How to Get a Job at Google?

Written by: Thomas L. Friedman

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — LAST June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies — noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.

Don’t get him wrong, Bock begins, “Good grades certainly don’t hurt.” Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills, so if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. But Google has its eyes on much more.

“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained Bock. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”

The second, he added, “is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”

What else? Humility and ownership. “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in,” he said, to try to solve any problem — and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.”

And it is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute, says Bock, it’s “intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.” It is why research shows that many graduates from hotshot business schools plateau. “Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure,” said Bock.

“They, instead, commit the fundamental attribution error, which is if something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot or I didn’t get the resources or the market moved. … What we’ve seen is that the people who are the most successful here, who we want to hire, will have a fierce position. They’ll argue like hell. They’ll be zealots about their point of view. But then you say, ‘here’s a new fact,’ and they’ll go, ‘Oh, well, that changes things; you’re right.’ ” You need a big ego and small ego in the same person at the same time.

The least important attribute they look for is “expertise.” Said Bock: “If you take somebody who has high cognitive ability, is innately curious, willing to learn and has emergent leadership skills, and you hire them as an H.R. person or finance person, and they have no content knowledge, and you compare them with someone who’s been doing just one thing and is a world expert, the expert will go: ‘I’ve seen this 100 times before; here’s what you do.’ ” Most of the time the nonexpert will come up with the same answer, added Bock, “because most of the time it’s not that hard.” Sure, once in a while they will mess it up, he said, but once in a while they’ll also come up with an answer that is totally new. And there is huge value in that.

To sum up Bock’s approach to hiring: Talent can come in so many different forms and be built in so many nontraditional ways today, hiring officers have to be alive to every one — besides brand-name colleges. Because “when you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people.” Too many colleges, he added, “don’t deliver on what they promise. You generate a ton of debt, you don’t learn the most useful things for your life. It’s [just] an extended adolescence.”

Google attracts so much talent it can afford to look beyond traditional metrics, like G.P.A. For most young people, though, going to college and doing well is still the best way to master the tools needed for many careers. But Bock is saying something important to them, too: Beware. Your degree is not a proxy for your ability to do any job. The world only cares about — and pays off on — what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it). And in an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it also cares about a lot of soft skills — leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn. This will be true no matter where you go to work.


Recent College Grads: Master These 15 Simple Skills

Written by: Dave Kerpen

College graduates: Congratulations on your degrees! I got mine 16 years ago this month at Boston University, and so I thought that, today, I’d share with you 15 simple things I’ve learned to do since college. Some of them are more serious than others, and some come with more stories and experiences than others, but I hope you’ll find them all to be worth your time. In an increasingly complex world, I, for one, prefer simplicity in my life – I like knowing what to do and not to do. So, without further ado:

1) Pursue your passions.

After I graduated from BU, I had a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Education. I had an incredible college job as a ballpark vendorunder my belt. But one thing I didn’t have was a clue about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. After four years, and a lot of money, that’s a really scary thing. For several months I floundered — as a life insurance salesman, a pizza delivery guy, and a tutor. Then I found a book which changed my life – What Color Is Your Parachute (incidentally, the best-selling career book of all time). The book essentially says: Figure out what you’re passionate about, and then go find an industry, organization and job through which you can pursue your passions. I was passionate about marketing, and media, and children, and I loved the Disney brand. So I found Radio Disney, called them up and asked to meet with them, and even though there was no job posted, I got a job there.


A year later I was the top salesperson in the country, and while I have changed jobs and careers several times, I’ve always pursued things I’m super passionate about. If you don’t have a job yet, and take away just one thing from me today: Get the book.

By the way, I met another really passionate person at Radio Disney — pictured above with me is the person who dropped me from being the No. 1 salesperson in the country to No. 2 within three months of being hired. Her name was Carrie, and a few year later, I happened to marry her and go into business with her. I’ve learned that when you pursue your passions, things tend to work out.

2) Learn how to use the phone to talk.

We’ve had dozens of employees at our Likeable offices over the last six years, many of them young, recent college graduates with degrees in marketing or communication, and yet one thing lacking in almost all of these smart people is phone skills. I guess we’re all so used to using our phones for texting, emailing and apps, we don’t really get much practice using our phones to actually talk anymore. In many organizations, simply being able to answer a phone call with a smile and carry on a quick but friendly conversation can actually be a competitive advantage, since so many people can’t do it. So go call a friend right now and talk. They’ll be time to text and tweet later.

3) Value every minute.

