TIME Careers & Workplace

This Is Google’s Dead-Simple Formula for a Perfect Resume

Google
Justin Lane—EPA

For soon-to-be college graduates or anyone else currently on the job hunt, Google’s head of human resources has some advice for impressing potential employers. Laszlo Bock, who oversees the hiring of 100 new Google employees each week, offered some more morsels of wisdom to the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman this weekend (a conversation earlier this year between Bock and Friedman touched on the same topic). Here’s a quick breakdown of his key insights.

Be specific on resumes: Bock points out that many people’s resumes are overly vague. Instead a resume should offer specific details about a worker’s job experience that help contextualize his accomplishments. Bock explains: “Most people would write a résumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’”

Choose hard courses over straight A’s: Bock says a lower grade in a more challenging course can be more impressive to employers than a stellar performance in an easier class. He said a B in computer science could be more significant than an A+ in English “because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load.”

Explain your thought process in job interviews: Much like resumes, Bock says that specificity here is important. Employers want to know how a potential worker thinks to see whether they will be good at solving problems on the job. He recommends using this structure to explain your experiences to an employer: “What you want to do is say: ‘Here’s the attribute I’m going to demonstrate; here’s the story demonstrating it; here’s how that story demonstrated that attribute.’ ” Using this method shows a worker’s ability to think logically and evaluate their own performance in a critical way.

Read the full interview over at The Times.

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