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An engineer who landed a $300,000 job at Google shares the résumé that got him in the door and 3 things he'd change on it today

Shubhangi Goel   

An engineer who landed a $300,000 job at Google shares the résumé that got him in the door — and 3 things he'd change on it today
  • Sahil Gaba taught himself programming to secure his first job at a small fintech and then at Amazon.
  • When he was 29, he managed to land offers from Meta, Uber, and Google within weeks of each other.

Sahil Gaba was about to graduate with a master's degree in mechanical engineering when he realized the appeal of computer science.

He noticed that friends who had switched to the computer-science field were having a relatively easy time landing jobs — so he decided to try it, too.

"One summer, I spent a good three, four months learning programming," Gaba, who grew up in India, told Business Insider.

"I was quite optimistic. I went to the job market, tried to get some jobs, but still couldn't get any of those Big Tech companies," he said.

He finally landed a software-engineering role at a small fintech company in Chicago but felt he wasn't learning the most up-to-date software skills with them.

"I had that itch of working in Big Tech," Gaba said. So he spent his evenings learning newer technologies and honing his interview skills.

Catching a big break

It paid off. After two years at the company in Chicago and hundreds of rejections later, he got his first job in Big Tech: a software-engineering role at Amazon.

Within 18 months of starting at Amazon, he landed offers from Meta, Uber, and Google within a few weeks of each other. He accepted a role with Google with a starting salary of about $300,000 a year. He was 29 years old at the time.

Here's the résumé he used to land jobs at Meta, Uber, and Google:

What he'd change on his résumé today

The résumé above landed Gaba job offers with three tech giants. Even so, Gaba says there are a few things he'd tweak on it today.

Lead with experience, not skills: Gaba said he created this résumé before landing his first Big Tech job at Amazon. "At that time, because my work experience was not that strong, I put my skills at the top," he said. It would have made more sense to lead with work experience, he said. "I would still want to include my skills, but just for the keywords purposes."

Focus on the new: Gaba said he'd reduce the emphasis on achievements from college. "The honors and awards, they're very old," he said. "I feel like if you've not gotten anything in recent times, you might as well skip them." Similar logic applies to sections such as "coursework."

Simplicity of language: When it comes to touting achievements, Gaba said he'd now prioritize making the language easy to understand. "In the beginning, I would try to add cool acronyms in there — you can alienate your recruiter or hiring manager very quickly by doing that," he said.

But there are some things he'd keep the same.

De-emphasizing education: "I've worked pretty hard for all those degrees, but I know that in the context of the job that I'm looking for, those degrees are not that important," Gaba said. He put his education on the right side of the page since most people tend to read left to right and would therefore see the more-relevant section first.

Hobbies: Gaba said he'd also retain the section called "interests" because it makes for a good icebreaker in interviews: "If you find something that overlaps, it starts a discussion, and it leads to a warm start."

Gaba now works in Google's Seattle office as a software engineer.

BI verified his employment history and his pay history.

Got a story to share about your personal résumé journey? Email this reporter at

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