You are previewing The Google Résumé: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company.
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The Google Résumé: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company

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 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. 1. Introduction
    1. 1.1. Life at Infinite Loop and Microsoft Way
      1. 1.1.1. Youthful
      2. 1.1.2. Perks
      3. 1.1.3. Work/Life Balance
      4. 1.1.4. Moving Up: Individual Contributors
      5. 1.1.5. The Differences
    2. 1.2. Big vs. Little: Is a Start-up Right for You?
      1. 1.2.1. The Good
      2. 1.2.2. The Bad
      3. 1.2.3. The Ugly
    3. 1.3. The Job Title: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
      1. 1.3.1. What Do You Need?
      2. 1.3.2. How Do You Enjoy Working?
      3. 1.3.3. What Are You Good At?
    4. 1.4. And You're on Your Way . . .
  3. 2. Advanced Preparation
    1. 2.1. What Can You Do: An Overview
    2. 2.2. Academics
      1. 2.2.1. Elite Schools: What's in a Name?
      2. 2.2.2. Picking Your Curriculum: Majors, Minors, and Other Courses
        1. 2.2.2.1. Learn to Code
        2. 2.2.2.2. What About a Minor?
        3. 2.2.2.3. Get Project Experience
      3. 2.2.3. Grade Point Average: Does It Matter and What Can You Do?
      4. 2.2.4. Doctor Who? Getting to Know Professors
    3. 2.3. Work Experience
      1. 2.3.1. Make an Impact
      2. 2.3.2. Become a Generalist
      3. 2.3.3. Size Matters: Quantify Your Impact
      4. 2.3.4. Part-Time Jobs and Internships
    4. 2.4. Extracurriculars and the Checkbox People
      1. 2.4.1. Volunteering
      2. 2.4.2. Start Something
    5. 2.5. Your Questions Answered
      1. 2.5.1. Well, There Go the College Hires
      2. 2.5.2. Will Code for Food
      3. 2.5.3. The Un-Manager
  4. 3. Getting in the Door
    1. 3.1. The Black Hole: Online Job Submission
      1. 3.1.1. Making the Best of the Black Hole
    2. 3.2. Getting a Personal Referral
      1. 3.2.1. Tell Your Friends
      2. 3.2.2. Make Yourself Known
      3. 3.2.3. The Informational Interview
      4. 3.2.4. Reach Out to Recruiters
      5. 3.2.5. Alumni Network and Beyond
    3. 3.3. Career Fairs
    4. 3.4. Professional Recruiters
      1. 3.4.1. When Things Get Ugly: What to Watch Out For
    5. 3.5. Additional Avenues
      1. 3.5.1. Start Elsewhere
      2. 3.5.2. Contract Roles
      3. 3.5.3. Get Creative
      4. 3.5.4. Official Groups
    6. 3.6. Networking
      1. 3.6.1. Quality, Not Quantity: How to Build a Network that Works
        1. 3.6.1.1. Be Giving
        2. 3.6.1.2. Be Open
        3. 3.6.1.3. Be the Connector
      2. 3.6.2. Where to Network
        1. 3.6.2.1. Immerse Yourself in Start-ups
        2. 3.6.2.2. Social Networking
      3. 3.6.3. LinkedIn
      4. 3.6.4. Facebook
      5. 3.6.5. Twitter
        1. 3.6.5.1. Contributing Online
    7. 3.7. Your Questions Answered
      1. 3.7.1. Applying from Afar
      2. 3.7.2. Distant Relations
      3. 3.7.3. Just Following Instructions
  5. 4. Résumés
    1. 4.1. Six Hallmarks of a Powerful Résumé
    2. 4.2. The Structure
      1. 4.2.1. The Objective
      2. 4.2.2. Summary (or Key Accomplishments)
      3. 4.2.3. Work Experience
        1. 4.2.3.1. How Far Back Should It Go?
    3. 4.3. Projects
      1. 4.3.1. Education
        1. 4.3.1.1. What about High School?
        2. 4.3.1.2. Which Comes First?
