Get the job, land the internship: Career Day companies weigh in on job application process

Baylor’s Career Fair hosted more than 115 employers offering internships and job opportunities for students. Assoah Ndomo | Photographer

By Josh Siatkowski | Staff Writer

The Baylor Career Center hosted over 115 employers for Career Day Tuesday in the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. The Lariat spoke to two of these companies to get their advice for students looking to give themselves the best shot at a selective job or internship.

Sharon Nelson is the executive team leader of human resources for Target in Waco. She and other recruiters for Target were at the career fair looking to fill internship and full-time leadership positions.

Bree Mury is a senior sales manager at Dell Technologies in Austin. It is also recruiting summer interns and full-time employees in a number of different fields.

What is the most important thing you want to see on an applicant’s resume?

Nelson: “We’re looking for leadership skills. You don’t have to have been in a leadership role from a work perspective; you can do leadership in your activities in school, volunteering, religious [groups]. There are lots of ways to do it, but we’re looking for evidence of leadership quality.”

Mury: “There’s no bad experience. Anything you have, I would definitely talk about. … It’s how you apply that when you’re interviewing that we care about.”

How can freshmen and sophomores make themselves competitive applicants when they may not have the same level of experience?

Nelson: “Many companies don’t offer internships to freshmen and sophomores. … If you’re really passionate about the company, that’s going to come out when you go talk to them. Companies will probably make exceptions if they see that something is really your passion.”

Mury: “Open your horizons. Don’t silo yourself when you’re so young into one specific field. Dip your feet into many different things, because you’re so much younger and you have so much time to figure out what you like.”

Mury also said in-class experience is often forgotten.

“The other side of that is when you are young and you’re applying for things, think about the project you’ve done in class. I think Baylor does a phenomenal job of preparing you guys for real-life situations.”

What is something you don’t want to see on a resume?

Nelson: “You need to make sure that you double or triple check [your resume]. … Make sure the information that you put on it is accurate.”

Nelson also said relevant experience is important.

“If it doesn’t seem like retail is where you’re going, then that’s someone we’re not really going to consider. Whatever genre you’re trying to get into, make sure that’s where you’re applying.”

Mury: “Honestly not much. As long as it’s actual experience that you can explain, I’m not going to turn it away. The only thing we will turn away is clearly bad grades, … grammatical errors. Take your time.”

Mury said high school experience also loses value as time goes on, so students should write what they have been doing recently.

What is more important: an interview or a resume?

Nelson: “I think they’re both equally important. If you don’t have the resume, you don’t get the interview, … but you really come through when we’re having a face-to-face conversation.”

Mury: “I put much more weight on your interview over your resume. Your resume is just a piece of paper. Your interview tells me who you are as a person.”

What are you looking for during an interview?

Nelson: “For [Target], we like to see our core values when we’re talking to you. Also, energy and enthusiasm — you cannot teach that. When you come speak to us and you’re engaged and enthusiastic, that’s going to mean more than how much experience you have. If you have leadership qualities and energy and enthusiasm, then we can teach you all the rest.”

Mury: “We want to get to know your personality.”

What is a component of an applicant’s resume that you value that students may undervalue?

Nelson: “Anything that supports our purpose. For Target, we’re about openness, diversity, inclusivity, connection and community, so anything you have on a resume that shows how your core values match our core values is important to us.”

Mury: “Really think about the projects you’ve done [in college classes], the real-life experiences that you put yourself in in class.”

How do you see AI impacting the job market?

Mury: “AI is everywhere. That’s very much where we’re going … in general. I think the technology field and most fields will use AI to help eliminate human error to where no humans can really focus on being creative, learning new things, going places we’ve never gone. The AI will handle the tasks that really bog down the creative [work].”

Should students be concerned about job stability with AI improving so quickly?

Mury: “Obviously, the job market is what it is. It’s going to be volatile at times — some good, some bad. I think the most important thing is, wherever you end up, showing your work ethic and showing you can help develop the business.”