Maybe…not that it made it on to Guy Kawasaki’s list. What did make the list of how to get a job in the Valley was the following:
- Love what the company does.
- Create a solid pitch and bring it with you.
- Know—or better yet—dislike the competition.
- Expect the funny farm. (Google’s candidate experience definitely seems to fit this one)
- Show up early.
- Overdress, or, ask what to wear.
- Answer the first question, “How are you?” with a great response.
- Get the scoop from the first interviewer.
- Think: Plug and play, plug and play, plug and play. (THIS is my favorite)
- Take notes.
- Confess your sins. (MySpace = MyResume)
- Retract your mistakes.
- Prepare five ways that you think the company could improve.
- Provide your references on the spot.
- Tell the interviewer you see a good fit and want the job if this is the truth.
Shannon’s Take: Honestly, Guy’s list is a bit more traditional than I thought it was going to be. As part of #2, Guy talks about what he calls the 1/2/3 Rule of Resumes. The ‘1’ being the one page resume. Some think that the need for resumes may be on the way out. If 1 page paper resumes were going down anywhere – I would have thought that it would be in the Valley. Of course if you have no resume, what are you going to hand your 20 interviewers while running the Google-type interview gauntlet?
I have heard several stories recently of people using blogs to let companies know just how passionate they are about working for them. Given Guy’s emphasis on how you need to be head over heels for what a company makes or does – I would have thought that the use of social networking tools to stand out would of have made the list. I also would have thought that there would be more mention of networking in general. On the other hand, you really shouldn’t listen to me on this subject because I couldn’t get anyone to hire me when Julian and I lived there. Go listen to a Valley A-lister instead.
Julian here. Here’s my list from 14 years, three companies, and 10 jobs in SV. It isn’t the same coming from me because I’m no Guy Kawasaki, but he was still working at Apple when I applied for a position in 1988 and never made it past the first HR screening. I WAS the most passionate Apple fan (before I was snubbed) on the face of the earth. And I had a one page resume at the time. So what if it only had two jobs on it!
Shannon is dead right about the networking angle in the Valley but I never knew I had a network until I left the Bay Area after 14 years and finally went, ‘Oh, that’s what they mean by a network.” Most people in the Valley don’t think they have a network but they do. And all the good jobs in the Valley go to people who know someone, who knew someone, who is the second cousin of someone who is the perfect match for your job. There are no six degrees of separation in SV, just 2. Advertising anywhere for jobs in SV (The Merc, Craigslist, Dice.com, etc.) is just another way of getting the attention of your friends to let them know that you have their job waiting for them – if they want it. If not, the really eager chick from Kansas City can have it.
Blogs, or other forms of social networking may not get you a job but going to blog/startup/farewell/layoff parties will. More than any other factor, we hire people that we drink with in the valley. We trust people we’ve drunk with because we have the dirt on them and they have the dirt on us. It’s just a really small version of the Cold War standoff. Who would ever have expected people to give us this kind of hard won information on a web site, without first extracting some equally embarrassing personal information from us in exchange!
Here’s a biggie. Regardless of the company you’re interviewing at, they’re all technology companies. The trash company, the government, the old media, they all can and do lead to jobs at Google and other tech companies because at some point, Google will take over the trash business from the Mob, and they will run politics, and they will own all the media outlets, etc. Just a question of time and who you know. Did I mention the guy I used to work with that got a chauffeured limo as a job perk (from SF to San Jose every day mind you). Hey, he got a lot of work done on the commute! He knows a lot of people.
Guy’s post is full of great insights, so be sure to read the actual post