Secrets from Recruiters …The WIT Panel Discussion

This week I attended the Women in Technology – "Secrets from Recruiters" session at the Microsoft Civica offices.

A great panel of industry experts was assembled by the moderator, Dana Manciagli.

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Panelists (left to right in the picture)

A big thanks and shout out to the Seattle IAMCP WIT team too - Kate Chan, Marcy Knott, Misty Fisher, Laurie Mix. They coordinate the event and made sure the very full room was able to focus their attention on the panelists.

A few more pictures from the evening are here: 

As usual I shot a video about it as a Notes from the Trails too. In it I thank the panelists for their information and for answering some tough questions from the audience. Some of them are detailed below. Also, I mention the sister organization of the WIT, which is the IAMCP. We work together to help Women and Microsoft Partner --- not exclusively --- to Connect, Learn and Grow.

Notes from the Trails - WIT Secrets from Recruiters from Jeff Shuey on Vimeo.


So, what did we learn?

We learned a lot. One of the points that was not a surprise was that the HR professionals are just as busy as the rest of us. They get dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes / CV’s every day and week.

Three Points to Kick Off the Panel Discussion:

  1. Boiling it Down (be concise). Everyone is Busy. There are no tricks.
  2. Sometimes it's just a timing thing.
  3. Be persistent. Apply again. Not habitually, but again. (see Red Flags)

Beware of The Third Point of the Triangle

imageTo start us off Dana asked everyone to put their hands in the shape of a triangle. Each point of the triangle represented one aspect of the human resources process.

The fact is … one of those corners IS a robot. That robot must be fed in order for your resume to get through. Be aware and realize that you need to custom tailor your resume and guidance documents to help get to and through “The Bot.”

imageDana has a great example of how to do this in her book “Cut the Crap” – it’s not a trick. It’s a fact of the current HR system. If you don’t like it … find another way in. Until then … work with the system to maximize the likelihood of your resume and your CTC Candidate Pack get through.

Highlights of Great Interviewees:

  • Research - Know the company, know the business, know the job you are applying for
  • Have Answers for These two Questions:
    1. Why do you want to work at this company?
    2. Why do you want this job?
  • Stay on Point - Rambling doesn't help your cause. Get to the point and stop.
  • Great Examples - The best are concise interviewees with really good examples of what they've done and what they what.
  • Law of Threes - Keep it simple and succinct (3 bullet points)

LI - Tip with lightbulb

Pro Tip #1 - Being concise comes across as more confident

Pro Tip #2 - Ask this - especially if you think you might be going off the rails. Ask - Am I answering your question?


For College Grads (or soon to be grads):

  • Internships – Of course, these need to happen before you apply. So, plan accordingly. If you want to get hired go to the Campus Recruiting Day.
  • Associations – Get involved with campus activities. Student government, clubs related to your major, groups connected to your passions.
  • Recommendations – Yes, ask your parents, your parents friends, your professors and anyone else you think might be able to help you make a connection

Pro Tip for College recruits:
Go right to the bottom and look at years of experience required.
If it’s 2-3 you are probably OK. Esp. if you interned in similar roles.
If it says 5+ years required … move along.

Red Flags

  • imageShort Stints - 8 months here, 1.5 years there, etc. There might be a perfectly logical reason for this - startups, company was sold, contract gigs (see below), not the right fit, RIF's, etc. But, too often the candidate never gets a chance to explain them.
  • Contract Work - They realize that contract work IS short term work. If you worked in a contract position … state that on your resume.
  • Applying for Too Many Roles – Recruiters are looking for great candidates. They do notice when someone applies for multiple roles with the same resume and points.
  • No Dates - Resumes with no date ranges are suspect. If you did it … date it!
  • What Are Your Skills - A recruiter (or your friend reviewing your resume) must be able to look at a resume and figure out specifically what you do and might be capable of doing.

How Can YOU Get Involved?

Go to the IAMCP WIT website or or the IAMCP Seattle WIT website – sign up for the newsletter and get involved.

Did You Miss this event? No problem. The next WIT event on April 26th. The details are here “Unpacking Unconscious Bias” – click on the link for details and to sign up. Note that this event has a fee and is being held at the Microsoft Main Campus.

WIT – Women in Technology (link)

Let’s Connect

If you want to know more or connect with me to ask any questions or get involved please contact me directly. My contact details are below for social networking channels or send email to

For more information see IAMCP and IAMCP WIT

Also, if you haven’t registered for the WPC yet … get on it. Discounts are in place now. The Session Catalog is live as of this week … see Dean Martin’s post.

Click on the image below to go to the registration site and take advantage of the discounts. See you in Toronto.


clip_image001Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently the consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances.

Tweet him
@jshuey or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ He is active in the Microsoft Partner Community and is the co-founder and President of the IAMCP Seattle chapter. He is also active with the Women in Technology and STEMWIT efforts.

He is a contributing author to
Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog