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Jobs Blog — Feb 2010

  • February
    25

    Your JobBlog = Getting a Job = Leaving...

    This is part 3 of 3 on what you know know about writing and having a job-related blog or website. Part 1 is located here. Part 2 is located here. Smart Blogging BusinessWeek has information on how to blog safely and how to blog without getting fired. The suggestions include blogging anonymously, making your blog not searchable, limiting who can read your blog, and, when employed, focusing your blog on limited topics which can't get you fired for writing about that. However, if you aren’t happy in your job, maybe it's best that you don’t blog! As social media is everywhere, and these are hot topics, you can pretty much be guaranteed that someone is reading your blog from your workplace. Read Job Search Blogs There are many blogs dedicated to job searching and career building. Jobprofiles has the 100 best job search blogs for your job search. Read these on a regular basis, review the advice that is offered, and pick up tips that will aid your job search. Blogging can become a statement of who you are, but, don't let that statement change your employment possibilities. Keep on blogging; but, blog smart, securely and respectfully, so your current and future career... Read More This is part 3 of 3 on what you know know about writing and having a job-related blog or website. Part 1 is located here. Part 2 is located here. Smart Blogging BusinessWeek has information on how to blog safely and how to blog without getting fired. The suggestions include blogging anonymously, making your blog not searchable, limiting who can read your blog, and, when employed, focusing your blog on limited topics which can't get you fired for writing about that. However, if you aren’t happy in your job, maybe it's best that you don’t blog! As social media is everywhere, and these are hot topics, you can pretty much be guaranteed that someone is reading your blog from your workplace. Read Job Search Blogs There are many blogs dedicated to job searching and career building. Jobprofiles has the 100 best job search blogs for your job search. Read these on a regular basis, review the advice that is offered, and pick up tips that will aid your job search. Blogging can become a statement of who you are, but, don't let that statement change your employment possibilities. Keep on blogging; but, blog smart, securely and respectfully, so your current and future career... Read More
  • February
    23

    Your JobBlog = Getting a Job = Leaving...

    This is part 2 of 3 on what you know know about writing and having a job-related blog or website. Part 1 is located here. Privacy Issues Should potential employers be reading your personal information? Probably not. However, if you put it on the Internet with it readily accessible, well then they can and they might. Some people list their personal web site or blog on their resume and most of us recruiters will look you up on any of the search engines. We're interested in knowing more about you as an individual. There's nothing to stop a hiring manager from doing the same, especially at tech companies. If it's on your resume, the employer will look at it! Guaranteed! Hiring managers are more and more looking closely to what you have out there on the internet. Come on now, you have to know that! Some managers will try to find out as much about a candidate as they can, including looking up the person online before an initial phone call. Your image speaks in volumes, and it's more than just your resume these days. Even if you don’t put your web, blog, and profile on your resume, they will do a quick search via web and most cases they will find something about you. People... Read More This is part 2 of 3 on what you know know about writing and having a job-related blog or website. Part 1 is located here. Privacy Issues Should potential employers be reading your personal information? Probably not. However, if you put it on the Internet with it readily accessible, well then they can and they might. Some people list their personal web site or blog on their resume and most of us recruiters will look you up on any of the search engines. We're interested in knowing more about you as an individual. There's nothing to stop a hiring manager from doing the same, especially at tech companies. If it's on your resume, the employer will look at it! Guaranteed! Hiring managers are more and more looking closely to what you have out there on the internet. Come on now, you have to know that! Some managers will try to find out as much about a candidate as they can, including looking up the person online before an initial phone call. Your image speaks in volumes, and it's more than just your resume these days. Even if you don’t put your web, blog, and profile on your resume, they will do a quick search via web and most cases they will find something about you. People... Read More
  • February
    18

    Your JobBlog = Getting a Job = Leaving...