I’m sure you’ve heard many older people tell you that “time flies.” Well, it does, and while I’ve been searching for a solution to that problem for awhile, nobody’s solved it yet. So in the meantime, the only solution to the problem of limited time is to value and cherish each and every minute. It means avoiding time-sucks — like TV, meetings and email. It means scheduling your time carefully for everything you do. More important, it means prioritizing and scheduling time with the people that are important to you.
4) Be afraid, then take risks anyway.

There’s a great line from the Broadway show Avenue Q (great show, by the way, for recent college grads to see!): “Life may be scary, but it’s only temporary.” It’s true: Life is scary. Finding a job is scary, finding and keeping love is scary, even crossing the street is scary in some cities. But if we can feel fear and have the courage to take a risk anyway, the payout is always worth itFail and learn, or succeed and enjoy. I’ve certainly made my share of mistakes — including the globally televised reality TV show Paradise Hotel. (I’d recommend watching it for a laugh or two, but that would surely violate my last rule.) So start a business, ask out that girl you’ve had a crush on for years, stand up for what you believe is right. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

5) Take care of yourself.

At BU, I definitely put on the Freshman 15. Then I think I put on the Sophomore 10, the Junior 10 and the Senior 18. I’ve struggled with my weight for nearly all of my adult life, losing as much as 69 pounds after college. I’m a lifetime member of Weight Watchers — three times over. But I want to be around, for my wife and kids, as long as I can. There are no guarantees in life, but if you take care of your body, and put yourself first, as my wife and co-founder of Likeable Media Carrie says, you’ll not only increase your odds, you’ll be able to be a better leader and a peak performer in all aspects of your life.

6) Work on your listening skills.

I wasn’t always the best listener. I think part of the reason I didn’t have many successful dates or girlfriends in college is that I was one of those idiots that kept talking about myself instead of asking questions and shutting up. Today, I’m convinced that listening is the single most important skill — in my business of social media, in all businesses, in all relationships, and in life. Most people don’t go through life listening — they go through life waiting to talk. Take time to truly listen to people, whether it’s your friends and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter, your boss in a 1-on-1, your girlfriend, or your parents. Actively listen and focus on the person in front of you the way a child focuses on his favorite TV show. My motto, for years, since those unsuccessful college dating years, has been this: Listen first and never stop listening.

7) Reinvent yourself.

In the last fifteen years, I’ve been a ballpark vendor, radio salesperson, reality TV star, media entrepreneur, author, speaker and software CEO. For most people this decade and beyond, the days of one job, one career, one company are long over. If you work hard and pursue your passions, you’ll have lots of opportunities to reinvent yourself over your lifetime. And thanks to the internet, reinventing yourself is easier than ever before. So don’t worry about what you want to be when you grow up — I know I don’t. Just figure out what you want to do tomorrow.

8) Read.

Sorry, professors, but I’ve learned more from reading great books over the last fifteen years than what I learned over four years in college. I’ve been taught and inspired by Godin, Collins, Lencioni, and many other great authors. In fact, I can honestly say that these nine books have changed my life. For me, it’s nonfiction that I love. For you, it may be fiction, or poetry, or yes, vampire romances. But whatever your preference, know that when you’re reading, you’re learning, and learning is always a good thing. In college you had to read. Now, you get to read.

9) Write.

Writing is a lost art – and the truth is, no matter what your job, industry or career, it’s beneficial to become a better writer. In fact, one of my only regrets is not writing more over the past thirty years. I only began writing regularly five years ago, with the Likeable Media blog. I remember, when we launched it, it was called “Buzz Marketing Daily,” and my wife and business partner Carrie said we shouldn’t do it, as that would force us to post a new article everyday. “Exactly,” I replied. Five years later, it’s one of the most highly trafficked blogs in marketing, and has led to millions of dollars in revenue for our company. I’ve also written two bestselling books, and of course, I love writing now for LinkedIn. You don’t have to write books — but whether it’s a blog, writing code, or just writing emails, practice writing.It sharpens your thinking skills, and you’ll be taken more seriously at any job.


10) Avoid sensational TV news.

There’s not much to say about this, except it’s one of the biggest time-sucks around. I’ve certainly fallen victim to this myself. Something “huge” happens in the news — Newtown, Boston, Cleveland, etc. — and we want to learn more, and to understand, and to mourn, and the next thing we know, we’re glued to the TV for hours and hours. I’m all for informing ourselves about the news. But think about how much you could actually do, and make, and really learn, if you just shut the TV off.

11) Vote.

