Landing an internship is critical to gaining some professional experience and showcase that you have real-world experience that would make you a valuable asset to their organization. However, it’s not always a guarantee that an internship will turn into a full-time job opportunity when it’s over, or that the internship will even provide monetary compensation. Even if you’re considering unpaid internship opportunities, there are still plenty of ways that you can leverage the internship to secure a full-time job opportunity down the road. Perhaps you’re just getting ready to start your internship after passing your background check, you’re midway through your internship, or your internship is coming to a close and you’re ready to begin looking for full time work, you still have a chance to turn your internship into a full time job. We’ve outlined some of the key ways that you can turn an internship into a full time job.
1. Find Advisors
The first thing that you want to do when you’re trying to leverage your internship is to find some advisors as soon as you can. These advisors can come in any form at the company you’re interning with. They can be people in similar positions who currently have a full time job with the company, individuals who work in a department that you’d eventually like to be in, managers, or some other individual you connect with.
The point of finding an advisor within the company that you’re interning is to understand more about what goes on behind the scenes with the company. Essentially, you’re trying to figure out what makes the company function and if there are any additional things that you can do to separate yourself from other interns or stand out as one of the leading individuals who should be considered for a full time position.
Another benefit of finding an advisor is that you can go to them when you have any questions or concerns. This will save you a lot of time and effort down the road when you’re trying to figure out how to do something for the first time and aren’t quite sure how to do it. Instead, you can simply ask your advisor to see what they recommend and ensure that you have at least some feedback on how to move forward.
Advisors are also a great way to have some kind of emotional support when things do get tough. Emotional support can come in a variety of ways, but it might be as simple as bouncing ideas off of or a word of encouragement here and there. Finding an advisor will also pay dividends down the road if and when you need professional references who can vouch for your work ethic and your ability to perform certain tasks. Advisors will especially be an important part of finding a full time job with the company you’re interning with, as they will seek the advice of those you worked closely with when trying to make a hiring decision.
One of the best ways to find advisors in your internship is to simply ask some coworkers if they’d be willing to help you along in the internship so you can learn from them. More often than not others will be happy to help someone else along in their professional journey, because they’ve been in the same spot you are. So don’t be afraid to ask!
2. Develop Strong Relationships with Coworkers and Supervisors
The next step you can take to turn your internship into a full time job is to try and develop strong relationships with your coworkers and supervisors. It’s important to remember that your personal and professional life should be kept separate, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to become best friends with your coworkers or supervisors. However, even though you don’t need to become best friends with them, you should strive to develop strong relationships with them over time throughout your internship.
Strong relationships between your coworkers and supervisors really mean that you both come to rely on one another to get tasks done and that you’re comfortable working with each other on a daily basis.
One of the best ways to develop strong relationships with your managers and coworkers is to make sure that you understand what they’re expecting from you. Understanding the expectations they’ve set out for you in your role as an intern will help you understand what you need to do to accomplish the tasks they’ve set out for you.
Set out to do your best to accomplish those tasks and let your coworkers and supervisors know that you’ve accomplished them and you’re always looking for more feedback on how to improve or speed up the process. Checking in frequently with them showcases your willingness to improve and grow in your position as an intern, which is exactly what employers are looking for with future employees.
3. Make a Strong Impression
Making a strong impression is critical to securing a full-time job after your internship has completed. Depending on the size of the company you’re interning for, you might be one of the hundreds of interns, one of a dozen, or the only one. If you’re competing against dozens of other interns who are all trying to secure a full-time position, making a strong impression is critical to securing that full-time job when all is said and done.
The best way to make a strong impression is to be likeable and willing to go above and beyond. There are going to be plenty of interns you are competing against who look at an internship as something to pass the time or something they just have to get done. If you demonstrate that you’re truly passionate about the work, that you’re there to learn and grow, and that you’re willing to go above and beyond, you’ll make a strong impression on those you’re working with. Since every internship isn’t guaranteed d to give you a full-time job opportunity upon completion, you need to do all that you can to send a strong message that they need to consider you over other interns once the time is near.