      2. 4.3.2. Skills
      3. 4.3.3. Awards and Honors
      4. 4.3.4. What Not to Include
    4. 4.4. How Long Is Too Long?
      1. 4.4.1. How Do I Shorten My Résumé?
    5. 4.5. Your Questions Answered
      1. 4.5.1. It's a Family Matter
      2. 4.5.2. On the Up and Up
      3. 4.5.3. But Seriously
  6. 5. Deconstructing the Résumé
    1. 5.1. Résumé A: Bill Jobs
      1. 5.1.1. Assessment
    2. 5.2. Résumé B: Steve Gates
      1. 5.2.1. Assessment
    3. 5.3. Résumé C: Geena Roberts
      1. 5.3.1. Assessment
    4. 5.4. Parting Words
    5. 5.5. Additional Resources
  7. 6. Cover Letters and References
    1. 6.1. Why a Cover Letter?
    2. 6.2. The Three Types of Cover Letter
      1. 6.2.1. Solicited Cover Letter
      2. 6.2.2. Unsolicited Cover Letter/Cold Call Letter
      3. 6.2.3. Broadcast Letter
    3. 6.3. The Structure
    4. 6.4. Five Traits of a Strong Cover Letter
      1. 6.4.1. 1. Tailored
        1. 6.4.1.1. What If There Is No Job Description?
      2. 6.4.2. 2. Supported with Evidence
      3. 6.4.3. 3. Structured and Concise
      4. 6.4.4. 4. Simple, Direct Writing
      5. 6.4.5. 5. Professional
    5. 6.5. An A+ Cover Letter
    6. 6.6. References
      1. 6.6.1. Who Makes a Strong Reference?
      2. 6.6.2. How to Make Good References Great
      3. 6.6.3. Problems with References: What Can Go Wrong
        1. 6.6.3.1. What If Your Bad Reference Is Your Former Boss?
    7. 6.7. Your Questions Answered
      1. 6.7.1. New Form, Same Great Content
      2. 6.7.2. Full Disclosure
    8. 6.8. Additional Resources
  8. 7. Interview Prep and Overview
    1. 7.1. What Are Tech Companies Looking For?
    2. 7.2. How to Prepare
      1. 7.2.1. RéSumé and Experience Prep
        1. 7.2.1.1. Practice Your Pitch
        2. 7.2.1.2. Review Your RéSumé
        3. 7.2.1.3. Preparation Grid
      2. 7.2.2. Do Your Homework
        1. 7.2.2.1. Company
        2. 7.2.2.2. Interviewer Research
      3. 7.2.3. Prepare Questions
    3. 7.3. Working with Your Recruiter
      1. 7.3.1. Getting the Recruiter on Your Side
    4. 7.4. Communication and Behavior
      1. 7.4.1. Controlling the Interview
      2. 7.4.2. Four Ways to Keep the Interviewer's Attention
      3. 7.4.3. Projecting Confidence
    5. 7.5. Special Interview Types
      1. 7.5.1. The Phone Interview
        1. 7.5.1.1. What to Bring
        2. 7.5.1.2. How to Do Well
      2. 7.5.2. The HR Screening Interview
        1. 7.5.2.1. What Is It?
        2. 7.5.2.2. What Happens?
        3. 7.5.2.3. How to Do Well
      3. 7.5.3. Lunch Interviews
        1. 7.5.3.1. How to Do Well
      4. 7.5.4. Follow-up Interviews
    6. 7.6. After the Interview
      1. 7.6.1. The "Thank You" Note
      2. 7.6.2. Following Up with Your Recruiter
      3. 7.6.3. Contacting Your References
      4. 7.6.4. Dealing with Rejection
    7. 7.7. Your Questions Answered
      1. 7.7.1. Run for the Hills
      2. 7.7.2. Too Much Information or Just Enough?
      3. 7.7.3. Playing Hard to Get
    8. 7.8. Additional Resources
  9. 8. Interview Questions
    1. 8.1. General Advice
      1. 8.1.1. Communication
      2. 8.1.2. When You Get Something Wrong
    2. 8.2. Acing the Standard Questions
    3. 8.3. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
      1. 8.3.1. Why Are You Leaving Your Job?