    This is part 1 of 3 on what you know know about writing and having a job-related blog or website. Getting Started Employees have been fired when their employer views their blog posts as sharing confidential information, making inappropriate comments about the company, or both. Posting company news, pictures, and even making positive comments about a company have cost bloggers their jobs. When considering writing a blog, before writing anything about your company, you should ask your employer “what are the rules of engagement?" There may be no written guidelines, but at least you brought it their attention. And just to be safe, be sure to ask in writing so you can have it if any concerns come up. Job Search Blogging What about job seekers? Can having a blog, a personal web site, or an account on a social networking site impact your job search, for better or for worse? It could. One blogger posted recently that she lies in interviews and that she copies other resumes to match the opportunity. This kind of behavior wouldn't thrill a prospective employer if they knew about it. Another job seeker's blog mentions that he loves to party all night, drinks A LOT on a regular... Read More This is part 1 of 3 on what you know know about writing and having a job-related blog or website. Getting Started Employees have been fired when their employer views their blog posts as sharing confidential information, making inappropriate comments about the company, or both. Posting company news, pictures, and even making positive comments about a company have cost bloggers their jobs. When considering writing a blog, before writing anything about your company, you should ask your employer “what are the rules of engagement?" There may be no written guidelines, but at least you brought it their attention. And just to be safe, be sure to ask in writing so you can have it if any concerns come up. Job Search Blogging What about job seekers? Can having a blog, a personal web site, or an account on a social networking site impact your job search, for better or for worse? It could. One blogger posted recently that she lies in interviews and that she copies other resumes to match the opportunity. This kind of behavior wouldn't thrill a prospective employer if they knew about it. Another job seeker's blog mentions that he loves to party all night, drinks A LOT on a regular... Read More
  • February
    17

    Resume writing tips for Developers by Amanda

    I titled this blog post for developers, however, I believe it's sound advice for anyone writing a resume. What jobseekers need to keep in mind is that skilled recruiters are masters of Boolean logic. We use it in search engines, metasearch engines and job boards. I use it to find people's profiles, blogs and resumes on your webpage. So how is this information helpful??? The data in these mediums is immense – so we often tie several key search terms to make our search more effective. For example, in LinkedIn a typical search for a Sr. UI Developer could look like (c# OR c++) AND (Silverlight OR WPF) AND (UI OR UX). What does this mean to you as a job seeker? Be sure to list all the relevant technology skills that currently have on your resume and social media sites. This will allow your resume/bio to populate more frequently when a recruiter does a search. I do caution that you should only put skills that you are comfortable using. One area that developers frequently leave off their resume is web technology knowledge. If you have the skills, tell us about them! The end result will be better for the job seeker and the recruiter. I titled this blog post for developers, however, I believe it's sound advice for anyone writing a resume. What jobseekers need to keep in mind is that skilled recruiters are masters of Boolean logic. We use it in search engines, metasearch engines and job boards. I use it to find people's profiles, blogs and resumes on your webpage. So how is this information helpful??? The data in these mediums is immense – so we often tie several key search terms to make our search more effective. For example, in LinkedIn a typical search for a Sr. UI Developer could look like (c# OR c++) AND (Silverlight OR WPF) AND (UI OR UX). What does this mean to you as a job seeker? Be sure to list all the relevant technology skills that currently have on your resume and social media sites. This will allow your resume/bio to populate more frequently when a recruiter does a search. I do caution that you should only put skills that you are comfortable using. One area that developers frequently leave off their resume is web technology knowledge. If you have the skills, tell us about them! The end result will be better for the job seeker and the recruiter.
  • February
    16

    Dear Candidate: Help Me Help You by Marie

    Dear Candidate: When I like your resume enough to pull you out of our database and we've arranged a time to talk on the phone, I hope you'll to be prepared to talk to me. W hen I ask you to "tell me about yourself," I hope you'll be ready for the question. There should not be a long, uncomfortable silence from you when I ask this. When you get on the phone during the recruiting process, you need be able to concisely state what you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you have been doing it (preferably without jargon and hopefully with some sense of style and/or humor). If you were in Hollywood this would be called " making your pitch . " Please be consise, so I don't have to interupt to ask clarifying questions. I suggest that you figure out your " elevator pitch " somewhere between writing your resume and submitting for jobs. In fact, do it before you write your resume so you have a clearer idea of how you are targeting yourself (and so you can edit the 13 page resume down to 3 really relevant pages). At the same time, make sure your LinkedIn profile, Twitter Bio, and your "about me" pages reinforce the way you are trying to market yourself. Once you've gotten some ideas... Read More Dear Candidate: When I like your resume enough to pull you out of our database and we've arranged a time to talk on the phone, I hope you'll to be prepared to talk to me. W hen I ask you to "tell me about yourself," I hope you'll be ready for the question. There should not be a long, uncomfortable silence from you when I ask this. When you get on the phone during the recruiting process, you need be able to concisely state what you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you have been doing it (preferably without jargon and hopefully with some sense of style and/or humor). If you were in Hollywood this would be called " making your pitch . " Please be consise, so I don't have to interupt to ask clarifying questions. I suggest that you figure out your " elevator pitch " somewhere between writing your resume and submitting for jobs. In fact, do it before you write your resume so you have a clearer idea of how you are targeting yourself (and so you can edit the 13 page resume down to 3 really relevant pages). At the same time, make sure your LinkedIn profile, Twitter Bio, and your "about me" pages reinforce the way you are trying to market yourself. Once you've gotten some ideas... Read More
  • February
    15

