Applications for Microsoft Aspire 2021 are coming out (Canada is apparently mid-August). I am sharing some details about the program to encourage students in their final years or new grads to apply 😁 Check out Microsoft Aspire 101 for details about the program, process and timeline, why join Microsoft, and how to get started!
If you are seriously considering applying, go do it! To help you with your application, I have asked some current Aspires to share their top tips and words of advice about standing out among the thousands of people who apply every year.
This may also be useful for anyone interested in applying to Microsoft.
Be proactive with your networking and relationships
Take the initiative to learn from others and their experiences at Microsoft
- Reach out to current Microsoft Employees to learn about the work culture and Aspire program.
- Find warm contacts who can introduce or refer you to recruiters and hiring managers.
- Don’t let too much time pass (~2 weeks) without following up with your recruiter for updates once you’ve made it into the process.
Build a strong presence on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, and is an essential tool that recruiters use to find and evaluate candidates
- Update your LinkedIn profile with a great profile photo and description. Highlight your key skills, areas of interest, leadership experiences, and accomplishments.
- Ask previous teammates and managers to give you references, recommendations, and endorsements.
- Be active and turn ON your #OpenToWork feature to let recruiters know that you’re ready for new opportunities.
Demonstrate your technical skills and competencies
Invest some time into technical readiness if you don’t have advanced technical skills
- Complete LinkedIn Learning Paths or Microsoft Fundamental Certifications to demonstrate your competencies and willingness to learn about Microsoft solution portfolio (what we build, how we sell)
- Learn the basics of technology and the big bets that Microsoft is making for the future (Hint: Cloud, Power Platform, Remote Work).
- Have a perspective of how to accelerate the use of Microsoft technologies, suggestions for changes with supporting examples, and why these changes would be impactful to the business.
Do your homework
Know the company and culture extremely well and figure out why you would be a great fit
- Research our company values and the importance of having a Growth Mindset (this means being open to new opportunities that may not fit what you originally had in mind)
- Know your own resume and every single word that’s on it. Be prepared to answer any questions related to your resume.
- Be specific about WHY MICROSOFT? Don’t give a vague answer about loving “technology” because that is not specific enough. Highlight a deep connection to the company.
Make a lasting impression
Once you make it to the interview, stand out through your passions, unique experiences, and positive attitude and know your self worth and vision
- Communicate well and articulate your thoughts clearly. Practice the art of storytelling to keep your audience engaged. (Hint: You may be asked to present!)
- Remember to treat everyone in the process with respect. People may not always remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel. It is important to establish a strong and positive impression from beginning to end.
- Most importantly, be yourself because everyone else is taken. Know who you are and what you want to be. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know the person behind the resume, and this is your chance to show them why they would love working with you.
Thank you to Abhimanyu Srivastava, Mae Coulson, Parker Lees, Kyle Czeruszka, Megan Doherty, Mark Ansell, and Cassaundra Laundry for taking the time to share their thoughts and perspectives in the creation of this post!