What Google Looks For

photo by  brionv (Creative Commons License.)
photo by brionv (Creative Commons License.)

Remember when everyone said you have to work hard in school and get good grades to succeed? Well, they were lying, because according to Google, GPA doesn’t matter at all! Okay, that’s not actually true. But according to Thomas Friedman’s article in the New York Times, the tech behemoth cares less about grades than you might think.

Lazlo Bock, a senior vice president of people operations at Google, says that they instead value leadership, but that doesn’t always mean stepping up and taking charge. Sometimes it means stepping down and letting someone else take the wheel. He stresses the importance of humility and of being willing to let other teach you new skills. And that’s not just idle talk. These claims are backed up by Google’s controversial decision to hire two forty-something salesmen instead of a snarky, ladder-climbing British kid, as shown in noted documentary, The Internship.

But in all seriousness, Google doesn’t care about many of the traditional résumé bolstering activities, or I should say, they don’t care about them as much as they care about you. As we’ve discussed before, there are no guarantees when it comes to getting a job. You cannot build a set of experiences that will automatically land you the position you want. You can only learn, show what you learned, and show you want to learn more.

But there’s another lesson here, a lesson about ego. Much of what Bock talks about as important to Google goes directly against the “I rule!” hotshot businessman stereotype. You want to have your own ideas, and you want to stand by them but you also need to admit when someone else’s are better and be willing to show some humanity and vulnerability. This is important at Google, and really this is important everywhere that people come together to innovate. A team with too many egos won’t get any further than the first disagreement.

So anyway, read the article to get more of the meat of what Bock has to say. And remember to be yourself, believe in yourself, and believe in others too.

2 thoughts on “What Google Looks For”

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