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Ex nihilo nihil fit (Alter Ego) Victor Hurdugaci's Alter Ego

This post is for those who want to apply or have already applied (but not finished the interview) for a Microsoft Job. The recruitment process is quite similar for everyone and consists of a few steps.

  1. Application
  2. E-Mail Interview
  3. Phone Interview
  4. On Site Interview

I will tell you my story and how I went through the four phases.

1. Application

My blog's title (Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit) means "Nothing Comes Out of Nothing". You can't get a job at Microsoft by not doing anything - this is true for anything else. The first step you need to complete is the application process.

For this, many options are available. You can...

  • ... apply online on Microsoft's Careers website as I did
  • ... send your CV to different e-mail addresses (there are some dedicated e-mails for different positions)
  • ... apply through some 3rd party organization (job shop, campus recruitment, job agency, etc)

On MS Careers you just have to post your CV and choose the job you want. That's all! No recommendation letter, no cover letter, no nothing. Of course, not every CV passes the selection process. Here are some tips for improving your resume (worked for me):

  1. Don't write it just before applying! Write a draft version, wait a few days and then review it. This way you will find a lot of mistakes and stupid things you wrote initially. If you review it immediately after writing, your mind will not be criticism oriented and will just ignore mistakes. Repeat the write-wait-review process as many times as necessary, until you find that the review revealed no mistakes.
  2. After you did the final review and the CV is bullet-proof, ask others to review it. They will definitely find inconsistencies and mistakes and this will make you feel stupid. This is good because will open your eyes will make you go into an 'I want to improve' mode. You'll try to correct everything. After you come up with a modified version go again through steps 1 and 2. Repeat this as many times as necessary. [Special thanks to Lucian Sasu, Nadia Comanici, Andrei Ciobanu, Monica Balan and Lavinia Tanase for reviewing my CV!]
  3. Make it short and give only relevant facts. Initially, I come up with a 5 pages CV because I wrote every single technology with which I worked. There were a lot irrelevant things, I wrote Windows Workflow Foundation just because I played with it for a few days. I added extensive descriptions for every project, made a personal details section (name, birth date, address, etc) of 1/2 page. Others suggested to cut everything that was not necessary. You don't need to give extensive descriptions, just add a few words. For example, I wrote "VS Image Visualizer - Visual Studio 2008 debug visualizer for images" and added a link to the project's page - you submit formatted andcan embed links.
  4. Add something that makes it different. I don't know if this makes a difference, but I added some lines to separate items just like in the picture below. Definitely Microsoft gets thousands of CVs per day. You need something special.
  5. Don't lie! Tell exactly what you did and what is the proficiency level of your skills. For example, don't write "Advanced" for UML if you don't know the difference between composition and aggregation. Be realistic and don't under/over estimate yourself.
  6. Use the spell chick. Make sure everything is written in correct English and there are no grammar/spelling mistakes. Noddy likes a WC with grammar mi takes. You mght fail just because of that.

Once you completed your CV, choose the job that suits best your needs, apply and wait... The waiting is a problem because all these big companies like Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple, etc. will contact you only if they find something interesting in your application. If you're not suitable, then no rejection is sent.

I applied for an Intern Software Development Engineer position at Microsoft Redmond. I cannot apply for a full time position because I want to finish the master program on time, in the next summer - an internship is just what I need.

2. E-Mail Interview

January 20, 2010. Two months since I submitted the CV. I wasn't hoping anymore that MS will contact me, when I got an e-mail titled: "Victor Hurdugaci ES DK" from Holly Peterson saying:


Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010 7:24 PM Blog/Personal , Microsoft | Back to top

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