Over the years, Microsoft has given you the personal career and new technologies--but can this iconic company help give you a job?
Whether you are applying to work at Microsoft or elsewhere, there's much to be learned from Microsoft's recruiters who offer suggestions and words of advice for those of us looking to improve our resumes. On average, it takes recruiters six seconds to decide whether your résumé stands out or not--here's what Microsoft recruiters say your résumé needs in order to quickly make a good first impression.
1. Clean formatting.
"Is your formatting clean and [does it] easily flow to really distill the most important information front and center?" asks Microsoft recruiter Maasa Walker. Consider finding a digestible and clean format for your resume, one that offers a balance of font style, font size, layout and design.
2. A snapshot of who you are.
Although a traditional part of the résumé, the objective statement can take up too much valuable space. Instead, Walker suggests you go with an introductory paragraph that works as an elevator pitch, giving recruiters a snapshot of who you are as a person.
3. A reduced skills section.
"I've seen some [skill paragraphs] that have taken up three to four lines of space," says Microsoft executive recruiter Chris Bell. Avoid listing each and every one of your skills--instead, you want to be strategic and move quickly to more important information like your past experience. Consider tailoring your skills to the position you are pursuing, and only focus on the skills that are most relevant.
4. Show impact.
Recruiters like Bell want to see what kind of impact you have made. Perhaps at your last job you sold houses. How many did you sell? Did your method of selling one bring more visibility to your previous company? Why did your role matter? Make sure these impactful statements directly speak to the company you are applying for: relate to its culture, tailor your experience to the position you seek, and highlight the skillset you have that the job will require.
When it comes to résumé organization, avoid big blocks of text, which can hide the critical information you need to convey and tire the reader. With the use of bullet points, wide margins, and white space, you can, as Microsoft recruiters say, "allow content to pop." Beyond just formatting and organization, keep it strategic and simple when it comes to résumé content. Directly and concisely share what makes you an outstanding candidate. As Walker underlines, "One thing we can all agree: focus on what matters."