Working at Google is one of the most coveted roles in the tech industry. Because of Google’s intense popularity, their acceptance rates are some of the lowest—with under 1% of job seekers actually making it to the position they applied for. One of the key aspects that can make or break a candidate’s application in the Google process is the resume.
In this article, we’ll talk about why resumes matter, what Google looks for in your resume, some concrete tips to improve your resume, and several example resumes of candidates who have gotten the job at Google.
Here are some resume examples that actually landed the position at Google. While helpful guides, these resumes shouldn’t be copied—your resumes may be very effective yet look different. (You can use a resume template, however).
What’s most important is making sure that your resume is tailored to the job posting you’re applying for.
Your resume is your first impression when applying to a company—and Google recruiters take close note of what’s on it.
In Google’s hiring process, they have several stages as they evaluate applicants, starting with a resume screen, then a recruiter screen call, then a phone interview, and finally, the on-site interview. The resume screen is the first of these stages, and usually included in the job posting where you apply for the role.
A team member at Google reviews all the applications submitted to their job postings and scans resume to see if there’s a good fit. Google uses a combination of technology and human-curated review processes to determine if a resume is relevant for the role, and then decides whether to send the candidate on to the next step of the process.
While it’s obvious that a resume can make or break a candidate’s application, what’s often overlooked is that the resume is a part of the candidate’s packet to Google’s hiring committee.
This means, in the final stages of the decision on a candidate joining Google, recruiters and hiring managers will again review the candidate’s packet holistically, including the resume, to see if there’s a good fit with the candidate.
So, your resume not only helps you get in the door, it can also help you land the job once you’ve interviewed.
There are plenty of great articles out there on writing an effective resume and many resume templates you can make use of. But especially for the Google roles, there’s one key secret to crafting the perfect resume that most people miss—study the job description.
The resume’s goal is to show that you, as a candidate, are a good fit for the role to the recruiter. Often, candidates struggle because they don’t know what to highlight on their resume or how to highlight it. Luckily, the hiring manager has spelled it out for you in their job description.
Study the job description closely. What skills is Google looking for in this role? What responsibilities will you have? Can you show these skills and responsibilities through your past experience?
Let’s take an example job description, a Customer Solutions Engineer:
Next, using the “preferred qualifications” section, see how much of the content you can show through your past experiences. Don’t be afraid to reuse some of the same verbiage as described in the job description (e.g. “Gathered requirements to meet customer objectives...”) as long as you will be concrete about your experience.
We recommend tailoring your resume for the roles you’re applying for—if you’re applying for multiple roles, you may need to craft different resumes to target them.
Let’s take a closer look at crafting your Google resume, step-by-step:
As with many tech giants, the recruiters at Google have to sift through mountains of resumes.
In fact, Google receives millions of job applications every year.
Your resume is your chance to make a lasting impression in mere seconds.
With recruiters typically dedicating a mere 6-7 seconds to review a single resume, it’s vital that you present the content in a polished, easy-to-digest manner.
So, keep these things in mind when formatting your Google resume:
Your Google resume’s header is likely the first thing the recruiter will see. This section should contain all of your essential personal and professional information.
At the top of the page, include your name, contact details, job title, and any relevant professional certifications or titles.
Recruiters often check out LinkedIn profiles, so be sure to include a link to your profile in your header.
If you have any other online profiles or portfolios that showcase your skills and experience, add those links too.
To write the header section for your Google resume, follow these steps:
For example, one sample Google resume header looks like this:
A resume summary is your first chance to give Google recruiters a quick and concise overview of your professional goals, relevant skills, and experience.
At the top of your resume, just below the header, resume summaries are brief introductions that highlight your qualifications and show how you’re the perfect fit for the position.
While resume summaries are a common feature on resumes, they may not be necessary for every candidate. They are often best suited for professionals with several years of experience under their belts.
If you’re a recent graduate or have very little work experience, a resume objective (a statement outlining your career goals) may be a better choice for your Google resume.