4. Show Initiative and Ask For Additional Work
The next way that you can turn an internship into a full time job is to show initiative. One of the best ways to show initiative during an internship is to complete your tasks ahead of schedule. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should rush through your assigned tasks or do them as fast as you can so you can showcase that you can get your work done. Instead, it simply means that if you have the ability to free up some extra time and there is extra work that needs to be done, be open to taking on additional work for your coworkers and supervisors.
Showing initiative and a willingness to learn new things will set you apart from those other interns that just want to get in and get out.
5. Be Open To Exploring Other Departments
Another way to set yourself up for success and work towards turning an internship into a full time job is to be open to exploring other departments in the company. Often times interns are assigned to whatever department needs one. This means that you might not get an internship in the field that you’re actually studying or passionate about. On the odd chance that you do receive an internship in the field that you’re studying, you should consider exploring other departments as well.
Exploring other departments as part of your student internship is a great way to develop new skills and evaluate whether or not that department might have something of interest to you or you are passionate about the kind of work there. In addition, exploring other departments offers you the opportunity to meet and interact with more individuals, which will help you increase your networking opportunities and expand your potential reach.
Another fantastic benefit to exploring other departments as part of your internship is that it will also give you the opportunity to enhance your resume. If you ultimately don’t get to turn the internship into a full time job opportunity, you need to highlight all the important tasks and responsibilities you had on your resume when you’re applying to new jobs. Being able to showcase your growth and development of certain skills and tasks will be a great way to make your resume stand out when the time comes to pursue new opportunities, so don’t be afraid to explore new departments to connect with new individuals and learn new skills!
6. Build Your Reputation
The next best way to improve your chances of turning an internship into a full time job is to build your reputation. Similar to developing your professional relationships with your supervisors and coworkers, your reputation will also play an important role in whether or not you’re considered for a full time job when your internship runs its course. One of the best ways that you can improve your reputation and build it on a solid foundation is to always work hard and deliver a solid performance.
One of the best ways that you can build your reputation is to be outgoing and introduce yourself to coworkers you’ve never interacted with before and let them know who you are. Let them know that you’re excited to work with them and learn as much as you can during your time. Being nice to your coworkers and supervisors during the internship is critical to setting yourself up for success and building a strong reputation for others to recall.
7. Express Your Interest In Working for the Company
One of the things that goes unnoticed for many interns is the actual interest or desire to work for the company. Companies and employers don’t automatically assume that interns want to work for the organization full time, or are looking to pursue the opportunity during their internship. In some aspects, internships are purely seen as a temporary thing to increase the workload or to take on additional employees for times that are particularly busy.
To get around this, make sure that you express your interest in a full time position with your supervisors. One of the best ways to showcase your interest in working for the company is during the initial sit down or early on in your internship. Let them know that you’re passionate about doing the best job you can and that you’re hoping to work towards a full time position at the end. Once again echo that you’re looking to gain as many skills and talents as you can during your internship and that you’d be grateful for the opportunity to use those skills at the end of the internship with a possibility to turn it into a full time position.
8. Highlight Your Experience
When it comes time to make a compelling case as to why they should consider hiring you over other interns, the best thing to do is to highlight your experience on your resume. You want to make sure that you highlight your experience properly so that your resume works for you and you’re able to detail all of the fantastic accomplishments you’ve had throughout your internship.
9. Prove That You Provide Value
The next way you can work towards turning an internship into a full time job is to constantly work to show that you provide value to the organization and employer. As we mentioned earlier, you will most likely be competing against dozens of other interns during your internship. This means that you need to work extra hard to showcase that you will provide more value to the organization than those other interns.
