AnnaMarie Houlis
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Journalist & travel blogger

So you're wondering how to get a job at Google — your dream employer. We don't blame you! Plenty of women who work for Google have told Fairygodboss that the benefits abound, the support networks are there and the opportunities are endless.

“There are lots of support groups for women and opportunities to network," one reviewer wrote. 

Another agreed: “I've worked here for a few years. There are plenty of social groups for women and minorities."

In fact, Google has even been dubbed the "Happiest Company in America" in the past, when a 2011 CareerBliss.com study ranked the company No. 1 following more than 100,000 worker-generated reviews from more than 10,000 companies.

Of course, women's real reviews and studies about what it's like to work at Google can be encouraging. But it's not so easy to land a job at such a renowned company where the competition is nothing short of rife. According to Staff.com article, Google receives more than two million job applications each year. This means that, when looking at the ratio of applicants to actual hires (it only hires about 4,000 people), scoring a job at Google is about ten times harder than landing an acceptance letter into Harvard.

So what does Google look for in employees and how do you apply for a job — and actually land one? Here's what we can tell you about landing a job at Google.

What Google looks for in employees

Google hires all kinds of professionals from different backgrounds who contribute to the company's success. What do they all have in common? They're the best of the best.

"There’s no one kind of Googler, so we’re always looking for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to our teams," Google explains on its career hiring page. "If you’re looking for a place that values your curiosity, passion and desire to learn, if you’re seeking colleagues who are big thinkers eager to take on fresh challenges as a team, then you’re a future Googler."

Google values critical, innovative, data-driven thinkers with strong leadership skills. Most employees at the company have years of experience under their belts, as well. In fact, data analysis site Paysa looked at more than 8,200 job postings and over 70,000 resumes at "tech titans" (companies like Google, Amazon  and Facebook worth at least $100 billion with an IPO more than 10 years ago) and “tech disruptors” (companies worth at least $10 billion with an IPO within the last 10 years) to determine how long one should stay in school to earn a job at one of these companies. And the researchers found that 31.9 percent of Googlers have a Bachelor's degree, 28.3 percent have a Master's degree and 16 percent have a Ph.D. Moreover, some employees have upwards of a decade of experience before they land a coveted job at these tech companies.

How do you apply for a job at Google?

It's no surprise that applying for a job at Google takes time and effort. Applying for a job at Google means really revamping your resume and tailoring your application so that you stand out above the rest.

Here are some resources to help you prepare your application for Google:

How do you get a job at Google?

Here's how to get a job at Google in five steps.

1. Find your match.

First, find your match. Google is always hiring for tons of jobs in all different departments. Find one that appeals to you so that then you can focus on tailoring your resume and application as a whole to that job.

2. Focus on your resume.

Once you find a job that interests you, revive your resume.

"This is the first piece of information we’ll see about you, so highlight your achievements," Google's career page advises. Here’s how to frame your achievements, according to the career page:

  • "Align your skills and experience with the job description."
  • "Be specific about projects you’ve worked on or managed. What was the outcome? How did you measure success?"
  • "If you've had a leadership role, tell us about it. How big was the team? What was the scope of your work?"
  • "If you're a recent university graduate or have limited work experience, include school-related projects or coursework that demonstrate relevant skills and knowledge."
  • "Keep it short: If there’s additional information (like a portfolio) we need during the hiring process, your recruiter will work with you to collect it."

3. Tailor your application.

Recruiters at Google review applications with the qualifications listed in the job description in mind. So make sure that your resume reflects these qualifications.

"Applications are read by real humans who are both experts in interpreting resumes and familiar with our jobs — not just the one you applied for," the careers page reads. "This allows recruiters to route candidates across the entire company. If there’s no current match available, they’ll make a note to follow up with you about future opportunities. If our recruiters find a potential match, they’ll schedule a call to learn more about your skills and experience."

4. Take a phone or Hangout video.

During phone or Google Hangout interviews, you’ll speak with a potential peer or manager at Google. Most of these calls will last between 30 minutes to an hour. Google's career page advises prospective candidates to "be prepared for behavioral, hypothetical or case-based questions that cover your role-related knowledge." Software engineering roles will also be asked to answer code questions, cover data structures and talk algorithms, as well as write around 20 to 30 lines of code in their strongest language.

5. Go for an onsite interview.

At onsite interviews, it's likely that you'll meet with four Googlers for about 30 to 45 minutes each.

That's when you'll have the chance to highlight your strengths in four different areas:

  • General cognitive ability
  • Leadership
  • Role-related knowledge
  • Googleyness

After you apply and interview, you'll have to wait. Google's independent hiring committees made up of Googlers at various levels of the company will decide on your application, interview feedback and scores, references and work samples. The panel aims to be objective and will send you an offer if you are, indeed, of Google's standards.

Keep in mind that this process can take quite some time, however.

"Google has a unique hiring process which can take several weeks," the company's career site advises. "We strive to keep you updated, but don’t hesitate to reach out to your recruiter if you have any questions. Once a senior leader approves your candidacy, your packet (with a summary about you) goes to executive review for final approval. And then you get your offer."

How much does it pay to work at Google?

Here are the average salaries for five different jobs at Google, according to Glassdoor.

1. Software Engineer

A software engineer at Google earns about $132,286 per year, on average, according to Glassdoor. Of course, they can earn a lot more as they grow with the company.

2. Product Manager

A product manager at Google earns about $156,301 per year, on average, according to Glassdoor. Of course, they can earn a lot more as they grow with the company, as well. They may also earn more or less depending on the product.

3. Program Manager

A program manager at Google earns about $119,682 per year, on average, according to Glassdoor. Of course, they can earn a lot more (or may earn less) depending on the program they're managing.

4. Research Scientist

A research scientist at Google earns about $147,625 per year, on average, according to Glassdoor. This is a lucrative career path for Googlers.

5. Financial Analyst

A financial analyst at Google earns about $114,894 per year, on average, according to Glassdoor. Depending on experience, a financial analyst may earn more or less.

To learn more about Google, check out the company's profile on Fairygodboss here. Good luck, and happy hunting!

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.

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