By Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of The Google Resume
NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- Walking through the halls at Google ( GOOG), one can feel the allure. Free food and drinks. Onsite luxury gyms. Adorable pups seated next to their owner's desk. Walls painted with splashes of Google's iconic red, blue, yellow and green. Geeks and non-geeks alike crave this culture -- to say nothing of the financial perks. Getting through the doors, unfortunately, seems insurmountable. Hoards of candidates submit resumes each year, with only a small fraction getting an interview. The online application system -- or, as it's more appropriately nicknamed, "The Black Hole" -- is littered with so many resumes that even a top candidate would struggle to stand out. So how do you get a company to even notice your resume? Here are a few suggestions on how to reach One Microsoft Way, One Infinite Loop or wherever you'd like to go.
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If the above avenues don't work, it may be that you lack the appropriate skills or background to land an interview. In this case, you may need to find what we call the "side door." This is explained in the following excerpt from The Google Resume: "How do you get into Google? Work for Microsoft (MSFT)," Jason, a Microsoft Program Manager, jokes. As much as this comment may have been said in jest, it has some truth to it. The best way into company or role may be an indirect path. In addition to joining one company so that you can eventually transfer to another, you may want to consider joining your dream company in a less-than-dream job. Technical recruiter Barry Kwok points out that a role like an Office Manager at a start-up can be an easier avenue into the tech world for those who lack specific qualifications. "At a start-up, office managers do everything under the sun," Kwok explains. "As the company grows, you can begin to specialize in an area like HR. Couple that with an additional night course or two in HR, and all of a sudden you're the perfect candidate for a full-time HR position." Contract roles can transition into full-time roles, program managers can move into marketing, and start-up employees can pivot to major companies. Being flexible with what jobs you'll take, and being creative in pursuing them, is the key to landing jobs with the major tech companies. -- Written by Gayle Laakmann McDowell for CNBC.