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How to get around the resume scanning algorithm for big tech companies and get your foot in the door

Tips for getting into big tech companies like Meta, Google, and Tesla

One of my biggest role models and colleagues in the corporate world, Group Manager Mustapha El Akkari, told me a story that stuck with him from a recent occurrence in the parking lot of his current workplace, Tesla.

As he was heading into the office, he bumped into a senior lady, who looked seemingly lost walking around the Factory in Fremont, California. She was looking for the Human Resources Department after driving 45 minutes to get there. He asked her what business she had at Tesla, and she mentioned she wants to apply for an open role. She had a physical copy of a resume in her hand and wanted to drop it off to the HR department, old school style. I guess it’s safe to assume that it's preferred to send an application online when it comes to a Tech company in 2022.

However, she seemed nice, and most importantly, looked confident with a determination in her eye that immediately pulled the Tesla manager in. Mustapha gave the woman his full name and email address to send her resume. He transferred her to recruitment, and a month later, he found out he made a bonus from successfully referring a candidate for the position.

What’s the morale of the story? Well…

Applying to big tech companies: Get A Referral!

If you are looking to apply for jobs in the tech world, especially for companies like Tesla, Google, Amazon, or Apple, you need to stand out. Tesla had 3 million applicants in 2022, so if you think cold applying online will do the trick, think again.

The Big Tech Companies have made themselves forces to be reckoned with throughout the corporate world, and when one looks at the amount of workers employed under them, it usually ranges from thousands to hundreds of thousands. It isn’t much of a surprise how big the applicant pool is when a new position opens up.

The application system becomes a dog pound, the resume stacks tower beyond the roof, and the environment becomes an episode of Shark Tank.

Be fearless and not afraid to flaunt your uniqueness and ideas

Whether you like it or not, these leaders of the corporate world do not dominate the stock market by sheer humility and timidness. They are fast-paced, results-driven, aggressive, and pushy at the least…a high-stress environment even for the most capable of individuals. But what makes their success most potent is the large community of workers who prove their capabilities on a day-to-day basis. These workers share something very distinguishable from other applicants.

Big Tech companies are looking for those who are fearless and not afraid to flaunt their uniqueness and ideas. They are not looking for just any regular, average employee. They are looking for the ones who stand out from the rest. Those who don’t just do, but learn. Those who don’t just learn, but discover. Those who don’t just discover, but create. All these qualities lead to a bigger impact within the company. But how does one strike the attention of Big Tech employers?

Now let me do my best Liam Neeson’s Clash of the Titans impression as I screech out, “RELEASE THE RESUME!”

Here is who sees your resume and how you can get it to the hiring manager

The details might look different at different companies, but at a high-level this is the process:

  • Applicant Tracking System: this might sound discouraging, but your resume doesn't go straight to a human, it goes through an applicant tracking system (ATS) that short lists resumes that the recruiter should look at.

  • Recruiter: the recruiter's job is to look through the short-list and determine who's resume should be sent to the hiring manager

  • Hiring Manager: this is the person who will be your manager. They read through the resume, for a shorter amount of time than you would like them to spend on your polished resume, and decide who they want to interview.

  • Panel

Employers look over resumes for an average of ten seconds before moving on to the next one. As your friendly, neighborhood career-coach company, Unleash, we feel like it would be a disservice to not tell you that the resume should be interesting enough to get you a call, it won't get you the job. This is the brutal truth. Employers from companies like Facebook, Apple, and Amazon don’t have time to read every single word on every single resume for all ten-thousand applicants. It’s just not realistic, or productive. Comparably, I’d have gone through the whole novel of Pride & Prejudice after reading ten.

Keywords are the key to getting through the resume tracking system

What I think is so misleading about Resume-building these days is that many people find it necessary to fill the document until it hits each corner of the page. When it comes to forming a Resume, employers are not interested in seeing one’s overall work history. The job description holds keywords, describing specific work-experience and qualities the company needs when they choose the right person for the job. They want to see past job experiences that say “I’ve done this before,” or, “you want me to do this? I can do this in my sleep!” They want to know that the applicant is competent on what is demanded of him/her. Thus, it is highly essential that these guidelines are followed, or else your resume will be found at the bottom of the virtual shredder.

Short, Relevant, and To-the-Point: Design your resume to be scanned in 10 seconds or less

The timer is ticking once the employer lands their eyes on the document, so you must find ways to broadcast the strengths of your past work experiences that relate to the position.

Bolding or highlighting a specific section on a resume immediately draws attention of the employer, which is what you want. You want them to read the most important, interesting, and relevant parts that will have them nod undoubtedly. And honestly, the employer will be appreciative for having their time saved instead of trying to read a manuscript.

The recipe for success on applying to big tech: keywords, scrimability, and referrals

Overall, as an applicant, you are one speck of many thousands who also want the same position. Thus, it is important to broadcast your abilities and experiences on your Resume in a way that stands out like no other. That fits the ideal candidate. That is straight-forward and results-driven. That leaves employers intrigued and impressed. And lastly, the one that books you the interview.

Brandon Gille

Community & Content Manager


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