Laszlo Bock is the man in charge of whether or not you receive a paycheck from Google, and he’s offered some candid and surprising quotes in an interview with the New York Times. Bock, in charge of hiring 100 people a week for one of the most famous companies in the world, has shed new light on what it takes to get a job at Google, and his answers are not what you’d expect at all.
Best Way to Craft Your Resume
Your resume is still one of the most important pieces you can apply to a job with, but far too many applicants get it wrong. Instead of using a clear, simple approach, they inject their own preferences into it. The resume is not really a time when you should let your personality shine, but prove you’re a better candidate than others.
According to Bock, you only have to remember three things for your resume: the letters X, Y and Z. He advises using this to show off your strengths, and formatting it like this:
I accomplished X
This accomplishment was relative to Y
How I did this was by Z
The concrete example Bock uses is this: “Most people would write a resume like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.”
Make Your College Degree Count
Another point Bock emphasized was going to college for the right reasons, and not because you think it’s the necessary step in securing a well-paying job. With tuition in the tens of thousands each year, it’s one of the biggest investments you can make in your life, and Bock says to think very carefully about what you do when you’re there.
Whatever your major is, it’s important to apply grit to it. Another way of approaching this is to just not making giving up an option, no matter how tough the road gets. Bock explains, “I told [a student who was thinking of switching from computer science and math to economics] that they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. That student will be one of our interns this summer.”
He doesn’t dismiss liberal arts as a wasteful major, so don’t suddenly drop that in favor of one of the “hard” majors, like engineering or science. Instead, try to combine that with another area of study to bring them together. By doing that, you’re balancing creative thinking with logical, structured thinking, and it’s a quality Bock says sets you apart from the crowd as being far more valuable.
Other Job Qualities that Get You Noticed
Bock talks about five key attributes that’ll get you noticed, and they definitely don’t fit into traditional ideas of what makes a successful job applicant.
General Cognitive Ability: Forget about the regular IQ test, as Google instead looks to applicants for their ability to make sense of seemingly random bits of information.
Leadership: It’s great that you were the president of 50 different clubs in college, but how do you react in real life situations? Do you take control and figure out a plan, or wait for someone else to do it?
Humility: A healthy ego is important, but so is the ability to hear others when they make a valid point, and alter your own position if need be.
Ownership: When a problem comes up, Google likes to see that you’re unafraid of stepping in and using your own intellect and experience to solve it.
Expertise: Is your ability to come up with a solution something that you need to be guided in, or can you come up with the right answer on your own nine times out of 10? And how often do you come up with a solution that nobody else has thought of?
You have a bit of time between handing in your resume and going to the job interview, so make sure you work on crafting as good a resume as possible your first priority. And by using Laszlo Bock’s advice on what constitutes a good resume, you just may find yourself getting that interview call faster than you thought.
To read both parts of the interview with Laszlo Bock, click here and here.
Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com