    Career Development by Jamie

    One of the great things about Microsoft is our commitment to growing our employees’ careers. Career development is an on-going priority at Microsoft. However, to ensure everyone has the tools and structure to grow, we also have a formal process where we focus on career development. March is when we hold our Midyear Career Discussions. This is a time where each of our employees takes time to think about career development and professional growth. They leverage a comprehensive set of online resources to evaluate where they are in their career and how they can achieve the next step. At Microsoft, we are transparent about what it takes to achieve the next level. At the end of March, I will invite one of our new employees to blog about their first experience with Midyear Career Discussion. In the meantime, here is more information on career development at Microsoft. Do you want to work at a company that wants to help you grow professionally and will give you the tools to do it? One of the great things about Microsoft is our commitment to growing our employees’ careers. Career development is an on-going priority at Microsoft. However, to ensure everyone has the tools and structure to grow, we also have a formal process where we focus on career development. March is when we hold our Midyear Career Discussions. This is a time where each of our employees takes time to think about career development and professional growth. They leverage a comprehensive set of online resources to evaluate where they are in their career and how they can achieve the next step. At Microsoft, we are transparent about what it takes to achieve the next level. At the end of March, I will invite one of our new employees to blog about their first experience with Midyear Career Discussion. In the meantime, here is more information on career development at Microsoft. Do you want to work at a company that wants to help you grow professionally and will give you the tools to do it?
  • February
    11

    A day in my life with Bing: Part 2 by Marie

    Continuing from yesterday's post my day with Bing. · I rejoined Twitter ( Follow me !) and I did a search on Bing to find people on Twitter that have "machine learning" in their bio so that I can follow them. Why? I have lots of jobs for people with machine learning skills that I need to quickly build my network so I am using the power of social media to do it. Shameless plea -- if you know someone that is looking for a job and has machine learning, business intelligence, or any statistical analysis skills share the jobs posted here . · Both my husband and my dad have birthdays this week so I searched to find the recipe for hubby's favorite cake so I can make it for both of them – Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Hawaiian-style!). · My daughter was making a card for the birthday "boys" and she got stuck trying to rhyme a word. I didn't know you could go to Bing and type in "rhymes with" and the word and get some suggestions until she tried it. Very cool! Alas, still can't find anything that rhymes with orange. · I have to travel at the end of the month and was having trouble getting a seat on a direct flight out of San Diego and really... Read More Continuing from yesterday's post my day with Bing. · I rejoined Twitter ( Follow me !) and I did a search on Bing to find people on Twitter that have "machine learning" in their bio so that I can follow them. Why? I have lots of jobs for people with machine learning skills that I need to quickly build my network so I am using the power of social media to do it. Shameless plea -- if you know someone that is looking for a job and has machine learning, business intelligence, or any statistical analysis skills share the jobs posted here . · Both my husband and my dad have birthdays this week so I searched to find the recipe for hubby's favorite cake so I can make it for both of them – Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Hawaiian-style!). · My daughter was making a card for the birthday "boys" and she got stuck trying to rhyme a word. I didn't know you could go to Bing and type in "rhymes with" and the word and get some suggestions until she tried it. Very cool! Alas, still can't find anything that rhymes with orange. · I have to travel at the end of the month and was having trouble getting a seat on a direct flight out of San Diego and really... Read More
  • February
    10

