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

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9780470927625: The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company

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

Author Gayle Laakmann McDowell
What should you major in?
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!

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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

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.

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