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Cracking the Tech Career: Insider Advice on Landing a Job at Google, Microsoft, Apple, or any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

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4Resumes

Most resumes are broken—even from exceptional candidates. They have fantastic accomplishments, but you only learn this is if you spend a long time studying the resume. Or, perhaps their accomplishments aren't clearly stated and you can't really make out why the accomplishment is so impressive.

A good resume clearly highlights a candidate's relevant skills. It must present the candidate in the best possible light because, after all, it is one's first chance to persuade the reader that she is the best candidate for the job.

How Resumes Are Read

Part of the problem with people's resumes is that they don't understand—truly understand—how resumes are read.

The reality is that resumes aren't read so much as they are glanced at. A recruiter (or another resume screener) picks up your resume, skims it, and then makes a snap judgment: yes/no. You often get no more than 10 seconds to impress the reader.

The next time your resume will be read is by an interviewer. Even then, many interviewers don't read your whole resume, word for word. They skim it to get a sense for your background.

Either way, your resume must be designed to highlight your best accomplishments with only a brief skim.

Nine Hallmarks of a Powerful Resume

A powerful resume should leap off the page saying, “Me! I'm the one you want to hire!” Each and every line should contribute to that goal. Why, then, does a candidate list his vague, totally unprovable, and generic love for running? One has precious few lines ...

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