With it being Internship Recruiting Season, we at University Career Services are always looking into ways to help students succeed in getting an offer.  We often meet with employers and recruiters and ask them for advice to share with our students and alumni.

Well, today you are in luck! I’ve interview Scott Berenstein, Campus Recruiter from Target’s Corporate Office to get his advice on representing yourself well on paper (the resume) and in the interview. Below is the conversation, full of great insight and advice that surely can be used with Target and other companies as well.

Betsy- Please introduce yourself including your current title and Target, how long you’ve been there, where you worked previously and your college education background.

Scott- I’ve been at Target for just over two and a half years and in my current role (Campus Recruiter) for one year.  Previously, I was a Merchandise Planning Business Analyst in the Candy department.  I graduated from Indiana University in 2009 with a degree in Finance from the Kelley School of Business.

Betsy- What do you look for in an ideal candidate for full-time hiring? Internship hiring?

Scott- An ideal candidate has the ability to solve problems, communicate effectively and collaborate with a team.  We look for students who are resilient and adaptable to change and who are engaged and committed to learning.

Betsy- What are some of the most common mistakes students make when applying to Target?

Scott- Candidates will sometimes underestimate the amount of responsibility that Target gives them at such an early stage in their professional careers.  At its core, the job is forecasting trends and managing inventory, but there are many levels of complexity that make it challenging and very rewarding when you’re successful.  Managing a business that drives up to $400M in annual sales can be very eye-opening.

Betsy- What do you look for on a resume to place it in the “Yes” pile?

Scott-Solid academic performance, experiences that have required analytical ability, demonstrated teamwork, leadership.

Betsy- How should students prepare for an interview with Target?

Scott- We want to know what accomplishments you’re most proud of.  Consider how you have overcome some difficult situations to find success and what you’ve learned from those situations.  Also, know what you’re signing up for.  Do some background research about the company and the position.  Asking thoughtful questions is a great way to show that you’re passionate about a company and a role.

Betsy- What recommendations do you have for students who want to intern with Target, but don’t qualify because of work authorization or year in school?

Scott- Stay connected.  One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success in the short-term and in the future is to establish a network.  You always want to have people to reach out to when your situation changes.

Betsy- Anything else you’d like to tell, suggest or say to the Northwestern Students?

Scott- Heading into recruiting season, try to identify what you’re looking for in a career and why.  Don’t get caught up on what you want for the first 1-2 years out of school.  Think about how you plan to achieve your goals 4-5 years down the line and beyond.