Getting hired by Google sounds amazing, given the alluring pay and being immensely adept in one to many skills, but it can be one hell of a daunting process. It is important to acknowledge that even well-qualified candidates may encounter the harsh reality that Google rejects resumes. As told in the words of Laszlo Bock, former Senior Vice President of People Operation for Google, “good grades don’t hurt“, but for Google, “GPAs and test scores are worthless as criteria for hiring“. If you are a job applicant, there might be chances, among other factors, that your resume is getting in your way.
Reasons Why Google rejects resumes
Laszlo Bock, currently co-founder of Humu, writes that he has personally reviewed more than 20,000 resumes and that Google receives 50,000 a week. With that level of influx, the search engine giant had to employ some quick way of filtering through the candidates, which sometimes eliminated highly skilled contenders. Google automatically rejects a lot of resumes based on some common mistakes many won’t know about. And this has little to do with your degree.
Some common mistakes that most applicants make, as a result of which companies like Google rejects resumes without thoroughly reviewing them:
- Typos – This seems obvious, but it happens now and then. The people who are extra careful and endlessly go back and forth on their resumes to fine-tune end up making typo errors. In doing so, sometimes a word drops out, a subject or verb doesn’t match, or a period gets wrongly placed. Due to repetition, you’ll memorize it so badly that your eyes will skim over the document, and your brain will fail to notice errors. Typos can be deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail orientation and being careless about quality. According to Bock, “a 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos”. To fix this, read your resume in reverse – from bottom to top, or have someone else proofread your resume.
- Sharing Confidential Information – You should adhere to the confidentiality policy of your past or existing employer. If a firm has a strict confidentiality policy, then client names are never to be shared. For instance, a candidate wrote on his resume, “Consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington” boom rejected! Although he didn’t break the policy by naming Microsoft, which any reviewer knew that’s what he meant, he failed to inspire trust in his potential employer. Bock said, “as an employer, I should never hire those candidates … unless I want my own trade secrets emailed to my competitors.”
- Untruthfulness – Lying on the resume, though very wrong altogether, is very very common. 26% of people under 40 admit to doing it, and 85% of hiring managers said they found lies in resumes they received. Bock says people lied about their degrees (claiming to have a college degree when you are three credits shy, is not a degree), about their GPAs (rounding up their GPAs), about their past experience, and whatnot. With the help of the internet, everything we claim can be verified, and we can be busted, so it is a stupid thing to do.
- Formatting – Unless you are applying for a position as a designer or an artist, Bock says, substance definitely matters over style. The focus should be on making the resume clean and legible so that it can be easily understood by the employer.
- Length – A crisp and focused resume demonstrates one’s ability to synthesize, prioritize and convey the most important information about themselves. According to Bock’s rule of thumb, one page resume for every 10 years of experience would do fine. Once you get into the interview room, your resume doesn’t matter much. A lengthier resume simply won’t get read closely.
These five mistakes in your CV appear quite basic, but if you avoid them, it will surely reduce the chances of your resume getting tossed in the trash.
Laszlo Bock says about Google that during hiring, “we found that they don’t predict anything”. He noted that the hiring of people who did not have a college education has increased over time. The requisite skills preferred by Google for any job-seeker, or basically, five hiring attributes that run across the company are:-
- General Cognitive Ability: Its learning ability, not I.Q.
- Leadership: Emergent leadership rather than traditional
- Humility: Apart from the sense of responsibility, ‘intellectual humility.’
- Ownership: Compassionate to make things work; internal motivation
- Expertise: Surprisingly, this is the least important attribute they look for. Good math, computing, and coding skills can give you an added advantage in technical roles.