Thanks to all who participated in our #DearJobsBlog Twitter chat on Tuesday, April 12th.
If you weren’t able to join us then, please take a look at the complete transcript below. There are some great insights in there. And make sure to keep an eye out for our next Twitter chat (details to come on Microsoft Careers Facebook and @MSFTcareers on Twitter).
Participating Microsoft recruiters were: Kenji Yamaguchi @snoobic, Gretchen Ledgard @gledgard, Eugenia Sawa @eugenia_online, Heather McGough @HeatherMcGough, Jason Pankow @jpankow/@xboxjobs, Anne Cheng (AC), Sandeep Sood @sansoo, & Heather Tinguely @heathertinguely. Make sure to follow all of them on Twitter.
Q. Is there a particular date when you folks have a cutoff date for student internship selection?
@gledgard: When they are all filled. As they are unavailable, we note it on our site. http://bit.ly/dKvLRO
Q: What’s it like working on MSFT’s PR team? How many people are in-house?
@gledgard: We have PR teams for Corp, as well as each product. So it depends on the team & it’s not all centralized.
@jpankow: We have an entire team devoted to PR in IEB. So…yes. Have you submitted a resume?
Q: What is the #1 characteristic you want in a new hire?
@gledgard: How about 2? Smart and gets things done.
@snoobic: For more reference check out this book from a former Microsoftie: http://j.mp/sagtd
Q: What is the best way to stand out from the thousands of applicants in the database for the same job!
@gledgard: Having the skills/experiences called out in the description & presenting them clearly in a resume.
Q: I am considering relocating if I am offered a position with MS. What relocation assistance is usually offered?
@jpankow: MS offers very inclusive relo. We want you to think about your new job. Not how to move your grand piano.
Q: Good time to reapply for a position at Microsoft? 6months or 1year?
AC: Apply when your experience changes or a good role opens! If not, a general app once per year shows interest
Q: I had observed in the past that some openings are tagged as “External”. What does this mean?
AC: It means the job is open to people who don’t already work here (as opposed to “internal” employees)
Q: If I am rejected after the phone screening am I ineligible for a MSFT job? Is there a recommended waiting time to apply again?
AC: No. Apply when a role opens with your skills/interest/experience. Same for those that did a full interview loop.
Q: For int’l positions, is int’l experience or foreign language required? Say I want to learn about rising markets such as BRIC?
AC: Yes, for external facing jobs. But English OK for many roles. Check language requirements in skills needed on job description.
Q: Does Microsoft still do international recruiting. ie do you consider candidates from India for Redmond positions?
AC: We recruit globally for roles in Redmond & more. Mostly dev jobs because of US visa requirements. Definitely apply!
Q: I’m moving to Brooklyn in 2 days. I’m extremely creative. Let me spill my brains on paper for you. Anything in NYC?
AC: Love creativity at MS, current NY roles are here http://bit.ly/ehrAzH Mostly sales, marketing, & services
Q: What is a jobsblog? – THANKS (thx for the tip, @jpankow)
@gledgard: It’s our insider tips and advice blog about interviewing and working at Microsoft: http://microsoftjobsblog.com
Q: What is the biggest overlooked benefit (official or not) of working for MS?
@snoobic: IMO, the #1 overlooked benefit is Employee Match/giving campaign. MS matches $ for $ on donations to charity.
@HeatherMcGough: AND they match $17/hour for the time you give!
@heathertinguely: Tough one… I’d say the MSFT match on charitable giving/volunteer hours and flexible work arrangements!
Q: What is the best way to be recognized over all the other applicants?
@snoobic: Most resumes tend to focus on tasks and kind of blur together. The best resumes focus on results instead.
@sansoo: One page resume highlighting relevant significant achievements.
Q: Can you give an example of a good results based sentence from a resume?
@snoobic: I consider results synonymous with achievements. Ex: “Lead feature redesign for XYZ% performance improvement”
Thank you! Always valuable getting HR pros perspective on resumes etc.
@snoobic: Sure thing! Another tip is to use action words to differentiate your own ideas (initiative), versus work assigned.
Great tip! HR pros do not see initiative as being “disruptive”?
@snoobic: At least not at Microsoft :). Initiative implies passion and drive. Both important competencies we evaluate.
