From a Googler's Scratchpad — How to Shape Your Resume for a Google Job Interview by@ranipmohapatra
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From a Googler's Scratchpad — How to Shape Your Resume for a Google Job Interview

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Your Resume is the key to unlock doors! Do you create a resume first or search for roles? Do you use an all purpose resume and keep wondering why you do not receive call backs? Avoid these mistakes and create an effective resume for your application at Google.

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Rani Pallavi Mohapatra

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Joining Google, Microsoft, Meta and many of the Tech giants is a strategic move in most people’s career journey. In this wide web world — this process can start in various ways…

Maybe a recruiter hits you up or someone you know refers you or you directly apply from the Careers Site or you shine in a tech hackathon and the company evaluates you for a role… Let’s not stop imagining possibilities!

My process started on a funny note —

One dull evening, I had a Google recruiter mail me directly. Weirdly or not so weirdly, I do not check my personal email daily and enjoy muting notifications on personal devices. So, the email sat in my inbox unopened for 2–3 days. Finally when I did open it in my own sweet time, I assumed it to be a phishing scam 😑, (in my defence, it was right before the era of Great Transition in Software/IT industry and I had not applied anywhere). So I ignored it for 4 more days till another recruiter texted me directly on Linkedin message and I woke up to process — “wait, something is happening!”. (tip! 👉) Hilarious start but nevertheless it does hint at the - importance of maintaining a strong and updated Linkedin profile.

When recruiters reach out directly — a major initial milestone of being shortlisted is bypassed.

But for most other routes, your Resume is the key to unlock doors!

Do you create a fantastic all-purpose resume and use it apply for multiple roles in one go; but wonder why Google recruiters are not shortlisting you Maybe then you need to do away with the ‘one size fits all’ strategy and pivot!

The first person I referred & mentored closely for Google interviews was my husband, and today he is a Googler too! We experimented a few times with his resume before the recruiters finally took the bait. He received call backs for two separate roles from two different recruiters.

Alrighty tell me, did the chicken come first or egg?

Do you create a resume first or search for roles ? Take a look at what Google recommends at its official site.

Search for roles before shaping your resume!

How do you shape your resume?

Short answer — “Keywords”, Long answer — Read on…


  • Your old all-purpose resume
  • A new resume template with preferably only your chronological career journey placeholders added. For example — period, company, location, team size, customer/internal unit name & description. Skip elaborating your role & responsibilities for now.
  • Shortlisted job roles from Google Careers Site.

Step 1: Job Role Description Analysis

  • Once you have shortlisted your preferred roles — Read the description thoroughly and underscore important phrases & keywords in all sub-sections — Minimum qualifications, Preferred qualifications, Responsibilities and About the job.

Step 2: Use your SEO optimisation chops

  • While you may feel you are a great fit and believe have written on same lines in your old resume. Write afresh or Rephrase rapidly — your past job role & responsibilities!

  • Mirror the terminology of future job role ladder. If you are applying for a Strategic Cloud Engineer role and one of your previous company’s internal terminology for a similar role was Application Developer or Architect; change it to match Google’s expectation. You can even use a slash approach - “Architect/ Cloud Engineer”.

  • Use phrases from future job description which match your contributions in past roles. If job descriptions says role involves — “providing subject matter knowledge to customer and partner teams…”; then write that instead of “guided customers & vendors…”.

  • If certain technologies & tools are explicitly requested in job description, state them explicitly in resume too, if experienced. Instead of used automation tools, state that — “used Terraform templates in Cloud Source Repo to provision Cloud infrastructure…”

  • If job description specifies certain technical or soft skills, reflect those as expected. If you found keywords like — “strategic problem solver, stakeholders management, writing technical articles, …” Use them as-is to explain your past contributions rather than synonyms.

  • Bottomline: Mirror the language of job description.

Step 3: Headlines, headlines, headlines!!!

Your initial shortlisting banks on your resume catching a busy recruiter’s eye. All the beauty in details comes a moment later, headlines stand out first!

  • If you are applying for the role of a “Technical Program Manager” and your past experience lives up to the expectations then put that keyword as your top headline*, and* match the applicable past roles*. Avoid using synonyms from your past organisations like “Delivery Project Executive”, just “Manager” or “Team Lead” , so on.*

Step 4: Eliminate noise

  • You can eliminate most noise by picking up a good template in first place!

  • Your family history with your parents name, home address, pet’s name and other excruciating irrelevant personal details adds to the blah, thus can be removed from the resume*! You can share that over a coffee later.*

  • Compress your past educational details. If you are an experienced professional applying for a job; no one at the Top Tech companies gives a hoot about how wonderful was your score at 10th grade. Mention the latest & relevant. If you have graduated, everyone knows you have completed the prior grades! 😑

Step 5: Include Relevant Community Impact (X factor)

  • Do you write technical blogs or white-papers?

  • Have you contributed to open source communities?

  • Have you volunteered at tech-for-good initiatives?

  • Do you have patents or publications?

  • Have you led DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion) causes?

Now those are additional attractions you would like to include into your resume for amplifying impact! They do not count towards shortlisting; but amp up your presence post the preliminary pick.

Step 6: Stay Authentic!

As of today when you apply from Google Careers Site; you can apply for 3 roles at a time in a rolling 30-day period.

Evaluate every role separately and review if your resume mirrors the language & domain expectations as closely as possible; and then hit apply!

Best of Luck!

Flashback: Chapter 1 — Self Reflection

Also published here.


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