Vote for candidates and causes you care about. Vote at the ballot booth and with your wallet. Vote on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and LinkedIn. Vote with what you share — and don’t share — with what you buy, and don’t buy, and with whom and what you stand for, and don’t stand for. I’m embarrassed to say, like many young people, during and after college, I didn’t vote, despite old people like me and MTV telling me to. Today, thanks to social media, more than ever, the government and companies can be held accountable. Vote in all these ways to keep them accountable.

12) Love. Hard.

I mentioned earlier how scary life is. Love is the scariest part. I mentioned earlier that I married Carrie, a woman I met while working at Radio Disney in my first real job after college. What I didn’t mention earlier is that when I first met Carrie and fell madly in love with her, she was married at the time. I was rejected, and it hurt a lot. I proceeded to do what anyone with unrequited love would do: I went on a reality TV show to find true love. If you Googled that, you’d see that didn’t work out too well for me, either, in the love department. Let’s just say, I fell for a model who said on national TV, “All I said was, ‘I don’t like Dave touching my bare skin.‘” But despite the pain of rejection, the feeling of love is the best thing ever, and well worth the risk of rejection and breakup. And a couple of years later, I got my chance with Carrie, and I haven’t been happier since. The only thing as good as the love of a life partner is the love of your children. I’ve got two, Charlotte and Kate, and they inspire me every single day.


13) Form a personal board of advisors.

When we first started Likeable Media, in 2007, we really didn’t have a clue about what we were doing. I was an idiot trying to run a company. We muddled through somehow though, and things worked out okay. Today, I’m still an idiot, but I have much more of a clue than I used to, thanks to our Advisory Board. Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed by meeting lots of smart, talented people, who have become mentors to me. A little over a year ago, I reached out to eleven of these mentors and asked them to serve on a board of advisors for me, and they all did. You don’t need to own a company to have a board of advisors — you just need to be open to finding mentors and asking them for help along the way.

14) Show your friendship first.

The truth is, as awesome as my Advisory Board is, they might not all have volunteered to help me if I hadn’t offered to help them first. My wife’s dad, who I knew as PopPop, taught me to show my friendship first — to reach out to others and genuinely offer my help, without any expectation of getting anything back in return. It feels really good to give, and the idea of helping others often ends up working out really well, in business and in life. Three years ago, sadly, I lost PopPop to cancer. But the lesson he taught me lives on, and hope you too will be able to benefit from PopPop by giving of yourself before you receive.

15) Be honest and transparent.

At the end of the day, we all have to live with ourselves. Sometimes, it might be tempting to keep secrets, or tell little white lies, or leave things out, or even lie outright to accomplish a goal or get what you want. But as I’ve learned, dishonesty and secrecy only make life harder in the long run. Honesty, openness and transparency are actually a lot easier, because you don’t have to remember as much, and you get to feel good about yourself. In business, transparency breeds trust, and trust breeds customers. But really, in all of life, honesty is the best policy. You already knew this of course, but I hope my spin on it — that honesty is actually easier — will help you a bit along the way.

Don’t worry so much. Just be likeable.

Dan Zadra said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” It’s true; worrying won’t get you anywhere. And, yes, you have a lot that you could be afraid of. But as I told you, and as the EGOT winner Robert Lopez wrote, “Life may be scary — but it’s only temporary.” And we’re all in it together.

There are a lot of things in life that you can’t control. What you can control is how you treat other people, how you treat yourself, and how you treat the planet. So my motto is simple: Above all else, just be likeable.

Here’s to the Class of 2014, and to all of us, just trying to do the simple things each day, to make a better life for ourselves and our children.


Now it’s your turn. If you’re a recent college graduate, which of these ideas resonate most with you? What are your biggest goals for post-graduate life? If you, as I am, are some years removed from college, what is the one piece of advice you have for the graduating class of 2014? Let me know in the Comments section below- and be sure to share this post with the college graduates in your life.


For a FREE collection of Dave’s best stories on inspiration, marketing and more click here.


Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the cofounder and Chairman of Likeable Media, and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business, and the just-released Likeable Leadership. To read more from Dave on LinkedIn, please click the FOLLOW button above or below.

Want to learn about how to grow your business using social media in 2 minutes? Click here.

What to wear to an interview in the Bay Area?

Hello Bobcats,

These are great tips for students pursuing opportunities in the Bay Area!




It never fails: You have an interview with that big software company in Palo Alto, or even a second interview with the hippest of SOMA startups, and no matter how many outfits you’ve mixed and matched, you still feel like you have nothing to wear. Friends suggest wearing a suit and calling it a day. Except, being overdressed for a Bay Area interview may cost you the perfect job.

