How do I get my foot in the door with Microsoft?

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 - career management, job hunting

Joseph asks: Since February of this year I have been trying to get a position within Microsoft and to no avail I have yet to land. I have submitted my resume/profile though the website on over 100 postings and just recently joined with two preferred recruiters of Microsoft. The positions that I am trying to get are in the marketing manager type postings and on most, I have exactly what the posting was asking for. On advice from one of the recruiters, I moved from Phoenix to the Seattle area because they suggested that “Microsoft typically pick candidates that are in the Seattle/surrounding areas.” Is there any advice,comments, ideas or the best way to get my foot into the door at Microsoft? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

In answer:
Two questions:

1. Why do you want to work for Microsoft?
2. Why do you think the skills you have are what they want?

I see above and from your profile lots of tactics, but not a lot of desperate wanton and screaming NEED to work for Microsoft – or much strategic thinking.

You seem like a great to excellent tactical marketer Joseph, but Microsoft in light of severe competition from Google are changing their marketing strategy to become a “one voice to global market” organisation. There was a recent case study I saw in Europe, where the biggest issue they had was extreme localisation of product marketing which created opposed messages for products, resulting in reduced sales to high-level (ie well travelled) customers.

Here’s three thoughts:

1. if you are really desperate to work for Microsoft, take any job in their HQ and work your way in – but I don’t think you are that desperate or driven to work for Microsoft
2. Take a Microsoft product, and after undertaking a critic of its marketing, write and price a new strategy. Then send it recorded delivery to the President of the division in which its present global product marketer works. If its great, they will give you a meeting, which you ask for in the Cover Letter
3. Or alternately, take those great tactical marketing skills you have, and start your own company. In a recession, all companies need to sell, and good paid on results marketers can earn a fortune

I think that wholly focusing on Microsoft – without a desperate need to work for them – is presently to your own and career detriment. You have great skills and a market crying out for them, so why not use them more entrepreneurially?

Good Luck!

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