For a company that gets about 50,000 resumes per week, it’s hard to imagine how the guys at Google sort through each resume and pick the best ones. In a recent article, Google’s VP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, highlighted some of the important points he considers when reviewing resumes and selecting candidates for interview. Be sure to include these tips in your resume writing checklist.
- Check your spelling and grammar.
Proofread. And proofread again. Yes, spelling and grammar seem quite elementary but you won’t believe how many people make these mistakes in their resume. In fact, Bock says that he sees spelling, punctuation and noun-verb agreement errors all the time. He writes “Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality.”
After reading your own resume multiple times, you will probably develop a blind spot for errors and overlook some of the small mistakes like spelling and punctuation. To avoid this, Bock suggests that you ask someone to review your resume. An outsider’s eye is often keener in spotting mistakes compared to the writer’s own eye.
- Keep it neat and simple.
It’s all about consistency. Now here are some technicalities. First, font should be no less than 10 points; second, margins should not be any smaller than half an inch and; lastly, keep everything consistent- spacing, font size, font style and formatting.
- Don’t reveal any confidential information.
Remember the non-disclosure agreement you signed with your company? Keep it in mind when writing your resume to avoid revealing any sensitive information. Bock mentions that around 5% to 10% of resumes disclose confidential information. How can this hurt your application? According to Bock, the problem with this is that any candidate that discloses confidential information in their resume could also reveal Google’s trade secrets later on if they got hired. In short, they cannot be trusted.
- Keep it short: limit your resume to two pages.
It’s a simple case of quality over quantity. The overall length of your resume should not exceed two pages. Short resumes are more focused. They also speak of your ability to summarize and organize information effectively. Now if you can feel like your resume can fit into a single page, then good for you. Don’t feel compelled to fill out any extra space. The hiring manager will thank you for it.
“Think about it this way: the sole purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. That’s it. It’s not to convince a hiring manager to say ‘yes’ to you (that’s what the interview is for) or to tell your life’s story (that’s what a patient spouse is for),” Bock says.
- Be honest.
Nowadays, reference checks and Google searches are easier than ever. Bock says lying on your resume is never worth it. It’s just wrong- and any lie you tell will follow you forever. Your old lie can get you fired later in your career.
Bock’s resume tips will help make your resume stand out for all the right reasons even when you are not applying for a job at Google. Just take it from the expert. Next time you write your resume, you already know what to do.
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