How to Get a Job at Microsoft
In 2019, Microsoft made history by becoming the third U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market cap (along with Apple and Amazon). Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, Microsoft has transformed the world of technology and become a giant multinational corporation that continues to develop new and exciting products and ideas. Even if the company hypothetically went out of business this year, its place in business history has already been cemented.
Over the years, there’s a very good chance you’ve used several Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office, the Xbox gaming system, Windows operating system, or a Microsoft laptop or tablet. Creating these helpful and smart products for millions of worldwide users means Microsoft needs many employees, so there are generally always jobs available.
As one of the Big Five American tech companies, Microsoft has locations in about 100 countries worldwide. Naturally, they hire the best and brightest, but you don’t necessarily need an Ivy League degree to work there. Companies like Microsoft are dynamic and like to break the rules, so that thinking-out-of-the-box mentality means they’ll take a chance on scrappy job applicants that can prove their brilliance during the hiring process.
Empire Resume will explain how to get a dream job at Microsoft, telling you how to apply, what types of jobs are available, and what their hiring process is like.
Jobs Available at Microsoft
Microsoft is a technology company, so, at its heart, most jobs center around things like software and hardware development. While you should love tech to get a job at Microsoft, many other types of positions are available.
On its career’s website, Microsoft lists a wide array of professions and departments where jobs are available, including:
- Customer Success
- Business Development Ventures
- Technical Sales
- Supply Chain and Operations Management
- Marketing, and
- Human Resources.
As of Q2 2021, Microsoft employs a little more than 182,000 people worldwide. The company’s headquarters is in Redmond, Washington, and the campus encompasses eight million square feet and is home to about 30,000 to 40,000 employees. Microsoft also has additional offices in Bellevue and Issaquah, Washington, a campus in Mountain View, California, and has its East Coast headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Applying to a Microsoft Job
The great thing about such a massive company like Microsoft is they have numerous articles on their website that offer insights into their application and hiring process. The company answers numerous FAQs on its site, including how to apply and tips on interviewing.
For a company like Microsoft, the best and perhaps only way to apply is by creating a profile on their careers site and thoroughly following their job application process. The benefits of this are you can set up job alerts straight from the company and view the status of your applications.
Microsoft says you can apply to more than one job at once, but remember to still research each position and not flood their system with applications. The company also has an employee referral program, so if you know anyone who has worked or does work there, be sure to reach out to them.
Resumes are reviewed by Microsoft recruiters, so if they like your qualifications, they’ll reach out to you. Even if they don’t reach out right away, the company keeps a database of old resumes and applications, so there’s still a chance you may hear from them somewhere down the line.
Resume Tips for a Microsoft Job
According to Microsoft, they want to hear about your latest accomplishments, strengths, and how your specific skills match the position. So, when you’re writing your resume, be sure to include these things. Microsoft emphasizes they want to hear about accomplishments, not just past job duties. If you’ve done any special projects, submit them as part of your application.
Microsoft says it’s okay to use more than one page on your resume, but make sure the most important and relevant info is on the first page. Also, ensure that your resume is still succinct and straightforward and doesn’t include any superfluous information. The company says you should include interests outside of work on your resume, such as volunteer work and extracurricular activities. They want to know what makes you tick and what you’re passionate about, as Microsoft looks for passionate employees.
The company says on its website that the top traits they look for in candidates are:
- A strong desire to learn
- High intelligence
- A passion for technology
- Willingness to work hard
- Rock-solid skills
- An entrepreneurial spirit, and
- A desire to excel.
How to Ace the Microsoft Interview
Due to COVID-19, Microsoft says all of its interviews are currently being done virtually. So, brush up on your skills at video interviews, and be ready to spend a good amount of time prepping if you’re lucky enough to get an interview at Microsoft.
The company will ask about your past experience and successes and how they’ve prepared you for a role at this tech giant. It’s wise to do a tremendous amount of research about Microsoft so you can ask intelligent questions about the position you’re applying for, the department you’d be working in, and the company as a whole. Microsoft says they like to see a “healthy dose of curiosity” from job candidates during interviews.
Interviews at Microsoft usually involve groups of three to six people from the company and can take up to an hour each. For some jobs, especially technical positions, you may have to take an assessment, such as writing code, sharing a creative portfolio, or providing an example of your work in another way.
During interviews, Microsoft will likely ask many behavioral-based questions and try to understand how your mind works and solves problems. On its website, the company says candidates should be prepared to verbalize how they devised a solution to a technical issue, design question, or problem-solving puzzle. The bottom line is Microsoft wants quick thinkers, and the hiring managers and recruiters will want you to clearly explain your thinking process.
Always Send a Follow-up Thank You Note
If you land an interview at Microsoft, pat yourself on the back. Getting a corporate job at Microsoft, or any of the big tech companies like Amazon or Google, is very challenging. Microsoft says a recruiter will let you know the next steps after your interview and you’ll usually hear back within a week.
In the meantime, Empire Resume strongly recommends sending a follow-up thank-you note to your interviewers at Microsoft. Your recruiter could provide you with their names and contact information, so be sure to send a handwritten message to them, which always impresses hiring managers.
Applying for a job at a company like Microsoft can feel intimidating, but it’s definitely worth a shot. Landing a job there is challenging but not impossible, even if you don’t have an Ivy League degree or prestigious qualifications.
As one of the world’s most valuable companies, Microsoft is an excellent place to work where you’ll be working on cutting-edge tech with brilliant and talented people. Microsoft has been named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work for four years in a row, and a staggering 97% of its employees approve of the company’s current CEO, Satya Nadella.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more helpful insights into careers and employment, such as articles like What It’s Really Like Working for Microsoft, Declining Industries Destined to Fail, and Working at a Startup Company.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.