Techie wear
Engineering teams aren’t just looking for someone who can code. They’re trying to decide if the candidate is a culture fit. Most engineers wear denim and a t-shirt — this is more true at startups — and it’s rare to find a tech worker in a suit. Overdressing for an interview can make a person seem too serious or, even worse, not very fun to have around.

If you are interviewing for any technical role, whether it be on the server side or in quality assurance, business casual is the way to go. It also wouldn’t hurt to have four interviewing getups, one for each season.

Fashions for the non technical
For those in human resources, marketing, sales, or any other non-technical role, I also recommend business casual attire for Bay Area interviewing.

Men are perfectly fine with just a shirt and tie, and women may wear pants or dresses with cool patterns. It’s always a good idea to ask the recruiter or hiring manager via email or over the phone what the company attire is like. This will definitely help narrow down the garments and aid in the decision making process.

The elegant executive
Unlike their East Coast counterparts, Bay Area executives don’t need a collection of high-end wool suits. They are the only section of people, however, who need to dress up a bit more for interviews in the Bay Area.

Because we enjoy such great weather in California, executives can save a lot of money by purchasing suits made of summer cloth. These fabrics often boost a wider selection of colors and patterns and give the tech savvy executive more options to express themselves.

Clothes do talk
The key to choosing an outfit is to clash patterns, but match colors. For women, it’s fine to wear jewelry — nothing screams, “I’m Creative!” like a hip pair of earrings. Men can show some flare by opting to wear shirts and ties with trendy colors and patterns. Clothes give a glimpse into who you are. Make sure the message you are sending out is the one you want.

Belo Cipriani is an award-winning author, former staffing professional, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University. Learn more at

Applying to graduate school? Looking for a full time job or other opportunity?

The Center for Career & Professional Advancement will be available to review your job application materials or personal statement, assist you to learn how to navigate through CATlink to streamline your job search process, or explore your options post-graduation.

The 2014 Commencement is coming soon. Create a strategy to take yourself to the next level!

Etiquette Dinner & Career Fair

Career & Internship Fair2-01-01

Hello Bobcats,
Spring Break is in less than 4 days. Are you excited?

In addition, don’t forget we have many great events coming up this week such as the Networking & Etiquette Dinner tomorrow (3/19) and Career Fair on Thursday (3/20)!!!

Networking (3/19) from 5:15pm – 6:00pm
– Everyone is welcome to come. Formal attire is recommended

Etiquette Dinner (3/19) from 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Career Fair (3/20) from 11:00am – 2:00pm
– Don’t forget to bring your resume & dress to impress.
– 40+ employers will be on campus this Thursday and they are excited to see you!

Resume Madness : 5 Steps to Improve Your Resume

Written by: Gillian Lopez, Management Career Consultant

Edited by: Dalton Rogers, Student Assistant

Posted by: Serena Nguyen, Media Assistant

March is resume madness month. If you haven’t updated or edited your resume yet, now is the time to do so before our annual Career and Internship Fair at UC Merced. According to a Ladder’s Research Study, it only takes six seconds for a hiring manager to asses a resume. As shocking as this may seem, hiring managers do not have all day to go through a stack of resumes. They want to find gold as quickly as possible and good first impressions from your resume are the key to moving on to the call-back pile rather than the recycling bin.

Within the first six seconds, hiring managers glance at formatting, education, companies, position titles, locations, and dates. If they like what they see, your resume will move on to the next round, which includes further interpretation of your skills and experiences. At this stage it is critical to make your resume stand out amongst your competitors. So how do you accomplish this? Apply these five resume tips and see if your resume will advance to the interview round.


An objective is a statement that expresses your interest or goal of securing a future position. Employers already know that you want this job because your resume is in their hands. If you choose to include a personal introduction in your resume, utilize a personal branding statement instead. Keep in mind that a resume for undergraduates should only be one page. Space is valuable in a resume, so let your experiences and skills demonstrate the value you offer to the employer.


Are you thinking about including a skills or expertise section that includes “fuzzy concepts” like team player, hard worker, excellent communicator, etc.? Think again! It is better to incorporate your skills into your actual experiences rather than to simply state that you have them. Employers want to see what you can potentially do for them, and your skills become more credible just by integrating them into your experience section.


Take a look at the job description and identify some of the company or position goals.

Do you have any proud accomplishments from previous work experiences that correlate with the position responsibilities? If so, you want to place that important information towards the top of your resume or as the first bullet point in your experiences. Market your achievements and sell to employers why they need you to fulfill this position.


