The resume that bought me a job at Microsoft straight out of school


  • Tara Larsen is a contract author who labored at Microsoft and Amazon.
  • He bought a full-time function at Microsoft shortly after graduating with an English diploma.
  • She says that her meticulously crafted resume set her aside in the course of the recruitment course of.

I used to be two months away from graduating with a level in English Literature once I was provided the function of full-time govt enterprise administrator at Microsoft. Here is how I did it.

Throughout my remaining semester at Brigham Younger College, I spotted I wanted to get a job. My college’s most notable English literature alumnus was Twilight’s Stephanie Meyer, and since I did not have any concepts for the subsequent vampire romance sequence, I figured cashing in on my novice poetry wasn’t within the playing cards.

I turned to a buddy who labored at Microsoft and requested what they search for in an entry-level candidate. He informed me {that a} neighboring workforce was in search of an govt enterprise administrator. “They want somebody who’s succesful,” she mentioned. “Somebody who’s fast, understands fundamental mission administration. And you’ll write, and you may polish all the things, so you need to apply.”

Step one was to adapt my background to an entry-level tech job description.

As an English main, I’m skilled to impress folks primarily based solely on the phrases I need to share. A resume needs to be no totally different, so I handled my resume like I did my thesis. Immediate? Guarantee Microsoft that I used to be certified to work in a technical discipline with out a technical background.

My background was as non-technical because it may get. I used to be a dance instructor, a math instructor, and the principal poetry editor of my college’s literary journal.

The Microsoft function referred to as for mission administration expertise, proficiency in Microsoft software program, and written communication abilities. Whereas I highlighted the problem-solving, organizational, and mission administration skills it takes to run a ballet program and train math lessons, I had a powerful listing of abilities and experiences that have been vital to an early-in-career. Related as a Technical Trainee.

Here is how I structured my non-technical background — phrase for phrase — on my resume.

tara larson resume

my resume.

Tara Larsey


I used to be a ballet instructor, however I additionally:

  • Organized quarterly live shows that embody end-to-end administration of over 500 particular person occasions, creating advertising and marketing supplies, and managing day-to-day circulate.
  • Handle new and current buyer communications in Outlook, monitoring inquiries by means of Excel and making certain well timed responses.
  • Educated new workforce members to speak persistently with new and current clients.

I taught math lessons, however I additionally:

  • Managed annual complicated class scheduling, balancing the precise wants of purchasers and trainers.
  • Managed buyer communications, introducing new “Coach/Guardian Workplace Hours” that minimize e-mail inquiries by 50%.
  • Supplied personalised tutorial enchancment plans to fulfill particular person shopper wants, growing the progress of a C-grade to A-grade pupil by 40%.
  • Screening resumes and lead interviews for potential trainers.

Many early-in-career grads overlook to make use of knowledge factors to measure their success in non-technical roles.

A lot of your influence in non-technical fields will be measured by knowledge, and demonstrates your means to research an issue utilizing metrics to seek out influence and outcomes.

Moreover, remember to say any software program you used to carry out these actions, comparable to utilizing Excel to trace budgets or hourly worker scheduling; Canva and Adobe packages for creating advertising and marketing supplies; Squarespace for updating net web page content material. Mentioning it reveals that you’re able to taking up new software program packages, it doesn’t matter what the duty.

In my non-technical experiences, I had a job that some would contemplate extra relevant to a company setting. It was a social media and copywriting function I had as a part of a literary group that I conceptualized and began. With that, I can spotlight working relationships with stakeholders in a extra formal business-like setting — you understand, that did not embody the dad and mom of the youngsters I used to be caring for by means of ballet class. .

For this function, I emphasised how I:

  • Managed content material calendar utilizing Hootsuite and Planoly, and weekly weblog posts sourcing 6,000+ distinctive month-to-month guests.
  • Secured and managed partnerships with actress Emma Roberts, Penguin Books, HarperCollins Publishers and different unbiased publishing homes.
  • The toughest half was getting a recruiter to note my resume – I used to be behind me. If the hiring supervisor prompted me to interview, all I needed to do was affirm that I had the identical stage of competency in a technical setting.

Though the hirer knew that my background was not in know-how, I didn’t emphasize this truth in my interview.

When he requested about my expertise, I defined intimately the mission administration behind large-scale occasions and the introduction of a brand new curriculum. Though launching a brand new math program is totally different from launching a brand new Microsoft product, I outlined its means to trace deliverables and account for variables.

When requested how I deliberate to achieve a brand new business, I assured her, “I am at all times taking part in to be taught new issues,” and pointed to the confirmed historical past of latest abilities and instruments the place I labored. was required. Though a few of my software program expertise was not relevant to the function I used to be interviewing for, it demonstrated that I may be taught new abilities shortly.

The hiring supervisor requested how I felt about drafting exterior communications for purchasers and companions. Lastly, a second on this interview the place I felt full confidence. “If my English chief is nice for something in your workforce,” I informed him, “that is it.”

I defined that I wrote for a lot of issues: advertising and marketing supplies, buyer emails, weblog posts, social media campaigns, even literary publications – I used to be properly versed in all of them. Though there could also be some technical phrases that I must be taught, I defined that I’ve a historical past of proving my writing abilities in new locations.

Clearly, it labored. I satisfied the precise people who my non-technical background certified me to carry out on their workforce by highlighting utilized mission administration abilities and my means to drive outcomes.

Two months after my function, I took a Friday off from my job at Microsoft to run into my school commencement on the BYU Faculty of the Humanities.

Tara Larson is a contract author and editor.



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