@HeatherMcGough: what is your expertise/specialty?
Marketing, startups, and tech are my passions/strengths. Just found out about #DearJobsBlog
Q: Do you offer mentors for new hires?
@snoobic: Typically we assign two mentors: A “Peer” to help on-boarding, and a “Career” mentor for long term development.
@eugenia_online: Mentors for career growth & for your current job – we have a mentoring program that allows you to be the best you!
@HeatherMcGough: Onboarding at Microsoft is tremendous, not only mentors, but on the job learning, training, etc.
Q: Would networking help at all got placement? Or is applying online my best bet?
@snoobic: Networking is always recommended! You should use all of the resources available and not focus on any one alone.
Q: How likely are you to hire someone from out of state for a low-level position (contract-type)?
@snoobic: Actually all contract positions are hired by outside vendors. It’s a completely separate process so can’t provide much advice.
Q: How do you land an awesome job like working with the fantastic Elite Tweet Fleet @XboxSupport team?
@HeatherMcGough: We are hiring, do you have relevant social networking and customer support experience, show us your achievements
@jpankow: Buy me cookies! Or…have exp. in Cust Svc & Soc Media AND be in the right place at the right time.
Q: I am currently unemployed in New Bedford. Bachelor’s degree in communications with a passion for PR/Social media. Got anything?
@heathertinguely: Here’s a page that will get you started. You can also sign-up for custom job alerts. http://bit.ly/hQ6Vg6
Q: Are there opportunities in the social media space that MS is actively hiring for? If so, which teams?
@heathertinguely: MSFT is definitely on the hunt for social media skills! This page will get you started: http://bit.ly/gybSOK.
Q: Why did you join MS? What do you love about it now, that you didn’t know before being hired?
@eugenia_online: I joined 11 years ago and what I love most is constantly learning on the job and being challenged to think.
Q: Do you get to be involved in projects all over the company? Or mostly within your field and learn a lot about that i.e. acct
@eugenia_online: Cross group projects/initiatives are common. You also get to go deep in your area. Definitely opportunities for both.
@HeatherMcGough: Opportunity to have many different careers, daily challenges, working with smart people…11+ years here and still love it!
Q: How do you express passion for technology in a CV to make the right impression during screening?
@Heather McGough: What is your favorite technology…What would you do to improve it?
Basically I am hardcore .net fan. I have quite a few ideas for VSTS-TFS which I have implemented locally.
@HeatherMcGough: Tell me about the last technical thing that they learned that was not for work, show self-study on area of interest
Also have been creating internal tools out of my interest for my org to boost productivity. Widely used.
Q: What does one need to do to better his chances at an entry level position for Xbox Live Enforcement?
@jpankow: You need Cust Svc Exp and exp in Systems administration & you have to be in the right place at the right time.
@jpankow: That is a very tough org to get into. They don’t hire often and when they do, it’s very popular.
Q: What kind of education do you look for when hiring game designers?
@jpankow: Designers often “break in” doing something else. IE: Test or Production. A computer science background never hurts.
Alright thank you very much. Experience in Maya a big plus?
@jpankow: It doesn’t hurt. But, experience in C++ is better. The more the better.
@jpankow: Creative edu. Writing, concept art, etc. More important is experience designing games. Portfolios are important.
Q: If I have no programming or art skills, but still want to break in to video games, is testing the only place to start?
@jpankow: No…but, you will have an uphill climb. There’s also Production. I recommend picking up some code.
Q: Hey #DearJobsBlog PR/SM pro here with a background in events. (and passion for gaming)…any jobs in that area?
@jpankow: We have an entire team devoted to PR in IEB. So…yes. Have you submitted a resume?
No, where can I do this? I’d love to get involved.
@jpankow: Go to http://careers.microsoft.com and search for jobs under IEB (Interactive Entertainment Business). Good luck!
Q: I’m way out on southeast coast, is there a dedicated recruiter for Georgia?
@gledgard: Check out http://bit.ly/fTgR2E. You can find your recruiter by school or for the state if your school isn’t listed.
Q: What other things do you expect in CV other than technology/project experience?
@sansoo: Your passion, patents, honors, awards, etc.
@sansoo: If there is a good match between your experience and the skills we need for our cloud roles, you’ll hear back.
End of Transcript.
– The JobsBloggers