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Like the other “big four” tech companies, getting a job at Microsoft is no easy feat. The company has an extensive global workforce of approximately 221,000 full-time employees and is inundated with millions of job applications annually. From modernizing the Windows platform to its groundbreaking cloud computing service (Azure), Microsoft is an iconic and highly sought-after employer.
For those looking to kickstart their career in technology with a job at Microsoft in 2023, several key steps need to be taken. To increase your chances of success, it is essential to understand the company’s hiring process, the skills and qualifications that are required for various positions, and how to stand out from other applicants.
How to Apply for a Job At Microsoft
If you’re hoping to work for Microsoft, the application process is simple: just head over to their Glassdoor profile and browse through available job openings. When you spot one that interests you, all it takes is a click of the “Apply Now” button on its listing page—this will redirect you directly to Microsoft’s website so that you can get started on your submission right away. They provide detailed instructions regarding what should be included in your application.
After submitting your application, it will be assessed by a Microsoft recruiter. If you match the criteria of the job well enough, that same recruiter will reach out to discuss further details. And even if you don’t receive contact, Microsoft states that your information is stored in the recruiters’ shared candidate database, meaning you may still be contacted regarding other opportunities at Microsoft down the line.
Tips for Your Resume and Cover Letter
If you want to grab the attention of recruiters, it’s important to have a solid resume. It’s not just about listing your areas of expertise on your resume and cover letter, and you should explain how these traits will be advantageous for the desired job role. Don’t forget to emphasize any notable accomplishments from previous roles, as this helps demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate. If there are past projects or initiatives you can use as success stories, include them among other documents as well. They may give further insight into what makes you a valuable asset.
Qualifications and Skills Required
Other areas of expertise that are beneficial to have included a background in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and analytics. While these skills aren’t necessary for every position at Microsoft, they do give you an edge when it comes to competition between job seekers.
Tips for Landing a Role at Microsoft
Beyond your resume, cover letter, and application, there are several things to be aware of that can help you stand out from the competition and make you a more attractive candidate for Microsoft. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Understand Microsoft’s Recruitment Strategies
It is imperative to understand the hiring process of Microsoft to improve your chances of success. The company uses an array of recruitment strategies, including job fairs and online job postings. It also utilizes technical assessments, interviews, and background checks to assess candidates.
According to Microsoft talent executive Chuck Edward, Microsoft no longer screens out candidates based on their educational backgrounds. Instead, they focus more on a candidate’s practical skills, experience, and problem-solving ability. They also work with an IT staffing agency for some of their open roles, meaning that applicants should keep a close network of tech recruiters and staffing agencies.
Most importantly, you should get acquainted with a few people who work at Microsoft, as referrals can significantly increase your chances of landing an interview, preparing for it properly, and standing out from other candidates.
2. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
For those who don’t know, LinkedIn is a Microsoft company. Back in 2016, Microsoft acquired the popular platform for a staggering $26.2 billion, and since then, it has become an essential part of its recruitment process.
To take advantage of Microsoft’s advanced recruitment strategies, applicants should make sure their resumes are optimized for both human recruiters and predictive automated technology. Whether you’re a beginner or professional in your field, be certain to include job-specific keywords as well as any pertinent skills listed in the job posting on your profile. This way, recruiters won’t miss out on an opportunity to connect with you.
If you want to really stand out, you can write posts with insights in your respective career profession. LinkedIn’s creator tools are great for this purpose and will help you to create engaging content that recruiters won’t be able to ignore.
3. Take Relevant Courses or Seek Certifications
Microsoft is always on the lookout for job applicants who stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, best practices, and trends in their respective fields. Taking online courses or seeking certifications in areas such as software engineering, cloud computing, or data science will help you stand out from other applicants and show that you are actively pursuing learning.
For cloud computing certifications, Microsoft has partnered with Linux, and for other types of Microsoft certifications, you can now take exams from the comfort of your own home.
4. Familiarize Yourself with Microsoft’s Hiring Process
Applying for a job at Microsoft can be broken down into four main steps. First, prospective candidates should create their profile on the Microsoft job page and start searching through job opportunities; they can also set up job alerts to receive updates and track the progress of their applications.
Once submitted, recruiters will review every application and reach out to those who meet the requirements. Candidates who do not receive a response right away need not worry; their information will be stored, and they may get contacted in case they qualify for a different position.
The third stage consists of screening by either a recruiter or hiring manager, typically over the phone, to ascertain qualifications such as intelligence, desirability to learn, passion for technology, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The final step is a series of in-person interviews, usually between three to six hours of duration, during which candidates are evaluated according to factors like writing code or providing examples from their creative portfolio, depending on the job.
Of course, this is also when applicants should ask as many thoughtful questions as possible about the role, team dynamics, and company culture so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not it is a good fit for them.
Landing a coveted role at Microsoft is not easy, but by establishing yourself as an expert in your field, optimizing your LinkedIn profile and taking relevant courses or earning certifications, familiarizing yourself with Microsoft’s hiring process, and having a few connections on the inside can give you an edge over the competition.