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I have heard about Google's XYZ résumé formula but I struggle to describe my experience with it.

Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z].

The hardest part is ...as measured by Y... but sometimes I feel like X and Z are not that easy too.

A little bit about me.
I'm a software engineer with almost 5 years of experience. I’ve been working at my current company for 5 months. It’s a middle size company with 5 engineering teams, one product team, sales reps and a whole variety of other types of employees. So each feature that I work on is probably based on some client feedback, which is getting processed to some coherent features by the product team, broken down into tickets by the product team and/or team leads and architect, estimated on refinements by me and my teammates and only after that given to me as a ticket. For this reason I feel really uncomfortable listing any features that “I developed” in my CV, because they represent collaborative effort, and as far as I know CV is about your personal achievements.

At the same time, I cannot just deviate from my responsibilities and start developing some striking prototypes because it’s not what is expected from me. It’s even hard to set aside a couple of working hours a day to do this. Because managers track our performance each sprint, we are expected to work 8 hours a day on our scrum stuff and it would quickly become apparent that I went beyond the expected threshold. I’m certainly not a 10x engineer in terms of performance to get away with it

The only option I see is try and do some something outstanding in non office hours. But I’m sure it’s the dumbest idea cause it would lead to burnout. Let alone that I want to do other things in my free time like leetcode grinding, sports, social life, etc.

I'd love to hear any advice from someone who has experienced the same.

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    Does this answer your question? Contributions in a CV for developers
    – nvoigt
    Apr 23 at 8:42
  • Why do you need to do something outstanding?
    – Kilisi
    Apr 23 at 9:33
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    @Kilisi to pass CV screening for the future jobs. To get promoted Apr 23 at 9:49
  • @nvoigt this is a nice thread thanks for pasting it here Apr 23 at 9:50
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    @Job_September_2020 Sure. The question is how to get/find achievements considering the my setting I described in the question Apr 24 at 20:40

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I'm not sure if the XYZ formula really applies for computer programmers. A lot of the work goes completely behind the scenes or is a part of a larger system, so producing measurable results is difficult and any competent recruiter should be aware of it. If you search for examples of XYZ resume, you'll see that they are all about manager or maybe lead developer positions.

For what it's worth, I have interviewed at Google a few times and I was never asked about achievements like this. I was initially noticed when a coworker was recruited and the recruiters contacted most of his coworkers, and he in turn was interviewed because his former coworker was recruited and referred him. The followup interviews happened because I almost passed the technical interviews. I can think of exactly one thing from my 20 year career that had clearly measurable business impact, and to be honest it was a tiny task that anyone could have done.

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  • so do I get it right that google recruiters don't carry that much about your cv's compliance with xyz as long as you are getting referred? May 1 at 9:23
  • All I can say for sure is that references are valued too, and it's not that common that software engineer can honestly put XYZ-style achievements on their resume. I was told that Google gets millions of applications per year and they recruit thousands, so they use every trick to narrow down the funnel, and embellished and outright fake resumes are so common that they don't trust them much.
    – ojs
    May 1 at 11:15
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Hopefully after 5 years of experience you're doing a lot more than just taking a ticket with all the detail defined by somebody else and implementing it - you should be contributing to the design of solutions, helping junior staff when they have issues and all that stuff. Sure, you may not have done the requirements gathering and whatever else but you did come up with the clever solution which allowed your team to succeed. That is something you can put on your CV.

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    Unfortunately this is how it is. I just work on some tickets. I don't fully understand how that happened. I had worked at one company for 3.5 years where I had that "senior" level but only in terms of salary. Then I joined a company as a simple dev for 10 months and now I'm at the 3rd one again as a simple dev. It may be related to the fact that my first company did outstaffing - just sell us devs to other companies so there were no real opportunities to become a lead or something Apr 24 at 20:50
  • That makes it somewhat harder as you are effectively doing the job role of a junior developer, which probably means you don't have any significant achievements. I think you need to be having some serious conversations with your manager about what you need to do to be getting more responsibility. Apr 25 at 5:31
  • the thing is, I don't think it's responsibility that takes you to the next level or brings achievements. I'll be mentoring an intern next term. But it doesn't seem like a strong achievement nor it feels like a promotion to the senior level Apr 25 at 6:16

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