In her new book, 'The Google Resume,' Gayle Laakmann McDowell offers recent grads and young professionals a glimpse into the process of getting noticed by a top tech company. As a former "Microsoftie, Appleite, and Googler," McDowell knows what it takes to land at one of these top firms. Here are just a few of her many recommendations.
Seek resume-building part-time jobs and internships.
While in college, seek out positions that have direct relevance to the job function or industry you hope to be part of someday. Help a professor out with research, offer to work at a start-up for free orvolunteer for a non-profit.
Get to know your professors.
McDowell notes that many universities offer interactive programs and functions outside of the classroom where students can get to know their professors better.
Make sure your resume is keyword rich.
Include the buzzwords for your industry and job function and list acronyms as well as what they stand for. For example, in the education portion of your resume, list master of business administration and MBA. This will increase the chances that your resume will be found when the resume database is searched.
Get personal referrals.
McDowell believes that personal referrals are the best way to get a job. When there is a personal reference, companies are more likely to consider that position or find a department where there is a better fit.
Start something on your own.
Starting your own enterprise shows initiative, creativity, and commitment. You can start your own business, start a blog and write about topics relevant to your field, or start a club or organization to build your leadership experience, expand your network, and show a proven interest in a new field.
Source freelance jobs.
Bid on projects at sites such as oDesk to get some experience under your belt and amass a more marketable grouping of skills.
Start as a contractor.
Many large companies hire contractors. This is often an easier entree into the company, and it gives both employers and workers and chance to test the waters and assess the job fit.
Many of the biggest companies have created groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other websites to source new talent. Getting involved in the online community of a company you admire can be a great way to get noticed. Another method is to comment on company blog posts relevant to your functional area and industry in order to garner attention from the hiring manager.
Create an online portfolio.
A website or portfolio showcasing your major accomplishments can add additional context to points on your resume. And since many recruiters do Web searches to find new talent, this portfolio is likely to turn up in their searches.