While the variety of roles at the tech giant Google may be as mind-boggling as their algorithm, there are a number of common denominators. After all, all these people have to pull together to drive one of the most innovative companies on the planet. Your Google cover letter is the best place to show why you’d make a great addition to the team.
Google’s corporate ethos and company culture are legendary, and while it is hard to get across your personal “fit” in a resume, the free-flowing nature of a cover letter is perfect to show the hiring team that you are one of them. While the cover letter should focus on your specific fit for the role, it also allows you to highlight some of the broader “T-shaped” experiences that you think might be valued. When you appreciate the breadth of skills possessed by those around you, new ooportunities arise more often than you think.
In short, this Google cover letter example will explore how to curate your story and focus on the aspects that you wish to be touched on in an interview. In a company of brilliant individuals (who come together as a cohesive team), unless the hiring managers understand your depths of individual experience, they will not be able to see whether you will fit within the collective. Sometimes, you have to stand out in order to fit in.
No matter how detailed the job description, only the hiring managers know exactly what they are looking for, so use your Google cover letter to be yourself. Here is what this guide and our Google resume sample will explore:
- A compelling format based on our Google cover letter example
- Create an eye-popping cover letter introduction, middle part and closing
- Exploring the psychology of the Google hiring manager
- Mistakes to avoid with your Google cover letter sample
Google is one of Glassdoor’s best places to work, with over 2 million applications per year. It is easier to get into Harvard than secure a role at Google.
Best format for Google cover letter example
Google hiring managers do not have a lot of time to read cover letters, so while it might be tempting to concoct some crazy cover letter to showcase your individuality, in reality it is your past experiences that will testify to this. Your Google cover letter should therefore follow a standard format where a reader knows where to find certain information.
Innovation is not required here. You need to showcase that within your career story. Trying to be innovative with the structure of a cover letter is like trying to redesign the Google search module. If it works, don't seek to change it.
This Google cover letter example will expand on the following sections:
- Cover letter header
- Greeting / salutation
- Cover letter intro
- Middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
- Ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)
This Google cover letter example and guide contains a few hints and tips that are specific to the company, but if you are looking for a more in-depth exploration of the art of writing a cover letter, then our comprehensive cover letter example is well worth a read. There are many options in terms of how you present and tell your story – make sure that you have thought about all the nuances of how it might be received.
Our Google cover letter sample might be a starting point for some inspiration. This likely won’t be your story, but we hope that it might trigger some interesting thoughts:
Dear Ms. Hickersby,
I have been modelling data ever since I won a young data scientist prize aged 15. That winning project analysed how a teenager’s Google activity can impact their future life choices. Fifteen years later, I am wondering about how I might make an impact at Google.
Having delayed my entry into corporate life longer than most after a two-year period interning for a data-modelling consultancy, and after receiving my masters in data science from Penn State, I undertook a two-year research assignment with the U.S. government to work on their digital citizen project. These people-led behavioural insights will come in useful in the role at Google and I enclose two whitepapers that will shed some light on the “psychology of choice” and how data informs online design.
At BetTech, I spent four years creating algorithms and decision-making engines for an online betting company, increasing profits by 35%, retaining 24% more players and increasing game time by over 44% per player in their first 90 days. Analysing the data of why people stayed engaged was complex with an 18 million strong player base.
My work on a machine learning application for the U.S. postal service led to operational efficiencies and savings of $30m+ - ensuring that their vast resources were optimised and that swings in activity were easier to manage. The data contradicted 40% of the conventional wisdom, necessitating influencing at the highest levels of the organization.
I am used to explaining my work and communicating with the most senior of stakeholders and believe that without their understanding, any data insights are wasted.
I would welcome an interview to discuss the parameters of the role – the opportunity to work on the behavioural analysis team is a unique challenge for any data scientist.
Cover letter header
When looking at the cover letter example, the header will be the first thing to catch your eye. Google is all about minimalism and practical impact, so make sure that all the simple aspects of your candidature are covered off – your name and contact details should be right at the top in the cover letter header section. They will want to get to know you as a person, so consider adding any social media links that show your contribution to industry.
The Google cover letter should be visually impactful, so choose a design where the header already carries a message of professionalism with a hint of individuality. The reader’s brain won’t quite have clicked into gear in these first milliseconds, but they are already forming an impression of your application. Put their mind at rest that all the important details are there and they will be ready to start reading the main part of the letter.
Your full home address does not need to be in the cover letter header. Just your city and state will be fine. Equally, the Google office address does not need to be there. There is no guarantee that your hiring manager will work there, anyway. Make as much space as possible on the cover letter for your story.
A cover letter template can help you present a modern and polished professional image without spending hours struggling with graphic design software.
Goal of the cover letter header: Make the basic requirements of your application visible. You don’t want the reader working through the letter hoping that you have included your contact details somewhere. They need to concentrate on your story!
If you find this Google cover letter example to be helpful, check out some of our related information technology cover letter examples for some additional inspiration.
