What does Google look for when hiring? Four things: General cognitive ability . . . Not just raw [intelligence] but the ability to absorb information. Emergent leadership: The idea there being that when you see a problem, you step in and try to address it. Then you step out when you’re no longer needed. That willingness to give up power is really important. Cultural fit: We call it Googleyness, but it boils down to intellectual humility. You don’t have to be warm or fuzzy. You just have to be somebody who, when the facts show you’re wrong, can say that. Expertise in the job we’re gonna hire you for. – Lazlo Bock, former Google Head of People Operations, Fast Co, Tips for Getting a Job at Facebook, Google, Snapchat and More

Google. Amazon. Facebook. Tesla. These are the top companies in the U.S. They are giant. They inspire students with dream jobs.

To get hired by these companies, it’s not enough to get a top GPA or go to a top school (in fact, most hires in Silicon Valley aren’t from Ivy League schools). You have to show certain qualities to employers. At Google, those qualities are:

  • General cognitive ability (ability to absorb large amounts of info)
  • Emergent leadership
  • Cultural fit
  • Expertise in job they are hiring you for

I use Google as the example because it’s so well known. The first thing you learn about the job search is that it takes a lot of work.

But don’t just take my advice. There are plenty of smart, experienced people who have written much on how to get jobs at the top companies in the world.

Here are some of my favorite articles detailing how to get hired at the top companies in the U.S.

How to get a job at Facebook or Google

How do I get a job at Tesla?

How to get a design job at Airbnb

How to get a job at Google with a low GPA

The skills it takes to get hired at Google, Amazon, Facebook, and more

After you read these, reflect. What surprised you? What will you do in your search to get noticed?

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