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 CareerCup.com, 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.
Q&A with Author Gayle Laakmann McDowell
What should you major in?
| Author Gayle Laakmann McDowell |
Ideally, one should major in a field that's directly applicable to your desired profession: marketing for a marketer, accounting for an accountant, computer science for a software engineer, etc. However, many jobs don't correspond to an exact major. In these cases, a curriculum that is rigorous and demonstrates strong quantitative and analytical skills will prove useful. Economics, statistics, and physics are three great choices. What can you do outside of work to make yourself stand out?
One of the strongest things a candidate can do is something that shows initiative or leadership. Imagine a candidate who tutors under-privileged children on the side. That's a wonderful thing to do. But, the candidate who launched their own tutoring program and built up a team of twenty fellow tutors will have a much stronger application. Your efforts need not be "feel goody," though. Entrepreneurial endeavors are greatly respected, and can earn you a bit of cash too. How do you perform well at work -- and have it show in your next application?
The key here is to think about your application well before you're writing it, as your entire job will be boiled down to just a few bullet points. Seek out projects that will lend themselves to short, concrete, understandable bullet points. Projects with an external impact are often ideal. Remember that while revamping some internal system may have an enormous impact on your company, the impact is usually unclear to those outside the company. How should you design your resume?
Make it short and sweet. Remember that people don't really "read" resumes - they glance. Your resume should be bulleted (no bulky paragraphs) with specific, tangible accomplishments. And stick to one page, or two pages if absolutely necessary and only if you have more than ten years of experience. How much technical expertise do you need?
Outside of engineering, truly technical (i.e., coding) experience isn't necessary, though it's certainly nice to have and can set you apart. What's more important is to be able to demonstrate knowledge of and passion for technology. You should understand how the big and the small companies are shaping the tech field, and how trends like cloud computing, security, and mobile technologies are affect businesses and consumers. How should you prep for the interview?
Interview preparation should include a mix of company research, skill-based preparation and resume preparation. The latter is especially important, and often overlooked. You need to prepare for specific questions on every "project" on your resume. One way to ensure that you have good coverage of the key questions is by diagramming your Interview Preparation Grid, as discussed in the The Google Resume. Thorough preparation will give you a big leg up on other candidates!