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Cover letter greeting
Your cover letter greeting is the way you address the person who will be reading your letter. Google is one of the best companies in the world and they know everything. No, they really do. Therefore, when you come to address the hiring manager, never ever go with “to whom it may concern.” Do your research and do all you can to find out who will be reading the letter. The harder it is to find out, the more people will likely not do it and the more you stand out. Obviously, getting it wrong would be disastrous, so double check.
Everyone likes being called by their name and it starts the Google cover letter on a warm and personal note. Are they a Mr, Mrs, Dr, or Professor? Ask the question. Call the company to find out, if required.
Goal of letter greeting: Show that you can do your research. Get the greeting right.
Cover letter introduction
The cover letter introduction in the cover letter example demonstrates how important the first couple of lines of a cover letter are. Did you get a sense that there was more to come? Did the introduction seem relevant for the role? Was there a sense that the applicant had a burning desire to join Google?
What is the main reason that Google should consider your application? Is there one aspect of your story that you would like to be front and center during your interview? How can you stand out in a sea of outstanding candidates? These are questions a great Google cover letter sample should aim to answer.
If there is one thing that you want the Google hiring manager to remember about your application when they come to interview you, include it in those first few lines. It doesn’t hurt to quantify achievements with numbers, but if you do include numbers make sure that they are truly impressive. There is nothing worse than stating something proudly when in reality it is fairly underwhelming. If you cannot find enough examples where you shine, maybe you need to set your sights a little lower?
Goal of the cover letter intro: Grab the interest of the hiring manager with a part of your story that elevates you about the rest of the candidates.
Cover letter middle part (body)
Google is all about data, so no matter what function or department you work in, the middle part of your cover letter (also called the body) should contain accomplishments from your career that are backed up by numbers and put into context in terms of their scale. Google is no stranger to big numbers, but if your competitors are also doing big numbers, then it is all about relative achievement. How can you prove (beyond doubt) that you are the best in your field?
Study “googliness.” Yes, that is a real word. Those 3-4 paragraphs in your Google cover letter have to come across as if you are one of them. The cover letter example offers one approach, but everyone is different. Think about the demands that you will face in your future role on a daily basis and use your past experiences to illustrate how you will thrive. If you take the attitude of "hey, this is me, take me or leave me", it isn't likely that you will get a call back. Google wants to know that you have carefully considered whether you are a culture fit.
You won’t be able to talk about every achievement in the couple of paragraphs, so make sure that you give just enough detail about each one to make the reader want more. What was unusual about how you went about a certain project? What did you do differently to others to give you the edge? Show how your personality made a difference to the performance of those around you. Talk about the team as well as yourself.
Goal of the body of your cover letter: This is your chance to reach your future hiring manager and convince them to find out more at an interview. Be incredibly selective about what you share – they won’t want any hint that they might be wasting their time.
How to close a Google cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)
People working at Google are confident in their ability to make an impact, so the conclusion and sign-off of a Google cover letter should not shy away from offering one last reminder of why you deserve to be hired. Let the hiring manager know just how much you want the role and suggest that you would very much look forward to the opportunity of an interview.
Select an appropriately formal sign-off phrase such as “sincerely” and then wait for the interview invite to drop.
Goal of the conclusion: Finish with a confident (but not arrogant) call to action.
Mistakes to avoid in a Google cover letter
Attention to detail is crucial for any job, but when you are applying to one of the most popular companies in the world, it really pays to avoid mistakes in what you are writing. It isn’t out of the question that the ATS software might grade you on the standard of your writing, so be careful.
These mistakes are more common than you might think:
- Grammar and spelling errors: Asking someone to check your grammar and spelling will never be a waste of time. Alternatively, using an online service such as Grammarly can highlight little errors that you might miss in the excitement.
- Suitable language: It is important to write your Google cover letter in the sort of language that fits your role. If you are an engineer, make sure it is not too descriptive, but if you work in HR it should be warm and friendly.
- Generic examples: This is obvious, but even if you are applying for an entry-level role at Google, none of your cover letter should be generic, no matter how impressive the sentence sounds. It is your letter, so make it about you.
Find out all the information that you can online. Google them.
To start with, check out where they suggest reading. Look at the Google company and our teams pages. Sit down with a coffee in front of their YouTube. Subscribe to the blog and understand how Google care for their Googlers. You will only understand whether you fit in (you might not) if you do your research and be honest with yourself.
- You should spend extra time on personalising your Google cover letter – just copying what you have done for other companies definitely won’t be enough.
- Include the required info up front in the header and choose a clean format.
- Make every word in the body of the Google cover letter sample intensely relevant to the role. Any hint of copy/paste phrases or irrelevance and the reader will move on.
- Proofread your letter, use the right language and choose impressive examples.
We hope this guide and our resources have been useful in helping to prepare for your next role. For even more tips, check out our more than 200 resume and cover letter examples