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.


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!


Job Hunting for First-Timers

Written by: Johanna Lopez, CCPA Media Assistant

Edited by: Dalton Rogers, CCPA Student Assistant

Posted by: Serena Nguyen, CCPA Media Assistant

My first time job hunting was not a success. I was not prepared for the competitive task of job finding. I didn’t have valuable work experience, an attractive resume, a well-written cover letter, or professional references. This led me to applying to jobs that didn’t require any of those things. As you may have guessed, I didn’t land any jobs. This year, with help from a knowledgeable friend, I was able to apply for jobs that suited my skills and experiences. I crafted a resume and cover letter, and discovered that I did have important references. The job-hunting process may seem long and tedious, but if it is done correctly and with effort, success won’t be far out of reach.

Here are some tips to help you in your job hunt:

1. Build a resume that will stand out.

Resume writing can be tricky when you have either too few skills or experiences, or when you have a lot of them. What helped me build my resume was to first list every volunteer, work, and leadership experience I have ever had, along with all of my notable skills, such as second language fluency and computer skills. Once I had my list, I narrowed it down to those that would stand out the most to a potential employer.

Although I was worried at first that I did not have enough work experience, I realized that I had gained many skills through my volunteer and leadership experiences. If you don’t have much work experience, make sure to highlight the relevant skills you’ve acquired in extracurricular activities. These can be just as meaningful as professional experiences.

2. Take advantage of the cover letter.

Before applying to on campus jobs last semester, I had never heard of a cover letter. I didn’t know what it was or what it was for. This discouraged me to apply to jobs my first year in college. Don’t let this happen to you! Cover letters can help give you the boost you need to be hired. With my cover letter, I was able to tell the employer more about myself and why I was a great candidate for the position. In your cover letter, you should explain your interest in the position and what it is that you have to offer them. An organized, well-written cover letter can make you stand out from the rest of the applicants.

3. Ace the interview.

Getting called for an interview is the next big step to being hired. The interview process can be nerve wracking. I recommend that you use the interview prep resource found on the Career Center website at to perfect your interview skills. This resource will help you get an idea of what an interviewer will be asking you. Another prep idea is to have a friend or a career consultant give you a mock interview. Overall, the most important thing to remember for an interview is to be yourself and to let your professional persona show!

These were the steps that I followed during my job-hunting experience the second time around and I was able to secure a good job on campus. For extra help or for additional perspectives on the job-hunt, you can attend the many workshops hosted by the Career Center on campus, in addition to meeting with our career consultants. Come see us today to land that job!

Happy hunting!