    A day in my life with Bing: Part 1 by Marie

    As a Microsoftie it sometimes feels like we are obligated to use the products (or at least pretend we do), but when it comes to Bing I willingly drink the Kool-Aid and eat the dog food on this one. Actually, I feel like I never close the Bing.com tab on my browser because I am always using it. Since it's not a search engine but a decision engine (!!!!!), I decided to keep a journal today of what I went there to do. · Before I even sat down at my desk this morning, I Binged from my Windows Mobile device to look up a phone number in my "missed call" list to see who called me at 9pm last night but didn't leave a message. (A huge pet peeve of mine. If you're gonna call me – leave a message forgoshsakes !) It was a telemarketer for a local non-profit. Glad I missed the call, but maybe if they had left a message I might have considered donating since it's a group I've donated to in the past. Their loss. · Every morning I eagerly check to see the picture of the day. Always awesome. Always educational. They remind me of the glorious photos I used to see in "Life" magazine or in "National Geographic." Do yourself a favor and start your day with it. I sometimes... Read More As a Microsoftie it sometimes feels like we are obligated to use the products (or at least pretend we do), but when it comes to Bing I willingly drink the Kool-Aid and eat the dog food on this one. Actually, I feel like I never close the Bing.com tab on my browser because I am always using it. Since it's not a search engine but a decision engine (!!!!!), I decided to keep a journal today of what I went there to do. · Before I even sat down at my desk this morning, I Binged from my Windows Mobile device to look up a phone number in my "missed call" list to see who called me at 9pm last night but didn't leave a message. (A huge pet peeve of mine. If you're gonna call me – leave a message forgoshsakes !) It was a telemarketer for a local non-profit. Glad I missed the call, but maybe if they had left a message I might have considered donating since it's a group I've donated to in the past. Their loss. · Every morning I eagerly check to see the picture of the day. Always awesome. Always educational. They remind me of the glorious photos I used to see in "Life" magazine or in "National Geographic." Do yourself a favor and start your day with it. I sometimes... Read More
  • February
    08

    Why Microsoft? From a new 'Softie by Amanda

    I have spent a total of almost 9 years working for prominent IT companies and I'm in the middle of my 3 rd week at Microsoft. What makes Microsoft unique? What is unique to Recruiting at Microsoft? I could fill countless pages of information on this topic, but let me try to summarize on a few things stand out to me. It may sound like lip service, but the most amazing thing about Microsoft is the people. I feel that I have been fortunate enough to work around a lot of smart people in my career, but the people at Microsoft are at another level. Most importantly they are nice. I am from Texas and I was surprised to find that that the Softies exceeded my expectations of friendliness. Perhaps it's the goals that we put in place for collaboration and business acumen, but establishing strong partnerships with your stakeholders is valued in this organization. As for recruiting, there were two things that make Microsoft appealing. First, I am amazed by the amount of movement in the organization. Internal movement is not only common, it's also encouraged. Many organizations get caught up in keeping strong performers in a spot where they are successful and don't want to let them go. Managers... Read More I have spent a total of almost 9 years working for prominent IT companies and I'm in the middle of my 3 rd week at Microsoft. What makes Microsoft unique? What is unique to Recruiting at Microsoft? I could fill countless pages of information on this topic, but let me try to summarize on a few things stand out to me. It may sound like lip service, but the most amazing thing about Microsoft is the people. I feel that I have been fortunate enough to work around a lot of smart people in my career, but the people at Microsoft are at another level. Most importantly they are nice. I am from Texas and I was surprised to find that that the Softies exceeded my expectations of friendliness. Perhaps it's the goals that we put in place for collaboration and business acumen, but establishing strong partnerships with your stakeholders is valued in this organization. As for recruiting, there were two things that make Microsoft appealing. First, I am amazed by the amount of movement in the organization. Internal movement is not only common, it's also encouraged. Many organizations get caught up in keeping strong performers in a spot where they are successful and don't want to let them go. Managers... Read More
  • February
    05

    Prepping for your Microsoft Interview by...