You need to make it clear to the organization through your work ethic and results that you’re going to be a valuable asset to them if they were to decide to hire you, and that they’d miss out on enhanced value if they decided to move forward without you.
10. Set and Develop Your Professional Goals
Another fantastic way to turn an internship into a full time job is to make sure that it aligns with the professional goals that you have in your career. If you don’t have any professional goals, now is the time to set them. What are you looking forward to accomplishing throughout your career, what are some titles and responsibilities that you hope to have in time? These are critical questions that you need to ask yourself to identify what professional goals you have.
Once you’ve identified the professional goals you wish o accomplish, you can then figure out how your internship can help you with accomplishing those goals. Once you connect how your internship can help you accomplish your professional goals, you’ll be more willing to do your best and go above and beyond when competing against other interns for the position. Setting and then working towards developing or accomplishing those professional goals will help you put everything into perspective during your internship, which will prove valuable when you’re trying to work towards a full time position.
11. Continue To Develop a Strong Work Ethic with Enthusiasm
One of the best ways that you can separate yourself from other candidates and interns is to develop and then showcase your strong work ethic. One of the best ways to develop a strong work ethic is to accomplish repetitive tasks that you’ve been given with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, during an internship interns will be given tasks and responsibilities that are often repetitive and at times can be boring.
This is in large part due to interns only being responsible for a handful of tasks as they’re expected to learn and grow over time. Instead of getting frustrated by having to do the same tasks repeatedly, think of them as a fantastic way to separate yourself from other interns by showcasing your enthusiasm to do them, and more importantly to do them well.
12. Identify Opportunities To Help The Company
The next way that you can turn an internship into a full time job is to identify potential opportunities to improve the company, improve company efficiency, expand the company’s potential market, and more. Companies and employers are always looking for ways to improve their business or enhance their revenues. Every now and then you should mention a way that they can improve a process or enhance something about the business. You don’t want to give them all of your ideas, as that can wait until you’re a full time employee, but you should be willing to offer up some suggestions every now and then to demonstrate your creative thinking and once again drive home the point that you’d be willing to provide something that other interns cannot.
13. Always Follow Company Guidelines
This tip should go without saying, but some interns still find a way to break company policy and frustrate their supervisors. During your time as an intern, make sure that you’re doing all that you can to follow the established procedures and follow company guidelines. Don’t try and bend the rules or break them during your internship period. Some common guideline violations include taking extended breaks, coming in late, leaving early, or trying to get around the established procedures for certain tasks.
Focus on completing your assigned tasks within the company guidelines and procedures. Companies want to ensure that their potential hires would be willing to fit into existing team dynamics and company culture, so you should avoid trying to break them during your internship.
14. Express Your Appreciation for Opportunities
The next thing that you can do to stand out amongst other interns and work towards gaining a full time job offer is to always be mindful and thank your supervisors and coworkers for the opportunities they’re giving you. A short thank you in person or a kind note will go a long way in generating favor, building your reputation, and creating a strong impression. Let them know that you appreciate their assistance as you’re trying to learn. It’s important to remember that not every person gets the opportunities that you are, and you should be grateful to those who are lending a helping hand in your career journey.
15. Seek Feedback At Every Opportunity
Without being annoying, one of the best ways that you can separate yourself from other interns is to constantly seek feedback when the opportunity presents itself. Without pestering your supervisors or coworkers, you should be open to any feedback or recommendations that your peers can give you. Asking for feedback once again drives home the point that you’re looking to improve every chance you can get. As we’ve highlighted earlier, employers are constantly looking for candidates who are looking to improve and develop throughout their time as an employee. Seek feedback from your peers and be open to implementing their feedback into your daily routine as an intern.
If you’re lucky enough to earn an internship, you should work your hardest to ensure that you turn it into a full time job opportunity when it’s all said and done. By implementing the tips we’ve mentioned here, you can go from “one of the interns” to “we should hire this intern”.
Images sourced from Pexels