Winning

Photo credit by Unsplash/Japheth Mast

It turns out, getting an interview at Google is easier than you’d think. Well, at least if you’re an honest person who knows how to use spellcheck.

OK, it’s obviously not that simple, but according to former Google HR exec Laszlo Bock, “you’re already better off than at least half the applicants out there” if your résumé is typo-free, legible, does not divulge confidential information about former employers, is not the length of a Victorian novel, and isn’t as fabricated as said novel.

One would think that folks applying to work at the search engine king would naturally assume that Googling applicants’ credentials was standard screening practice, along with background checks, of course.

But then again, according to the 2018 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report, 84 percent of hiring managers have caught applicants lying on their résumés, even at the executive level. (You know what they say about common sense.)

If you do have common sense, though, congrats, because you’re already half way there!

But to bring it home, you’re going to have to make sure your accomplishments stand out, Laszlo again explains. And lucky for us all, there’s a simple formula he swears by:

“Every one of your accomplishments should be presented as: Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]. In other words, start with an active verb, numerically measure what you accomplished, provide a baseline for comparison, and detail what you did to achieve your goal.”

To illustrate just how effective this formula is at helping your bullet points shine, Laszlo shares some examples, including the following:

  1. Studied financial performance of companies and made investment recommendations
  2. Improved portfolio performance by 12% ($1.2 million) over one year by refining cost of capital calculations for information-poor markets and re-weighting portfolio based on resulting valuations

Granted, I have no idea what “capital calculations for information-poor markets” actually means, but I can see how the second version is vastly superior to the first.

It ultimately comes down to the details, Laszlo explains. “Even if your accomplishments don’t seem that impressive to you, recruiters will nevertheless love the specificity.” And if you can throw in some extra context by making a comparison between you and your peers, the more power to you.

“‘Served 85 customers per day with 100% accuracy’ sounds good, even if the customers are people you rang up at a grocery store. It’s even more impressive if you can add, ‘… compared to an average of 70 customers at 90% accuracy for my peers.’ Providing data helps. Making it meaningful with a comparison helps even more.”

For more of Laszlo’s examples, head on over to Quartz.


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