    One of our blog readers asked how he can prep for his upcoming Microsoft interview. There is a ton of information online and I have provided some of those links below, but here are some tips I give my candidates (thanks to some of my fellow recruiters who have helped articulate the tips so well): Brush up on your programming skills, including algorithms and data structures. Yes, we may ask you about computer science principles from college. You can expect that you’ll be asked to write code on a white board during your interview. Be sure to test it before you say you’re done! Beyond practical questions, we want to learn more about how you think. As you’re coding, think out loud. You may know the answer, but we’re not just looking for a solution, but also how you tackle the problem. It is very enlightening for an interviewer to see that a candidate knows a number of ways to solve a problem and can hold a discussion about the pros and cons of each. Often time a candidate internalizes their design thoughts and then settles on one they share with the interviewer… in this case the interviewer can be left thinking this is the only way a candidate knows how... Read More One of our blog readers asked how he can prep for his upcoming Microsoft interview. There is a ton of information online and I have provided some of those links below, but here are some tips I give my candidates (thanks to some of my fellow recruiters who have helped articulate the tips so well): Brush up on your programming skills, including algorithms and data structures. Yes, we may ask you about computer science principles from college. You can expect that you’ll be asked to write code on a white board during your interview. Be sure to test it before you say you’re done! Beyond practical questions, we want to learn more about how you think. As you’re coding, think out loud. You may know the answer, but we’re not just looking for a solution, but also how you tackle the problem. It is very enlightening for an interviewer to see that a candidate knows a number of ways to solve a problem and can hold a discussion about the pros and cons of each. Often time a candidate internalizes their design thoughts and then settles on one they share with the interviewer… in this case the interviewer can be left thinking this is the only way a candidate knows how... Read More
  • February
    04

    BingTweets by Nicole

    I just have to share my new online obsession. I had a baby 5 months ago so it's no longer convenient to use my laptop at all times like it used to be. So last Wednesday night I was sitting on the couch with the baby on my lap, the iPad had just been launched and I was watching the State of the Union on TV. I was curious to see what the general reaction to both was and didn't really feel like browsing multiple sites through my phone. I came across BingTweets and now I'm hooked. I have people I follow on twitter, Jimmy Fallon makes me laugh, Rachel Maddow enlightens me, but BingTweets makes it super easy to read tweets by subject instead. It searches and categorizes tweets so that you can quickly find what you're looking for and there's a button that allows you to search online at the same time. Within seconds I was able to read that most people agree with me: the iPad is an interesting product with an unfortunate name. Check it out. It's surprisingly addictive since it also provides you with a list of the most tweeted subject, people, places and products. Here's a link to the online site or look for the app BingTweets. http://bingtweets.com Have fun! Nicole Bly is a Bing... Read More I just have to share my new online obsession. I had a baby 5 months ago so it's no longer convenient to use my laptop at all times like it used to be. So last Wednesday night I was sitting on the couch with the baby on my lap, the iPad had just been launched and I was watching the State of the Union on TV. I was curious to see what the general reaction to both was and didn't really feel like browsing multiple sites through my phone. I came across BingTweets and now I'm hooked. I have people I follow on twitter, Jimmy Fallon makes me laugh, Rachel Maddow enlightens me, but BingTweets makes it super easy to read tweets by subject instead. It searches and categorizes tweets so that you can quickly find what you're looking for and there's a button that allows you to search online at the same time. Within seconds I was able to read that most people agree with me: the iPad is an interesting product with an unfortunate name. Check it out. It's surprisingly addictive since it also provides you with a list of the most tweeted subject, people, places and products. Here's a link to the online site or look for the app BingTweets. http://bingtweets.com Have fun! Nicole Bly is a Bing... Read More
  • February
    03

