Open thread for job search questions

If you have a question about looking for your next career opportunity, add them in the comments box below. I'm inviting anyone to do this, not just folks that were impacted at Microsoft. What's on your mind?

Comments (15)

  1. Pat (used to be blue) says:

    How funny I just updated my Facebook status w/ a snarky update..and came to your blog – know that my update was in no disrespect of your use of the word ‘impacted’ here.  Take care HH.

  2. Darren Cox says:


    You are awesome!

    I am one of the lucky few people who’s business is booming, but my wife just lost her job of 22 years.  I know for sure she’s got some questions for you and i can’t think of anyone I would rather her ask them of.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    PatBlue – no problem. I know you well enough to get your sense of humor. Is "released" a better term? I don’t know what to use… "separated?" I know you have a few more that I can’t use. Let me know if I can help you network.

    Darren – definitely send her my way. I’m thinking about possibly doing a webinar kind of thing to help folks out…mostly Q&A. I may come back here and ask what people would want to know about.

  4. Todd Klimek says:


    It’s always unfortunate when these things happen, but I’m glad to at least hear that you and your team were not impacted.  I think you do a great service to your company and the to the population at large.  Hang in there and the numbness will wear off (as you already know).

    As you know I’ve been searching for some time now.  When I do "land", I’m almost figuring on this happening to me 2 more times before I retire…basing on a roughly 7 year schedule.  I am certainly hoping for the best, but am prepared to go through this again if necessary.


    Todd in Chicago

  5. Hi Heather! (and followers)

    I am a recruiter in Bellevue with Bradson Technology Professionals.   I would be happy to speak with any of your readers about opportunities that we have going on.  It is good to get a conversation going, even if we don’t have anything currently available that is suitable. New positions open up at any given moment.  If we’ve already spoken, then we’re that much closer to being able to place candidates in front of a client for an interview.



  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Todd – I hope it doesn’t happen to you 2 more times. Don’t let your thoughts make it so 🙂 Oh gawd, I am so new-agey now, I almost hate myself 🙂

    Oh, by the way, I have an agency in Chicago that I’ve worked with in the past and they are top-notch. If you haven’t tried them yet, it’s HT Associates. They are up by the airport. Melrose Park or Schaumburg, I think.

    Jennifer, good idea! Agencies are welcome to post contact info here. This is a one-time offer 🙂

    Readers, I haven’t worked with agencies in the Seattle area so I won’t have any way of providing recommmendations. Just want to make sure you know that I cannot endorse them, but I approve of them posting their info here in this situation.

  7. Josh Berke says:

    My wife and I have started to grow tired of Ohio, and have been talking about moving out west. I’ve always dreamed of working for Microsoft, so I’m going to make that dream a reality.

    I’ve always found it difficult to write a resume, can you recommend any one who can help cleanup a resume?

  8. I recently completed some training in Software Product Management at the UW (last year).  When I looked into jobs on the Microsoft site I see they are only looking for people with experience (5 years or more).  So the catch-22 question is obvious in this current environment, where to get the experience (foot in the door).  I have also noticed that the Product Manager positions at Microsoft I mentioned have not been filled for some time now.  Do you have any suggestions?  I do appreciate your answers in the past and appreciate your blog when I have time to read them.  Many of the people I have met in the field say they didn’t even do any training before entering the field of Software Product Management.   Thanks again.

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Josh – I am not really a big fan of resume writing services. If you use the search box on my blog and search for "resume", you should be able to find a bunch of posts. Other than that, I would just do the research online. There is really no reason for you to pay to have your resume written. If you go online, weigh the opinions; don’t just rely on one. Lots of recruiters blogging though so you should be to pick up some good (free) info from the blogs.

    Hi Mark, I would look at contract work. I don’t want to be discouraging, but I am about to be (sorry). This is not a great time to be looking for a position that you don’t have hands-on experience in yet. Consider that the industry is flooded with folks that have lots of experience but have been downsized. If I were in your situation, I’d take a less active approach to the search (not totally in active…I think you should still monitor the job postings). When you’ll have more of an opportunity is when there aren’t enough experienced product managers to go around. Then once things pick up, you should try to network your way into another company that is willing to take a bet on you. At Microsoft, our entry level hires come through on-campus interviews. Otherwise, our positions require significant experience.

    It sounds like your friends either entered the field from college or perhaps did an internal transfer into the product management space. Given the number of applicants that we get here, it’s quite a competitive challenge to obtain one of the positions. SO in general, I’d say get your foot in the door as a product manager at a smaller company asnd then apply to MSFT in the future.

    I’m sure that isn’t waht you wanted to hear. Sorry.

  10. Linda R says:


    I’ve been using this time to gain some new skills and education. There are two questions I have:

    As a marketing professional would a PMP make me more marketable? I already have the certificate (education).

    Or would finishing my MBA give me more value?



  11. Dan K. says:


    I’m glad I found your blog; I had wondered what life at MS is like and also about Seattle, since I’ve always been a east-coaster. I recently found a job I didnt know existed (my dream job!) on the MS website and applied about a month ago. Since I still  never got any notification (positive or negative) I tried to find any kind of HR contact information but I never got anywhere calling the contact information I had found on the site. I would really like to find out how I could learn more about who/where to contact.



  12. Dan K. says:


    Oops! let me clarify, the contact information I did find was not for any HR department. I assume they dont want to be inundated with calls. Also, I know most of the questions you receive are more global in scope than mine. Hope I’m not being gauche!

  13. HeatherLeigh says:

    Dan K – recruiters do tend to keep their email addresses discreet for the reason you mention. If you want to forward your resume to me along with the job code, I will forward it slong to the appropriate recruiter.

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    Dan K – recruiters do tend to keep their email addresses discreet for the reason you mention. If you want to forward your resume to me along with the job code, I will forward it slong to the appropriate recruiter.

  15. Dave Sohn says:

    I thinks its nice of you to make this thread and to take the time to answer people’s questions. A lot of people need guidance regarding their future in the tech. industry.

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