      2. 8.3.2. Why Should We Hire You?
      3. 8.3.3. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
      4. 8.3.4. What Are Your Strengths?
      5. 8.3.5. What Are Your Weaknesses?
    4. 8.4. Behavioral and Résumé Questions
      1. 8.4.1. What They're Looking For
      2. 8.4.2. How to Approach
      3. 8.4.3. Five Example Questions
    5. 8.5. Estimation Questions
      1. 8.5.1. What They're Looking For
      2. 8.5.2. How to Approach Them
      3. 8.5.3. Five Example Questions
    6. 8.6. Design Questions
      1. 8.6.1. What They're Looking For
      2. 8.6.2. How to Approach Them
        1. 8.6.2.1. Step 1: Resolve Ambiguity
        2. 8.6.2.2. Step 2: What Are the Basic Product Needs?
        3. 8.6.2.3. Step 3: What Does the Customer Need? (And Who Is the Customer?)
        4. 8.6.2.4. Step 4: What Features Will Meet These Needs?
      3. 8.6.3. Five Example Questions
    7. 8.7. Brainteasers: Why Are Manhole Covers Round?
      1. 8.7.1. What They're Looking For
      2. 8.7.2. How to Approach Them
        1. 8.7.2.1. Solve a subproblem
        2. 8.7.2.2. Develop a Rule or Equation
        3. 8.7.2.3. Simplify the problem
        4. 8.7.2.4. Examples
    8. 8.8. Answering the Tough Questions
      1. 8.8.1. Layoffs
      2. 8.8.2. Being Fired
      3. 8.8.3. Unemployment
    9. 8.9. Your Questions Answered
      1. 8.9.1. Barrier to Entry
      2. 8.9.2. It's a Numbers Game
      3. 8.9.3. The Great Unknown
    10. 8.10. Additional Resources
  10. 9. The Programming Interview
    1. 9.1. How They Differ: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple
    2. 9.2. How to Prepare
      1. 9.2.1. The Five-Step Approach to Effective Preparation
      2. 9.2.2. What If I Hear a Question I Know?
      3. 9.2.3. "Must Know" Topics
    3. 9.3. Memory Usage
    4. 9.4. Coding Questions
      1. 9.4.1. Step 1: Ask Questions
        1. 9.4.1.1. Example: "Design an Algorithm to Sort a List"
      2. 9.4.2. Step 2: Design an Algorithm
      3. 9.4.3. Step 3: Pseudo-Code
      4. 9.4.4. Step 4: Code
      5. 9.4.5. Step 5: Test
    5. 9.5. Algorithm Questions: Five Ways to Create an Algorithm
      1. 9.5.1. Approach 1: Examplify
      2. 9.5.2. Approach 2: Pattern Matching
      3. 9.5.3. Approach 3: Simplify and Generalize
      4. 9.5.4. Approach 4: Base Case and Build
      5. 9.5.5. Approach 5: Data Structure Brainstorm
    6. 9.6. Object-Oriented Design
    7. 9.7. Scalability Questions
    8. 9.8. Testing Interviews
      1. 9.8.1. Testing a Real-World Object
      2. 9.8.2. Testing a Piece of Software
      3. 9.8.3. Test a Method
    9. 9.9. Example Problems
    10. 9.10. Your Questions Answered
      1. 9.10.1. Too Much Prep, Too Little Time
      2. 9.10.2. Know It All
      3. 9.10.3. Misleading Information
    11. 9.11. Additional Resources
  11. 10. Getting into Gaming
    1. 10.1. The Culture: Is It All Fun and Games?
    2. 10.2. Job Positions: What Can You Do?