    Diversity and Self-Identification by Tameiko

    What is up with candidates not self-identifying when applying for jobs? Do you think employers will not find out when they interview you? ;-) At some point they will find out before you are hired. As someone who is black, if I am applying to a company who is not seeking blacks (and, yes, they are out there ) then I might as well save us both time by including this information on my application. Instead of “applying blind” why not target companies who are promoting diversity…have won awards for diversity…and are looking for diverse people? Microsoft's list of diversity awards includes: · Working Mother's list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers · Diversity MBA "Diversity Out Front" award by Diversity MBA Magazine · Top 50 Employers, Workforce Diversity for Engineering and IT Professionals magazine · Number 22 on eighteenth annual "Top 50 Employers," Woman Engineer magazine · Number 6 on the Top 10 Companies List for Asian Americans Award by the Asian MBA (AMBA) · Named as one of the top 50 employers by readers of Equal Opportunity Magazine Need I go on? And these are from 2009 alone... Read More What is up with candidates not self-identifying when applying for jobs? Do you think employers will not find out when they interview you? ;-) At some point they will find out before you are hired. As someone who is black, if I am applying to a company who is not seeking blacks (and, yes, they are out there ) then I might as well save us both time by including this information on my application. Instead of “applying blind” why not target companies who are promoting diversity…have won awards for diversity…and are looking for diverse people? Microsoft's list of diversity awards includes: · Working Mother's list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers · Diversity MBA "Diversity Out Front" award by Diversity MBA Magazine · Top 50 Employers, Workforce Diversity for Engineering and IT Professionals magazine · Number 22 on eighteenth annual "Top 50 Employers," Woman Engineer magazine · Number 6 on the Top 10 Companies List for Asian Americans Award by the Asian MBA (AMBA) · Named as one of the top 50 employers by readers of Equal Opportunity Magazine Need I go on? And these are from 2009 alone... Read More
  • February
    02

    Consider this....before you put it online...

    Here are some reminders about links on your resume to the web and links on the web that lead to your resume. Careful What You Put Online. If you have a online account, people you won't want to be reading your profile may be able to access it, even if you think nobody will reads it. Make your accounts private, so only your friends can access them. Be extra careful, and don't post anything that you don't want a prospective employer (or your grandmother) reading it. All online accounts have privacy settings. Consider creating a personal web site, if you're unemployed , including your resume, samples (if you are a coder), your portfolio, and certifications. Only recommend the site to professional and academic contacts. Even better: use your LinkedIn profile and if you don’t have one….. get one! Don't list your blog on your resume unless it's relevant to your career or position that you are interviewing for. For example, if you are seeking employment as a User Experience Designer and you have a personal blog with your portfolio, and thoughts about UX, include it. If you have a blog about your cat, don't. Consider starting a blog related to your career interests.... Read More Here are some reminders about links on your resume to the web and links on the web that lead to your resume. Careful What You Put Online. If you have a online account, people you won't want to be reading your profile may be able to access it, even if you think nobody will reads it. Make your accounts private, so only your friends can access them. Be extra careful, and don't post anything that you don't want a prospective employer (or your grandmother) reading it. All online accounts have privacy settings. Consider creating a personal web site, if you're unemployed , including your resume, samples (if you are a coder), your portfolio, and certifications. Only recommend the site to professional and academic contacts. Even better: use your LinkedIn profile and if you don’t have one….. get one! Don't list your blog on your resume unless it's relevant to your career or position that you are interviewing for. For example, if you are seeking employment as a User Experience Designer and you have a personal blog with your portfolio, and thoughts about UX, include it. If you have a blog about your cat, don't. Consider starting a blog related to your career interests.... Read More
  • February
    01

    December Search Share Update by Matt

    For those of you who may have missed it, Bing has continued to make steady increases to our US search share numbers. The full article is here . December numbers we up to 10.7 overall share. This caps a remarkable six months since the launch of Bing, (we were somewhere below 7 percent share when we launched in June). The most troubling trend here is that our share is increasing at the expense of Yahoo, rather than the other guys, but I think it’ll get much more interesting to track the share increase numbers once our previously mentioned Search deal goes through. Another key element to getting people to switch is getting better at helping them find what they are looking for. It’s good to see that Bing is improving in this department as well. The full article describing what a successful “Search Rate” looks like is here . Clearly we still have work to do (judging by the comments) but it’s nice to know performance has been steadily improving! What’s your test search to see if Bing is working for you? For those of you who may have missed it, Bing has continued to make steady increases to our US search share numbers. The full article is here . December numbers we up to 10.7 overall share. This caps a remarkable six months since the launch of Bing, (we were somewhere below 7 percent share when we launched in June). The most troubling trend here is that our share is increasing at the expense of Yahoo, rather than the other guys, but I think it’ll get much more interesting to track the share increase numbers once our previously mentioned Search deal goes through. Another key element to getting people to switch is getting better at helping them find what they are looking for. It’s good to see that Bing is improving in this department as well. The full article describing what a successful “Search Rate” looks like is here . Clearly we still have work to do (judging by the comments) but it’s nice to know performance has been steadily improving! What’s your test search to see if Bing is working for you?