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February 1, 2019

Securing an Internship: Your Competitive Advantage

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Now is the time of year when you’re either evaluating internship offers, or just getting started in your search. Internship opportunities are extremely competitive, and for many students the process may seem more challenging than promising. Here are some reassuring steps to give you a competitive advantage.

 As recruiters, we are looking for students who are involved in activities outside of just going to classes: volunteering, sports, student organizations, Greek life, part time or full time jobs, all of which demonstrates your time management skills plus your drive and initiative.

Are you active on LinkedIn? With over 467 million members worldwide, it is one of the most popular social networks in terms of active users. Engage with connections to increase your visibility—you never know what connections can get you closer to that internship. Attend company events hosted at your university or college to make in-person connections with recruiters. Being able to put a face with a name will give you a competitive advantage. Make sure to follow up with the recruiter immediately after the career fair so that you can stay top of mind. Be sure to follow their advised steps when completing the application process.

Maybe you've made it to the interview process, but have no idea what to expect. While processes vary by company and industry, it is important to be familiar with behavioral based questions—those tell me about a time, specific questions— more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies use these questions to identify your future success if they were to present you with an offer. These questions require preparation and can best be answered utilizing the STAR method.

Selling yourself should be the easiest step in receiving an internship offer. As recruiters we are interested in your accomplishments, awards, your involvement, and most importantly what value you can bring to our company.

Stay positive and be confident in your abilities. Companies are looking for you just as much as you are looking for us.

Learn more about CDW's Summer Internship Program here

Melanie Parker

Melanie is a Campus Recruiter on our Talent Acquisition Team and supports our diversity efforts on campuses across the U.S.

Now is the time of year when you’re either evaluating internship offers, or just getting started in your search. Internship opportunities are extremely competitive, and for many students the process may seem more challenging than promising. Here are some reassuring steps to give you a competitive advantage.

 As recruiters, we are looking for students who are involved in activities outside of just going to classes: volunteering, sports, student organizations, Greek life, part time or full time jobs, all of which demonstrates your time management skills plus your drive and initiative.

Are you active on LinkedIn? With over 467 million members worldwide, it is one of the most popular social networks in terms of active users. Engage with connections to increase your visibility—you never know what connections can get you closer to that internship. Attend company events hosted at your university or college to make in-person connections with recruiters. Being able to put a face with a name will give you a competitive advantage. Make sure to follow up with the recruiter immediately after the career fair so that you can stay top of mind. Be sure to follow their advised steps when completing the application process.

Maybe you've made it to the interview process, but have no idea what to expect. While processes vary by company and industry, it is important to be familiar with behavioral based questions—those tell me about a time, specific questions— more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies use these questions to identify your future success if they were to present you with an offer. These questions require preparation and can best be answered utilizing the STAR method.

Selling yourself should be the easiest step in receiving an internship offer. As recruiters we are interested in your accomplishments, awards, your involvement, and most importantly what value you can bring to our company.

Stay positive and be confident in your abilities. Companies are looking for you just as much as you are looking for us.

Learn more about CDW's Summer Internship Program here

Melanie Parker

Melanie is a Campus Recruiter on our Talent Acquisition Team and supports our diversity efforts on campuses across the U.S.

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