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Google Jobs Becoming Issue Again?

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Remember last year, at around this time, the difficulty of getting a job at Google was a long-running story.

Tons of blogs mentioned it a few times, I must have gotten 20-30 posts out of it, and it all blew up when Mark Jen got fired. Well, the story might be on its way back. I’ve noticed some stories lately, and Weblogs Inc’ Chris Gilmer today analyzes three types of Google jobs and sees if any of them are for “regular” smart, educated capable people.

Lets look at his analysis. The three jobs are Software Engineers, PR Manager and AdWords Training Specialist. Now, software engineer is the one most geeks will want. You get to work on Google’s platform, maybe develop the next Google News in your free time, try to solve search spam, basically tons of interesting opportunities writing code at the place to write code. But

A PhD is preferred. That means the crop of candidates is hugely competitive. You either need a killer education or something really unique to set yourself apart from the crowd. And frankly, if you’re just some dude who fakes your way into Google (oh, and good luck with that), you’ll find yourself in a highly competitive atmosphere where your every flaw will show. How long you think you’ll last?

Now, PR Manager is not the job for many. You can get an associate position with less than four years of experience and just a BA, assuming you interview well. You’ll either be writing press releases, keeping your lip tight while something is blowing up in the blogosphere, or rehearsing carefully prepared spin to repeat to reporters. I mean, I guess its possible that at some point Google will hire a PR person and give them the freedom and candor Matt Cutts is allowed, but I’m still waiting.

That’s not to say its a bad job; no, actually doing PR at Google is probably a pretty good job, one most people in PR or even reporting would want. But for the average reader of this blog, a job like that doesn’t even make sense. Most of my readers want to create software or work on search engines, not do PR for it. Leave those jobs to weirdos like myself (like myself, but not myself).

The last job is the AdWords Training Specialist. In this job, you assist AdWords clients. You’re working to improve the earnings of a $100+ billion company. Now, if selling ads is your thing, hurray, apply, enjoy. If you want that first job, I wonder if you could get in the company through this one and then try to work your way into a software position? I wonder how many people are trying exactly that, wondering how many more days they have to explain what the daily budget does, until they can tackle the things they’re actually interested in?

And, honestly, if you’re in a job you hate in the hopes of getting one you like, there’s a good chance it’ll show in your job performance, and you’ll never get that opportunity you wanted.

So, there are ways to get into Google if you aren’t a Nobel Prize candidate. I mean, hell, if you’re a talented developer with years of experience, your education probably doesn’t matter, you just need to interview well. And there are a bunch of jobs that don’t require as much, just capable, dedicated people. If those jobs are for you, you’re in luck, but if you’re like the thousands applying for Google and getting turned away, they probably aren’t.

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

Visit the InsideGoogle blog.

Google Jobs Becoming Issue Again?
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