In some fields, it's not looked at that negatively. For example, gaps aren't a big deal for software engineers, or across tech in general. That's because there is a shortage of good software engineers, so companies are more willing to look the other way on a little thing like this. They're also less rigid corporate environments, so they're more accepting of little quirks like this.Read More
Your calling yourself “average” doesn’t necessarily mean that you are. One’s impression tends to be a reflection of self-confidence as well their peer group’s skills. Those who think that they’re average are sometimes great, and vice versa.Read More
If you're truly average -- average intelligence, average coding skills, etc -- then your odds of passing Google's hiring process are pretty slim. Google's hiring process is designed to hire the very good programmers, not the average ones (and I believe it does so reasonably effectively).Read More
You don’t put your whole career on one page. You put just the top one page’s worth on one page.
Reducing a resume to one page helps many candidates look stronger, not weaker. Recruiters are not impressed that you had enough content to make a three page resume (anyone can do that). Focusing on the best stuff gives a better impression, since recruiters can’t read everything.Read More
Suppose Bob picks up your three-page resume and Mary gets your one-page resume. Both spend about twenty seconds skimming your resume, which is about how long it takes to skim one page’s worth. Who is left with a better impression of you? Mary. The average content that Mary read was better than the average content that Bob read. About two thirds of the stuff that Bob read wasn’t even good enough to fit on the one pager.Read More
How much do interns contribute to the growth of a tech company? Negatively. It’s pretty well understood at tech companies that interns are a net negative (in the short term) for a company.Read More
This interviewing expert urges software engineers to ditch perfectionism, avoid these common mistakes, and try these tactics.
When Gayle Laakmann McDowell had her first interview for a software engineering position at Microsoft 11 years ago, she didn't know quite what she was getting herself into. "I was mostly naive about the interview process," she says. McDowell had just finished her freshman year at University of Pennsylvania and was applying for an internship. "Now, I would think: 'I should be studying for this like I would for a test,'" she says.Read More
At the right company, hiring committees can be incredibly valuable.
- Consistency: Hiring committees allow consistency in the process. Every candidates goes through the same decision making group and will hopefully get held to the same standard. (Even if the company is large enough to merit multiple hiring committees, it’s still much easier to standard a small group of hiring committees than a large group of interviewers.)
These committees have high standards, even in high-pressure times. Hiring committees avoid issues where teams might drop their standards because they're desperate to hire someone. That person might be a value-add in the short term but be detrimental in the long run.Read More
Like friendships, mentorships—the ones that actually exist, not the ones that exist in name only—rarely start from a formal request and certainly not from a near stranger. It doesn’t work for mostly the same reasons. It’s artificially trying to create a personal relationship. Doesn’t work.Read More
You don’t ask someone to be your friend. So why do you ask them to be your mentor?
Think about your closest friends—or even your less close friends. When you asked them to be your friend, what were your terms? How often would you hang out? What would you do? What would the expectations be on each side?Read More
If you want someone to be your mentor, don't ask them to be your mentor.Read More
Like friendships, mentorships rarely start from a formal request.Read More
Is it okay to mention my failed startup on my resume?
You should absolutely list it.
Startups can fail for any number of reasons, which can be a mix of your fault and not your fault. While there might be some people who are ignorant of just how hard it is to be successful, most people in the industry are not. After all, if VCs aren't able to predict which startups are successful, why should it reflect that poorly on you that you weren't able to predict this?
As a pregnant woman in tech, I'm tired of people assuming that I won't go back to work right away
Marissa Mayer doesn’t and shouldn’t have to set a good example. But to the extent that she inadvertently does, she actually sets a wonderful example for women by choosing to take only limited leave. She sends a message that not all women are the same, and that babies aren’t just the women’s responsibility.Read More
An “unlimited” (within the first year) parental leave policy might not be as good as it sounds.
However, I’m deeply concerned about how it will actually play out.Read More
It’s understandable that people are excited about this. It seems like a good thing. It’s equal across mothers and fathers; that sends a nice message that babies are not just the woman’s responsibility. I think all parental leave should be equal. The flexibility offered through it is nice as well, since not every parent wants to leave full-time.Read More
From what I've heard, when companies offer "unlimited" vacation or sick leave, employees actually take less time off. The reasoning is that the time isn't considered yours, free to spend as you see fit. You also now have to worry about how you're perceived. Will taking X weeks off be considered excessive?Read More
First, let me explain what awesome careers look like.
They don't look like nice linear graphs, where you're moving up a little bit each month. (Heck, even so-so careers don't look like that. You don't move up every month. You get a bit better at your career every month, but you move up in big steps.)Read More
Recruiters complain college hires are leaving them in the lurch
In May, Michael Armstrong of Southern Co. called two students he’d recruited from a Southeasten public college to wish them a happy graduation and fix their start dates in the fall. The calls went to voice mail. Then the emails came in.Read More