      1. 10.2.1. Software Engineering
      2. 10.2.2. Production
      3. 10.2.3. Art
      4. 10.2.4. Designers
      5. 10.2.5. Other Roles
    3. 10.3. Fresh Meat: Advice for College Candidates
      1. 10.3.1. Don't Be Afraid of Entering Low
      2. 10.3.2. Find Your Niche
      3. 10.3.3. Create a Portfolio Web Site
      4. 10.3.4. Get Out There
    4. 10.4. Reaching Out and Getting In
      1. 10.4.1. College and Professional Recruiting
      2. 10.4.2. Online Networks
      3. 10.4.3. Events
    5. 10.5. Personality Fit
      1. 10.5.1. Young at Heart
      2. 10.5.2. Likable
      3. 10.5.3. Creative/Imaginative
      4. 10.5.4. Work Ethic
      5. 10.5.5. Strong Communication Skills
    6. 10.6. The Gaming Interview—Three Tips to Doing Well
    7. 10.7. Your Questions Answered
      1. 10.7.1. Making the Jump
      2. 10.7.2. Value Added
      3. 10.7.3. It's the Little Things that Count
  12. 11. The Offer
    1. 11.1. How to Evaluate an Offer
    2. 11.2. Your Career Development
      1. 11.2.1. Learning and Development
      2. 11.2.2. Responsibilities and Decision Making
      3. 11.2.3. Promotions
      4. 11.2.4. Résumé and Prestige
      5. 11.2.5. Company's Future and Stability
      6. 11.2.6. Location
    3. 11.3. The Financial Package
      1. 11.3.1. Components of an Offer
      2. 11.3.2. Location
    4. 11.4. The Happiness Factor
    5. 11.5. How Can You Negotiate an Offer?
      1. 11.5.1. Should You Negotiate?
      2. 11.5.2. What Can You Negotiate?
      3. 11.5.3. Seven Tips to Winning Negotiations
    6. 11.6. Tricky Issues: Deadlines, Extensions, and Declining Offers
      1. 11.6.1. Deadlines and Extensions
      2. 11.6.2. Reneging
      3. 11.6.3. Declining an Offer (and Building a Connection)
    7. 11.7. Your Questions Answered
      1. 11.7.1. Au Revoir, Vacation Days
      2. 11.7.2. Representative Representatives
      3. 11.7.3. Big or Little
  13. 12. ON THE JOB
    1. 12.1. Your Career Path
      1. 12.1.1. Define Your Career Path
      2. 12.1.2. Make Your Successes Known
      3. 12.1.3. Managing the Review Process
        1. 12.1.3.1. 1. Track Your Accomplishments as You Go
        2. 12.1.3.2. 2. Quantify the Results
        3. 12.1.3.3. 3. Ask Early for Feedback—and Get It in Writing
      4. 12.1.4. Play a Bit of Politics: Build Strong Relationships
      5. 12.1.5. Identify a Mentor
    2. 12.2. Promotions and Raises
      1. 12.2.1. How to Get Promoted
      2. 12.2.2. How to Negotiate a Raise
        1. 12.2.2.1. Choose the Right Time
        2. 12.2.2.2. Do Your Homework
        3. 12.2.2.3. How to Ask
      3. 12.2.3. How to Handle Rejection
    3. 12.3. How and When to Quit
      1. 12.3.1. Should You Quit?
      2. 12.3.2. How to Not Burn Bridges
      3. 12.3.3. Should I Find a New Job First?
    4. 12.4. Going Back to School
      1. 12.4.1. The True Cost of Graduate School
      2. 12.4.2. Academic Graduate Degrees
      3. 12.4.3. Preparing Now
      4. 12.4.4. The MBA
        1. 12.4.4.1. What's in a Name?
        2. 12.4.4.2. Preparing Now
        3. 12.4.4.3. Your "Story"
    5. 12.5. Part-Time Schooling
    6. 12.6. Your Questions Answered
      1. 12.6.1. Shakespeare Can Write
      2. 12.6.2. In Name Only
      3. 12.6.3. Newbie Wants Out
  14. 13. Final Thoughts: Luck, Determination, And What You Can Do
  15. A. 156 Action Words to Make Your Résumé Jump
  16. B. Answers to Behavioral Interview Questions