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Google just revealed the incredibly simple formula for killer résumés

April 20, 2014
April 20, 2014

It’s not exactly E=mc².

But for would-be job hunters, it’s probably a lot more useful.

In a Q&A-style interview with Google’s senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock, The New York Times’s Tom Friedman fished a few seriously helpful words of wisdom out of the search giant’s human resources chief. This one is perhaps the most concrete.

How do you write a good résumé?

“The key,” [Bock] said, “is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a résumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’ Most people don’t put the right content on their résumés.”

Google has seemed to get a lot more rational about its hiring habits under Bock, who notably admitted that the famous brain-teasers the Mountain View, Calif. company once used to winnow potential hires proved to be a complete waste of time. Moreover, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the résumé is far from dead even for the most sophisticated big-data operations. Although—as always—poorly written CVs do quickly get buried.

Read this next: The Google guide to getting the most out of college

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