Job search advice: how many applications led to Microsoft

By Jeff D’Andria, G ’12

Jeff D’Andria, G ’12

Hi SU family! Here are a few nuggets of job hunt knowledge I picked up from being in the trenches myself for a few months. The following tips were instrumental in me landing a job with Microsoft as a University Recruiter. I really combed through my journey and came up with the things that not only helped me, but I believe will help you too!

  1. Get over your false confidence. I was so sure that my cover letter and resume were the, so I was confused when I wasn’t getting any call backs. The most pivotal step in my job hunt was going to Career Services and getting all of my application materials looked over. After I got them checked, I suddenly had many interviews come my way. Get your stuff checked! I worked at Career Services for the two years I was in graduate school and still needed help. Tuck the ego aside and make an appointment.
  2. Keep applying, even when you’re interviewing. Remember, they’re considering many candidates. Even if you make it to a final round interview, chances are you’re contending with 3-4 other strong candidates. At this final round, you only have a 25% chance of being chosen as the best candidate. Bottom line: it’s too expensive to stop applying, so keep doing it until you have an offer in hand.
  3. Rules are meant to be broken. Since when does an M.S. in Counseling = a job at Microsoft? Worked for me. If you’re feeling like your major doesn’t line up with a job or internship you want, there’s hope. The education section on a one-page resume takes up maybe 10% of the visual space available. I’m a huge believer that the remaining 90% is what sets you apart and lands the interview. To make this theory work, you have to intern, volunteer, work, overall just DO pertinent things! If you are strategic enough, you don’t have to feel ruled out of opportunities because of your major.
  4. Get what you’re worth.  I knew I wanted to work at a high caliber organization and didn’t settle for anything less. Your first job affects the second job/salary you get, and the third and so on. It’s critical that you talk to people you trust (i.e. Career Services) to learn what your options are. Do not rush into a lesser opportunity for a reason like, “hey I’m lucky to get a job.” Know that you’ll have to start your job search early, roll with the punches for sure, but that’s part of the journey and if you stick with it, you’ll get what you’re worth. A YouTube video that illustrates this point:
  5. Be graceful and grateful. When I accepted the job offer with Microsoft, I was in the interview process with two other organizations. I made sure to genuinely thank them for considering me and ensured that I would love to stay in touch. For one of the organizations, I even referred a friend for the opportunity and they proceeded to invite her on-site for an interview. If you think big picture for a moment, you’ll see that after your first job, you’ll move onto another opportunity. Be grateful and helpful to places you turn down because 1) it’s the right thing to do and 2) you don’t want to burn any bridges.

One of my favorite quotes that applies to the job search is: “Luck is the residue of design.” If you put in your due diligence, it’s only a matter of time before something awesome happens for you. Good luck and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter, @jeffitout, if you have any questions.