stages." —Venise Cunningham, Recruiting Coordinator, Amazon, and formerly Microsoft

"During my time at Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, I've seen even the most brilliant candidates fumble. Some get too nervous, some don't prepare adequately, and some lack the right experience. The Google Résumé addresses each of these issues and helps candidates develop a more compelling appli-cation. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone pursuing a tech career." —Peter Wilson, former engineering director, Google and Microsoft; consultant, Facebook

"A perfect follow-up to McDowell's first book, Cracking the Coding Interview, The Google Résumé goes beyond the interview itself and shows candidates how to make their applications stand out. There may be no silver bullet for success, but this book is about as close as it gets." —Trey Williams, Software Engineer, Google, and formerly Microsoft

"A surprisingly fun yet helpful look at the tech recruiting process, this book offers candidates concrete strategies for landing these coveted positions. Learn how companies like Microsoft approach hiring and use these lessons to land your dream job. This is the book that I wish all our candidates would read." —Belinda Drllevich, Recruiting Coordinator, Microsoft

Product Details

  • File Size: 489 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470927623
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LZ55YQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,394 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
133 of 149 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Steve Urkel? This isn't for you, sadly. October 20, 2012
I'm not here to waste your time, especially since I feel like my time's been wasted. With that on the table, here's my short review:

This book is great for the following:

-Giving you an idea of what tech companies are looking for.
-Making sure you have no misconceptions about how screwed you are if you've decided to major in something non-STEM.
-It's a Gayle McDowell primer. Yes, you will be an expert on how well Ms. McDowell (the author) has done throughout her career. She'll walk you through it from the painful beginning -- how she temporarily rued her opportunity to work with Microsoft at a young age; how her 'unimportant-to-the-networking-process' Ivy League diploma worked out for her (in her opinion); etc...
-Providing your pride with just enough of a harsh beating to keep you where you are. You won't quit that job at the promising start-up you just landed in lower Manhattan, but you'll realize just how useless you seem to the engineering community shortly before finishing this book!

This book ISN'T great for:

-Getting you a job. (Although, reading any book won't get you a job anyway.)
-Giving you the tools you need to land an interview with a top company. Instead, you're provided with a BROAD option with regards to your overall direction. What that option is: well, you won't know when you're done with the book, but you'll know there's some underlying option...somewhere. Essentially, you will NOT know what to do with yourself specifically in order to even start your resume.

Want some project ideas to get you started? Don't read this.
Want a mildly attractive, active look on sites like GitHub? Don't read this.
Want to know exactly what interviewers at companies like Google and Microsoft are thinking?
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52 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dishonest title but possibly worth reading anyway August 1, 2011
The only part of this book with any relation to Google is the author's keyword-obsessed title: she knew a book with "GOOGLE" and "RESUME" in bold would grab attention (as would a boobie-enhanced self-photograph on the back flap, and asking 30 friends to leave 5-star reviews). So let the record show that aside from maybe 1.5 chapters on the specifics of how tech companies think and prioritize candidates, this is essentially another generic career advice book to add to the mile-high pile of the same, with the majority of content focused on resumes, cover letters, interview questions, deciding between offers, etc. You know, the kind where you'll hear advice to not order spaghetti at a lunch interview, and to check your teeth afterwards.

As those books go, though, it's not bad. On any topic, most of her advice is well-reasoned and common sense-driven, i.e. to quantify your achievements, how to explain why you're leaving your current job, to always consider location and cost of living when evaluating offers, and why it's wiser to start at a giant company and then ditch it for a startup than vice versa. Could be helpful, especially if you're 22 and your common sense is still a work-in-progress. It's an easy read, and in the rare event when specific information actually surfaces (i.e. that Microsoft pays more than Amazon, or that Amazon is more a retail company than a coder's paradise), it can momentarily get interesting.

Still, the shallow content makes this more suited to a library checkout than a purchase.
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48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Google Resume is a comprehensive guide to landing a job at any major high-tech company.

This book could not have been written by a more passionate and qualified person. In fact, the author Gayle Laakmann McDowell not only worked at Google and other tech giants, she was responsible for interviewing 100+ candidates while she was there!

The Google Resume opened up my eyes to how rigorous and intimidating a tech interview can be and I feel very lucky to have found such a well written book on this topic, while only a junior in college. Gayle provides all the tools and knowledge so that you can start preparing for the challenging job/internship hiring process now! This puts you at an advantage over the other candidates, who will probably be blindsided when asked to write a non-trivial algorithm on the spot during an interview (See the Programming Interview chapter).

Here are some of the highlights of the book:
Chapter 2: Advanced Preparation. i.e., if you're still a student, what should you be doing right now to build a skill set that would compel a recruiter and manager to interview and hire you.

Chapter 3: Getting in the Door. This chapter has a section that talks about the "Black Hole" of online job submissions. If you don't know what the black hole is, it's when you spend 30 or more minutes submitting your resume online, only to never hear back. She provides many important tips in this chapter to avoid the pitfalls of online resume submissions.

Chapters 4-6: These chapters are all about the fundamental qualities that a tech resume and cover letter should have. I see conflicting resume advice scattered all over the web, Gayle on the other hand, provides very clear and meaningful tips throughout these chapters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better service more than what I expected, inly 3 days to deliver my...
I got the book as described on the website. Very clear, no annotations very good service.
Actually I ordered the book and it takes only 3 days to deliver.
Published 1 month ago by Mamadou A Diallo
3.0 out of 5 stars You should get the other book by this author (Cracking ...
You should get the other book by this author (Cracking the Coding Interview). That book has everything this book does, plus it helps you prepare for the technical aspects of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by paul otten
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Provides a good insight to the IT Giants process and interview steps. Very helpful!
Published 5 months ago by Sunil Raveendran
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My husband liked it.
Published 5 months ago by PLAMT
5.0 out of 5 stars Got a dream job!
Didn't get a job at Google, but I did get a job that pays more than Google and is a dream career of mine so I am happy I read it. I gave it to my sister for her reference as well
Published 7 months ago by TheWiseGuy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
nice intro to the introduction process
Published 7 months ago by Victor Duan
3.0 out of 5 stars More appropriate for high school and university students
A good book, but my impression is that the target demographic is a younger audience - high school and university students.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I found the examples in this book particularly useful. Very pertinent...
I found the examples in this book particularly useful. Very pertinent advice.Not limited to CS major. Read more
Published 7 months ago by pinkmarshmellow
2.0 out of 5 stars Not
Not partiularly enlightening. More rehash of what most professionals know already.
Published 7 months ago by SemiMBA
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, although not terribly helpful
Not particularly eye-opening, good advice on tech interviews. Read before interviewing at Microsoft, didn't really help too much, but I can't blame that on the book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Zach F.
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More About the Author

Gayle Laakmann McDowell's interviewing expertise comes from vast experience on both sides of the desk. She has completed Software Engineering interviews with - and received offers from - Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Capital IQ, and a number of other firms.

Of these top companies, she has worked for Microsoft, Apple and Google, where she gained deep insight into each company's hiring practices.

Most recently, Gayle spent three years at Google as a Software Engineer and was one of the company's lead interviewers. She interviewed over 120 candidates in the U.S. and abroad, and led much of the recruiting for her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

Additionally, she served on Google's Hiring Committee, where she reviewed each candidate's feedback and made hire / no-hire decisions.

She assessed over 700 candidates in that role, and evaluated hundreds more resumes.

In 2005, Gayle founded to bring her wealth of experience to candidates around the world. Launched first as a free forum for interview questions, CareerCup now offers a book, a video and mock interviews.

Gayle holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Wharton School.


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