7 Tips for Turning Your Internship Into a Job Offer
Internships are no longer reserved for stressed-out college students on summer break and over-achieving high schoolers with resumes longer than ours. More and more, those with Bachelor’s degrees are being hired as interns as their first post-grad gig rather than actual employees. But adding yet another internship to your resume is nothing to be ashamed of. Worst case scenario, these firsthand stints in your industry of choice enable you to gain valuable experience that can further help you score a full-time job with benefits and perks. Or, best case scenario, the internship itself results in said full-time job. Seven business professionals, including CEOs, directors, and founders, gave us their insights into how to turn your temporary internship into a full-time position.
1. Ask questions. William Ratliff, Career Services Manager for Employment Boost, says,”Your employer is aware that you are still learning and getting your feet wet in your career of interest. Asking a ton of questions regarding your specific tasks, company projects, tasks spread out across the company, your individual performance, how to better yourself, and the company’s goals will not only show your interest in the company culture, mission, and core values but also your level of commitment to the company and willingness to reach your fullest potential as a potential full-time employee.”
2. Provide full-time value. “Take your internship as seriously as you would your full-time job,” advises Ximena Hartsock, co-founder and president of Phone2Action. “Some interns look at an internship as a stepping stone or just a checkbox for getting a degree, thus not taking it seriously. If you approach each day of your internship like a real job by showing up on time, meeting deadlines, exceeding goals, etc., you will show a serious dedication that many interns fail to do.”
3. Do your job — and do it well. “As an intern, a big part of your role is taking work off of your manager’s plate and making their life easier,” says Alex Angelhart, Director of Content, Strategy for Power Digital Marketing. “This means that you’re doing the actual work and doing the work well. By the end of your internship, your manager should be able to give you projects without fear that they may not be done right or well. You need their utmost trust in order to truly be helpful. If you can take work off their plate and do it at the same level that they are doing it, then you will be irreplaceable.”
4. Integrate yourself. Corey Berkey, Director of Human Resources for JazzHR recommends, “In addition to producing quality work, make the effort to really become a part of the team and the culture. Reach out to people on your team and grab coffee, ask lots of informative questions, and participate in any experiences made available. Showing the team that you are digging in and trying to impact the company while you’re an intern shows them that you’ll continue to provide value when you’re on board full-time.”
5. Express your intentions. “Depending on how long your internship is, the timing on this might vary — you don’t want to ask for a job right after you’re hired. If it’s something you’re interested in, though, be sure that your supervisor knows that you really enjoy your time at the company and the work you do,” says Anna Osgoodby, co-founder of Bold & Pop. “Asking for a halfway-point check-in is a great way to approach the topic too. Ask for feedback on your performance thus far and then ask if [a full-time position] could be an opportunity in the future. And if so, ask what they would need to see for that to become a reality.”
6. Don’t make yourself at home. Norma Norris, Executive Director of CANDLE, Inc., warns: “No matter how friendly or relaxed the environment seems, don’t make yourself at home. I had a very capable intern who read and signed our employee handbook and conducted herself accordingly until eight weeks into the internship. With two weeks left in the term, when I stepped into the adjoining office, she had to take out her earphones to talk with me. Add that to the frequent attention to her smartphone, and I didn’t want to continue to devote time training her on tasks that I know would be great for her portfolio.”
7. Keep perspective. “You might view this internship as something you’re giving to the organization. But realize that the organization is putting time and money into training you. Be grateful, and act it,” says Talya Miron-Shatz, CEO and Co-Founder of Buddy&Soul.
(Photo via Getty)