Bullet points that only share basic job responsibilities don’t stand out to an employer. Instead, use achievement-oriented language in your resume by using the CAR method– Challenge, Action, Result. Share with employers a challenge you had to work with, what you did to address it, and what the results of your efforts were. This makes your resume more impactful and memorable with an employer.


Anyone can say, “worked with customers and improved sales,” but putting a tangible number to that statement will give an employer something to remember you by. Don’t just say you improved sales; state a percentage or dollar amount. Define your successes with metrics and show employers the accomplishments you have to offer them.

A resume is a quick snapshot of who you are as a professional. Take your resume to the next level by implementing these five steps. Finding a job can be competitive, exhausting, and a full-time job on its own, but taking the time to compose a stand-out resume will increase your chances of getting a call back for an interview. Come share your resume and network with employers at our Career and Internship Fair on March 20thfrom 11am to 2pm in the Gym. Bring a few copies of your resume, dress in business professional attire, and see what opportunities lay ahead!


Where did all that time go?

Written by: Center for Career & Professional Advancement, Serena Nguyen

Edited by: Dalton Rogers


If you could have one super power that could help you out in a time of need, which one would you choose?

I watched a movie called “About Time” last weekend. The movie is about a man who has the ability to travel back in time. Although his ability is limited to traveling back only to times in his own life, he is able to fix most of his mistakes and gets a fresh start many times over. Along his journey, he falls in love with a woman named Mary. After meeting her, the love of his life, he is able to learn and understand that sometimes there are things that are best left the way they happened the first time. He realizes the value of living in the moment. Overall, I thought the movie was great and had an amazing message, which is that we must treasure the time we have and we should not waste a moment of it.

After the seeing the movie, I reflected on its significance to my own life. I thought that the ability to travel through time was amazing and I wish I too could have that extraordinary power. Imagine what we could do with that power! As for me, I would put it to good use by going back in time to get more study time for exams. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing sleep to study anymore! In addition, I would also have time for fun, such as hanging out with my family and friends, and of course, catching up with all of my favorite TV shows.


Unfortunately, that kind of power doesn’t exist!

In reality, we each have 24 hours a day to complete what we need to do—and that’s it. We shouldn’t forget that of those 24 hours, 8 to 9 of them are spent sleeping and 30 minutes to an hour are spent per meal for eating, In the end, we really only have 12-14 hours each day to complete our tasks.

As college students, we attend classes (50 minutes, 75 minutes, sometimes 2 hours each), club/organization activities, and/or work. We also have assignments to do, group projects to work on, and readings to do.

So, “where did all that time go?” is the most asked question we tend to vocalize. Even those with the best time management skills can easily fall behind on their tasks and get overwhelmed with their workloads.

Occasionally, I do find myself unable to respond to any of my tasks because I just don’t know where to start. Everything falls apart when I decide to procrastinate and wait to the last minute to start on my work. That is not a very smart idea on my part, but I think all of us students struggle with procrastination.


 I remember when I was in my very first semester here at UC Merced. Like everyone else, as a freshman, I would spend most of my time going out with friends and socializing with people on my floor, or spending time on Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube. I neglected my studies and didn’t prepare very well for my tests until the night before the exam. I regretted that I didn’t give more attention to my academics and instead decided to have fun first and work later. When I saw my first college GPA at the end of the semester, I was in shock. I didn’t get academic probation, but I was disappointed with myself for not trying harder.

I wish I could go back in time to fix my freshman year mistakes and to do better in my classes, but that is not possible. Instead, I have decided to manage my time better from this point on. By the end of my first semester as a sophomore, I was able to pull my cumulative GPA up over 3.0.

The moral of this story? Focus on working hard in the present time so that you won’t be regretting your choices in the future. No matter how badly we want to travel back in time, we can’t.

Carpe diem.


So, what have I learned from this lesson?

I learned that time is very precious and I must savor every moment of it. I should manage my time better and not wasting it for something that I might regret later on. Although I can still have fun with friends from time to time; I should also prioritize my task and know when to complete them on time. One way I can do that is to write all of my tasks down on a piece of paper and arrange them in their priorities. I also learned not to study for any of my test the night before the exam. Instead, I am giving myself three days in advance to study for the materials that will be cover on the test. I know three days may sound like a lot but trust me, it is not.

Of course, everyone is different and have options to choose what to do with their own time. However, we must not forget that time waits for no one and so we must do what we wanted to do. At the end of the day, we should look back and ask ourselves if the time we spend on for the entire day was worth it. If not, what can we do in order to change that?