Aug 26, 2022
about 6 min read
Tips to write a resume that land you a job at Microsoft
It's the fact that your resume has only 6 seconds to impress a recruiter. Let’s think of one recruiter's desk filled with resumers. What should you do to make yours stand out? This is such a difficult question not only for freshers. But also for some seniors who are seeking a better job at big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google,... Today's blog will show you useful tips to write an outstanding resume that could land you a job at Microsoft. To those who want to make your resume shine, you should not miss this guiding blog!
What is a resume? Is it different or the same as a CV?
First, let us define what a resume is and whether it is a CV or not. A resume can be explained briefly as a summary of your background including education, work experience and skills. In comparison to a CV, a resume is a lot different. A curriculum vitae or a CV in short, in particular, is a detailed description of your career and all aspects of your education, work & experiences without the length limitation. A resume, on the other hand, is a summary of those experiences and skills that typically covers only the last ten years of employment. Unlike a CV, a resume should be customized and edited to fit each job description. And specifically, it should be no more than one or two pages long.
In any job search, the resume is considered the most requested document, followed by the cover letter. In fact, recruiters look at resumes more closely than cover letters when considering any candidates. The following part will guide you what you should put into a resume.
What components should be added into a resume?
A professional and good-looking resume should combine those following sections:
A header & contact information
Always remember to put your name on the top of your resume, which is also a header of a resume. Right below should be the place where you add your contact info including phone number, email address, links to your social pages or websites, typically. The aim is to avoid any confusion making it hard for recruiters to follow and reach out to you. However, there’s one important thing you should bear in mind. Never put your contact info in the header or footer of the resume. Otherwise, your info will be overlooked since some resume-screening softwares are designed to do so.
A brief yet sufficient summary
The following part is the summary which should best describe who you are, what you do and why you’re suitable for the job vacancy. All of that info should be displayed as briefly as possible. Typically, a recommended summary includes from 1 to 3 sentences.
Commonly, lots of applicants decide to put a largely out-of-date objective statement showing their objectives towards the job requirements. But a professional resume is not about what you want. Instead, they're concerned with the value you could provide to the company as a prospective employer. There is a statement that a professional summary isn't a must-have. And it’s not wrong at all. If your resume lacks one, it's unlikely to be a dealbreaker. However, it can be a useful way to impress recruiters and hiring managers. As they could have a quick, high-level overview of why you're the right person.
A skill section
A skill section is a must as it catches recruiters’ attention who are looking for applicants with specialized backgrounds. The best position for a skill section is at the bottom of the resume as an afterthought. Some recruiters and hiring managers admit that they usually skip resumes making them hunt through bullet points to find the skills. In contrast, they are much more likely to take your resume seriously if they can see right away the qualifications you have for the job.
Detailed work experience
Another important section is a detailed work experience where you display your previous work in a delicate and consistent format. For each job, you should include the company name, employment dates, work title and duty you engaged in. More importantly, don’t forget to add actions verbs and data points to the bullet points that describe relevant accomplishments. For recruiters and hiring managers, who want to learn about your professional experiences and relate your skills to what they're looking for in a potential hire, this section is crucial. Make sure your work experience stands out. Because recruiters are not only busy with resume submissions but also sourcing and identifying quality candidates in a crowded pack.
There are many specific jobs requiring an education background so it's critical to include your academic credentials on your resume. This section, however, should not take up too much room. Most of the time, just simply listing schools you went to, your batch, and what degree you received.
Further experience (optional)
It is an optional yet valuable section that is worth adding to your resume. This part is considered a perfect end to your resume. As you can highlight your awards, volunteering activities and even amazing hobbies. However, it can be a useful way to present a more complete picture of who you are. But remember, this section shouldn’t be too long otherwise it will overlap your skills and work experience.
Tips to write a resume approved by Microsoft’s recruiters
Keep your resume all clear and simple
A long and irrelevant self-description will discourage recruiters to have a further look at your resume. The general rule is that it should be no more than one page unless you have a compelling reason for it to be longer, such as a lengthy career or a wealth of highly applicable work experience. To keep your resume concise, include only recent, relevant experience. For example, in case your new job is a totally different field compared to your previous one. You don’t have to include every detail of your past work duties even if you have learned a lot from it.
Give recruiters an overview of who you are
One of the most recent resume writing tips suggested by experts is that, instead of a largely old objective statement, applicants should include a career snapshot at the top of the resume. A brief yet informative career snapshot can be seen as your own branding statement. This statement should cover your unique value, your skills, attitude and qualifications. But the number one rule in making a catchy snapshot is short and clear in which highlighted experiences and accomplishments are listed by a few bullet points. And the information provided ought to be related to the job requirements.
Link your skills to the job requirement
Applying to dozens of job positions using one resume is not a good approach. Instead, your resume should be customized to each specific job you're applying for. Don’t forget to prioritize the skills, qualifications, and experiences that are directly relevant to the job you are seeking. The tip here is to select three or four previous positions or experiences that best demonstrate the skills required for the position. Because employers only value conciseness, it isn’t a good idea listing every job you've ever held. For instance, if you're applying for a marketing position, you could mention your previous relevant experiences such as communication, branding, and interpersonal skills you’ve learned there.
Produce more quantitative resume content
It is highly recommended by most experts that your achievements of previous work should be quantified. Using metrics can not only highlight your accomplishments. But it also provides hiring managers or recruiters with a clear picture of how much effort you had dedicated to your former work positions. For example, a former marketing executive may claim to have "conducted 3 successful marketing campaigns and increased the brand awareness to 30%”.
Double check your resume for errors and ask for advice when needed.
Check your own work at least 2 times then have it triple checked by someone who is experienced to ensure it's flawless. Sloppiness is not allowed to appear on your resume. Here are some important sections you are not supposed to make errors to:
Spelling and grammar: to some recruiters, typos errors are equated with laziness and negligence at work. Thus, to prevent your resume from being dismissed at the very beginning, make sure it’s error-free and easy to read.
Formatting: remember to check for formatting of your resume including font, spacing and alignment. These small details can tell HR reps who you are, whether you have technical skills and an orientation for detail or not.
The above text has already shown you what a Microsoft approved resume would look like. Regardless of whether you are a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional, having an updated and personalized resume is essential. We hope that you have learned some useful tips and be ready for new challenges on your future career path. In case you need more tips related to job acquisition, you can read more on the Golden Owl blog.