Interviewing Marketing people in Silicon Valley next Wednesday.

I've been invited to speak at next Wednesday's (5/5) Silicon Valley Product Managers Association Meeting in Sunnyvale. This opportunity came to me by way of the Software Product Marketing eGroup (ProfGuild). To make the most of the trip, I'm setting aside some time to interview people while I am down there.

Because of the limited time I'll have, I'm limiting interviews to a few functional areas.

-Technical Product Managers/Marketers (inbound and outbound)

-BDMs (non-sales roles)

-Market Researchers

If your background falls into one of these areas and you are interested in setting up some time to speak while I am in town, please send me your resume ( These interviews will be somewhat exploratory, in that we are not trying to match people up to specific positions, but rather to a general hiring profile. If it looks like you are a match for our profile, I can send more details on times and locations for interviews.

I look forward to meeting some of you!

Comments (9)

  1. Dave Vespa says:


    What is a BDM?


  2. Heather,

    Is your e-mail back working again? Reason I ask, as a result of reading Cynthia’s prior comments about your interest in the ResumeBlog concept, I promptly sent you two emails about my Portfolio web site (listed below). But, I didn’t receive a response to either message. Did you have a problem sending me a reply message, and if so what was it (did it bounce)?

    In summary, some of us web-savvy marketing folks intentionally don’t have a ResumeBlog, but we believe that we have something much better. Will Microsoft talent scouts visit professional Portfolio web sites, or are you only interested in viewing the simplistic ResumeBlogs at this moment in time?

    David H. Deans

  3. Heather says:

    Dave, BDM=business development manager

    David-my e-mail isn’t broken. I get huge volumes of mail…still wading through. Sorry that you have not heard back from me. Regarding our trip tp the Silicon Valley, we aren’t only looking at candidates with resume blogs, although I personally find resume blogs and traditional resumes easier to read than portfolios since the information tends to be more concise. But that is just my personal opinion. Of course, I am happy to review the background of anyone interested in meeting in San Jose. I can’t make any promises on how many folks I’ll get to meet with individually (which is part of the reason why we are focused on the specific profiles I mentioned above)

  4. Heather,

    Please elaborate on the notion that less content is better, in your opinion. Most professional portfolio web sites do include a standard resume (case in point: mine includes both functional and chronological versions). So, you get what you prefer, anyway.

    But, if I understand your point, our prior belief that recruiters would "truly value" access to more substantive content than a typical resume format may actually be misguided. I’m intrigued by this insight, since I thought that recruiters have viewed the traditional undifferentiated resume as a sure way to be ignored by people like you (receiving huge volumes of candidate email, all essentially looking the same).

    It’s somewhat ironic that if a marketer uses their skills to differentiate themselves in the marketplace (the available talent pool) by providing content that demonstrate they "walk the walk," then this could be a wasted effort. At least, that’s the implication of your feedback.

    Again, for the benefit of everyone reading this message thread. Please explain. We all want to learn what you, and potentially others like you, really value when searching for a superior candidate that’s worthy of consideration for Microsoft employment.

  5. Heather says:

    David-good questions. The issue more more voluminous information is that recruiters rarely have time to wade through all of it. I’d estimate that a recruiter looks at a resume for about 30 seconds before making a decision about whether they are interested in speaking with someone. So for this reason, a resume or resume blog is most appropriate. You are really looking for a binary response: yes the recruiter wants to talk to me or no, they don’t. Additional information in a portfolio format won’t get the recruiter to that decision quickly and they may get a little frustrated because they want to know where you worked, for how long, breifly what you did and your educational background. You need to make it easy for them to grab this info. remeber that recruiters can look at hundreds (or more?) resumes a day.

    However, a portfolio may be useful once you have engaged with a recruiter or hiring team. At that point it may be valuable to show more of your work skills. Although keep in mind that companies are a little cautious to look through work sample from previous experience due to legal issues. Also, they may find more value from hearing your speak about your experience and asking you questions about it rather than the static delivery via a portfolio.

    In general, recruiters want to be able to find you and read your resume, have a good phone conversation and our hiring community wants you to stand out in your interviews. It’s possible that a portfolio approach could help accomplish the latter, but I have not seen a lot of success with that here. It’s just not part of how we interview people. We want people who react well to business situations and can demonstrate that in an interview.

    Of course, this is just my opinion. I think someone in a creative field (artistic type of creativity versus business problem solving kind of creativity) may have different opinions on this.

  6. Heather, I thank you for your very thoughtful response to my questions.

    FYI, Tom Peters, the most influential business thinker of our time, explains his "Brand You" concept by stating that most astute business professionals are really acting as "commercial creatives" (or should be if they want to succeed in today’s competitive environment for talent).

    Comments you made elsewhere on this site indicate that you agree with the notion that most people can potentially use blogs (and other web self-publishing tools) to help hone and develop their professional online persona. Cynthia Typaldos has certainly attested to this notion as well.

    Furthermore, some of Microsoft’s most notable employees with an online persona, like Chris Sells, have actually used the Professional Portfolio approach for some time. In fact, some might say that many of Microsoft’s recognized (by their peer-group) subject-matter experts all have this key trait in common.

    In summary, what I’ve learned from this dialogue is that I may have assumed from your title (Talent Scout) that you were not a legacy recruiter, but were instead attempting to recast your role into something more forward-looking.

    The day-to-day constraints that you mention clearly demonstrate that merely changing your title doesn’t translate into a Microsoft innovation in recruiting. Your leadership team surely must allow you to invest the time to focus on the "quality" of the candidates that you process — since a 30-second resume review can be characterized as a "quantity" procesing mindset.

    Given this backdrop, it’s no wonder that potential Microsoft employees of the same caliber of Chris Sells are most likely discovered directly by the hiring manager. Clearly, the cerebral depth of Chris’ raw potential could very well have been missed by the token "glance and toss" method of resume reviewing.

    Of course, this is just my opinion. And, I thank you for the opportunity to voice it on this public forum. Also, I do appreciate your candid comments.

  7. Heather says:

    David-we will have to agree to disagree. We are in fact, very forward looking in our recruiting practices and that doesn’t have anything to do with what our titles are. We certainly do encourage our employees to engage with their peers in the industry and those people do sometimes become candidates and employees, like Chris Sells. This does not represent a lack of focus from recruiting, but rather a culture where we are all responsible for bringing the best and brightest to Microsoft. I applaud our employees that spend the time to know who the best players are in their space and engage with them…they are the experts, after all.

    You asked me what recruiters like to see and I’m sorry that you disagree with my answer, but as I mentioned, this is simply my opinion. I’m not saying that recruiters would never look at a portfolio, just that resumes (or resume blogs) are easier to read through to make the decision to call the person (I find the actual dialogue more valuable than reading about the candidate…this is where I get a sense of "quality"). Remember, you asked about portfolios versus resumeblogs and I simply told you that I find resumes easier to read. I think posting info on ones credentials online, in any form, is a good idea as long as it’s searchable.

  8. zoe says:

    As another recruiter looking in on this thread I have a couple of things to add. First and foremost, we look for candidates in many different ways and part of that is accessing multiple forms of information on that person (blogs, resumes, white papers, speaking at conferences etc) however the crux of our evaluation happens when we look at a resume. As Heather indicated looking into a portfolio or other information can be a second or third step down the role in qualifying and evaluating a candidate.

    Second, the staffing organizations at Microsoft have been well aware of Chris Sells from the time he started posting information on "interviewing at Microsoft".

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