Still, many recruiters have said that well-written resume summaries can be very effective at grabbing their attention.
If you decide to include one, be sure to keep it short and sweet - after all, it’s called a summary for a reason.
For example, your resume summary could look like this:
The experience section is the real meat and potatoes - your chance to shine and show off your skills, accomplishments, and value as a candidate.
Here, you’ll list your previous jobs, relevant skills, and the impact you’ve driven in previous positions.
When writing this section, it’s essential to “humble-brag” as much as possible. Illustrate your achievements and successes without coming across as arrogant.
Be sure to stay clear and concise - otherwise, your resume may become too long or wordy and risk being passed over by recruiters.
Remember, the experience section is where you’ll spend the most time writing, so be sure it showcases your value as a Google candidate.
To write the experience section of your resume, follow these steps:
For example, here's the experience section of a Google resume:
For most candidates, the education section of their Google resume will be a short section listed below their work history.
This is where you’ll include the name of the institution you attended, your degree, and any relevant coursework or certifications.
You may choose to include your GPA, although this is usually unnecessary for most recruiters at Google.
However, if you’re an entry-level candidate with little to no previous experience, you can include this section before your experience section and beef it up a bit.
Besides the previously mentioned information, you could include details about internships, summer jobs, and other relevant education and training experiences. This will help you show your skills and qualifications to recruiters and make you a more competitive candidate.
Here's a sample education section:
While skills sections are relatively common on many people’s resumes, many recruiters actually recommend keeping it off your Google resume.
The skills section might take up a lot of space without adding any value.
We’ll follow their advice and recommend skipping the skills section.
Instead, incorporate all those skills you would have included within the content of your experience section.
What skills you should include will, of course, depend on the job you’re applying for.
In most cases, these necessary skills can be found directly in the job description. For example, here’s another Google job description:
If you’ve still got some space left on your Google resume (remember, aim for 1-2 pages maximum), consider adding some additional sections to give recruiters a more well-rounded view of who you are.
While you may not think it’s relevant or professional, hiring managers and recruiters at Google will usually appreciate seeing things like volunteer work, outside interests, etc., in your resume.
Recruiters may review countless resumes on a daily basis, but they’re not robots - they’re people, too.
These additional sections can help them get to know you as an applicant in a more personal way, which can help establish a good relationship if you’re invited to an interview later on.
So don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your Microsoft resume! Just keep it relevant and professional, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing the recruitment team.
Of course, don’t go overboard. Don’t be like Dwight and fax over an addendum for martial arts training.
Like all the sections of your Google resume, keep it short and sweet.
For example, here’s what a real Google resume Interests & Activities section looks like:
Here’s what Google’s How We Hire document says about cover letters:
A word on cover letters: they aren’t required (and may or may not be considered), so it’s your call on whether to include one. If you do decide to include a cover letter, many of the same suggestions we have for building a good resume apply here as well. For instance, tailor it to the job you’re applying for, tell us how you’ve made a difference and use data to back it up. Draw a direct line between your passion and our position, let us see who you are a bit.
A sample cover letter for a Software Engineering position may look like this:
Here are some key tips to watch out for when crafting the resume:
You did it! You've crafted a resume that will showcase your experience and hopefully get a response from the recruiter. Generally after applying to the role, not much additional action can be taken until a recruiter reaches out to add you to the next step. One thing that can help in the meantime is getting a referral.
If you're applying as a software engineer, check out our inside look at Google's Coding Interview Rubric to see how your interviewer will grade your performance.
We also recommend starting interview preparation before applying, given how tough the interview processes are at Google. To get started, here are a few of the most common questions that Google may ask you:
While we hope this article was helpful, chances are you'll need more resources to best prepare for the Google interview. Luckily, there are tons of different resources on Exponent to help you practice and get ready for your upcoming Google interview:
👯♂️ Practice your behavioral and product sense skills with our interview practice tool.