Land the Job

Want a job at Google or Amazon? These 4 (little-known) resume tricks can help you get hired

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

If you want to work at major tech company, be prepared to stand in line. Millions of applications are submitted every year, yet sadly, most of them never make it into the hands of a hiring manager – all thanks to a poorly written resume.

Resume writing is meticulous and painstaking process, but after working with applicants throughout my 20+ years of HR experience (and as the co-founder of ResumeGo), I've seen that many do go off to land great jobs at companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. There are four simple rules to writing a job-winning resume, and following them could significantly improve your chances of getting hired:

1. Optimize for applicant tracking systems

The larger the company, the more likely it is to use applicant tracking systems to scan through resumes for keywords and qualifications. And with thousands of applicants for each job listing, you can bet that your resume will be discarded if it fails to meet their standards. To avoid this from happening, be sure to include the same phrases and keywords mentioned in the job description. It's also imperative that you stick to a simple format – using a fancy, over-the-top template can prevent the system from properly parsing through your resume.

2. Don't bother mentioning soft skills

Even if you are a "strong communicator" with an "unwavering work ethic" and the "ability to thrive under pressure," mentioning these types of soft skills can work against you. Remember, these companies are looking for the cream of the crop, and by default, they're going to expect you to have all the soft skills necessary – and then some. Instead, use the precious real estate on your resume to differentiate yourself from the rest of the competition. Besides, a far better time to showcase your soft skills would be during the interview phase of the hiring process.

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3. Include your LinkedIn profile

Many recruiters at top companies won't even consider you as a serious candidate unless they see an active LinkedIn account listed and hyperlinked at the top of your resume. Why? They want to know that you're fully committed to your job search. Any candidate who doesn't have a LinkedIn profile up and running, especially in this day and age, obviously isn't in the loop or simply isn't taking their career seriously. Another incentive for having a LinkedIn profile is to deepen your connection and rapport with recruiters.

4. Speak to the company's core values

Hiring managers want to bring in people who vibe well with the company's organizational culture. The most successful companies have well-established core values, so it's important to do your research and submit a resume that aligns with their values. Take Google, for example: One tour around their quirky offices and you can see how much the company emphasizes creativity and autonomy. That means you'll want to paint yourself as someone who shares their same core values. Instead of describing situations where you've micromanaged subordinates in the past, you're far better off mentioning the times you empowered your team to succeed on their own.

Peter Yang is a career expert and the CEO of Resume Writing Services, the parent company of ResumeGo. Before that, he worked as a manager and recruiter for more than 20 years. His work has also appeared in Inc. and Glassdoor. Follow Peter on Twitter @ThePeterYang.

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