Lured by the infamous Google offices and tagline that you “Can’t leave Google un-fed and un-watered”… Lucie, Nick and I eagerly tubed across London to Google’s Tottenham Court Road office for a spot of networking and information gathering with BusinessBecause.
We were there to find out just how graduates can get hired by the elusive Google, and just what makes an application stand out from the crowd.
Today, there are 34,000+ Googlers in 60 offices spanning 30countries around the world. Plenty of opportunities you might think?
Well that’s certainly true – especially as one third of Google’s workforce resides outside the US. Google’s EU headquarters, for instance, can be found in Dublin. This office has over 3,000 employees and boasts 106 represented nationalities. Pretty impressive stuff.
But on average, Google receives around 3million applications a year. So what are they really looking for a in a new recruit?
Luckily for applicants, there’s no check-box that every employee fits. Indeed Google wants a workforce that represents their diverse user base and ‘dog people not cat people’ culture (they even have dogs in their offices to prove a point). But that’s not exactly helpful when it comes down to submitting a killer application.
So we took some notes from Google Dublin’s top recruiter and came up with a pretty good summation of the attributes they’re looking for:
People who will go in and question what Google does from the get go.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have led a business team in the past. It can be anything from the Duke of Edinburgh scheme to heading a voluntary group to being the captain of a sports team.
With their multicultural work-force, being fluent in more than one language is a huge bonus at Google. But if you don’t have a head for languages… never fear. There are plenty of other ways to show diversity. Play up things like voluntary programmes, living abroad, interesting gap-years, weird and wonderful skills etc. As long as you can show that you’ve got something a little bit different from the average Jo, and that you’re well cultured and travelled, you’re good to go.
Google wants to see that you put 100% and more into everything you do. If you’ve done well at school, university, or just life in general, they want to see it. This doesn’t necessarily mean academically… so think outside the box. For more experienced hires, a proven track record is a must. They want to see that you’ve excelled in your previous roles – so highlight this on your application.
Creating a workplace environment where everyone can thrive is essential to the Google culture. They’re looking for people like them – with high morality, a good work ethic and a strong sense of justice.
Relevant Skills Set
Think about the transferrable skills you have, and how they’re relevant to the role you’re applying for. If there’s a correlation, highlight it.
If you think you’ve got the above – the next step is to make sure your CV stands out. Here are some top tips for Google-type CVs...
- Your CV should be a maximum of two pages – 1 is preferable. If you can get it down to 1 page, it shows recruiters that you’re able to take a large amount of information and condense it down into the most important bits…. a skill that’s highly valued by Google.
- Use bullet points, and make sure your work experience is in chronological order, starting with your latest position at the top.
- Make sure your CV’s easy to read. Don’t bold or underline words. Keep the text in black and white. Don’t use fancy tables or pictures.
- Write from a results perspective – not a competency one. What did you achieve in terms of projects?
- Use key metrics where possible, i.e. if you implemented a strategy at work or university that saved you a certain amount of time… tell them that. Google’s all about cutting down processes, time, energy etc. If you can demonstrate that this is something you already do, it will be a huge bonus.
- Taylor your CV to the job and to the company. Their IPO letter is a great place to start if you’re looking to find out a bit more….
If you’re lucky enough to get through the first few rounds of the application stage, you’ll be invited to take part in a telephone interview. Do well at that stage and you’ll be asked to attend a full day of interviews. The whole process takes about 6-8 weeks and it’s important that you impress everyone you come into contact with. Google have a ‘consensus recruitment’ policy which means that everyone you meet has a say in whether or not you’re hired. So don’t simply impress your ‘would-be-manager’!
If you’ve heard some horror stories about the Google application process…. don’t believe them. Every CV is reviewed by a human being. There are no ludicrous questions at the interview stage. You won’t be made to give crazy presentations.
Be yourself, accentuate your personal attributes, and do your research. If you can do that, you’ve created your very own Google check box.
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