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Top 5 Ways to Turn an Internship Into a Job

Wed, Apr 18, 2012

Internship Information

College students these days are moving towards an uncertain future. With the economy steeped in recession the potential for finding work after graduation is tenuous. And since most students are faced with the looming prospect of paying student loans (amongst other expenses), an inability to secure work is definitely a frightening possibility. However, students are ahead of other job-seekers in one area: they can use internships to get a foot in the door. Of course, landing an internship is just the first step; from there you’ll have to work hard to turn it into a job. So here are just a few things you’ll have to address in order to do so.

  1. Be professional. You are probably aware that the social rules for behavior in an office setting are different than, say, a frat party. So when it comes to acting in a professional manner throughout your internship common sense can guide you. Just in case, though, here are a few particulars. Don’t be late, do what you’re told, and avoid getting involved in gossip, office politics, and personal relationships with coworkers at all costs. If you have any questions or concerns, always take them to your superiors. You should also steer clear of any potential legal or ethical issues (basically, don’t lie, cheat, or steal – and report anyone who does). And of course, dress to impress with garments that are appropriate for an office setting.
  2. Make an impression. The worst thing you can do when you’re trying to secure a job is blend into the background. An internship gives you a unique advantage over other potential candidates for a position in that it allows you a trial period with a new employer. You have the opportunity to get noticed and really shine. So turn on the personality, do your best to complete every task in a meticulous yet efficient manner, and above all, show an interest in what you are doing. The last thing any company wants in an employee is a petulant, self-obsessed, entitled teenager.
  3. Learn everything you can. One thing that employers love to see is eager young interns that are motivated to make the most of their first tour in the working world. Since you don’t have the experience that other applicants will, you have to make yourself attractive in other ways. This means displaying an incredible work ethic, always asking what you can do to help, expressing an interest in all of the positions and how they work together to keep the company running, and never turning up your nose at an opportunity to learn something new. A good attitude here can go a long way towards impressing a future employer.
  4. Network. Wallflowers won’t get far in the corporate world, so you have a limited window in which to meet the right people. In truth, you should try to endear yourself to everyone you can since you never know who might put in a good word for you (or who might move up in the ranks). But at the very least you’ll want to get in good with your direct supervisor, and if you can, his/her superiors.
  5. Ask to apply. The company may be keen to list on Career Builder or Craigslist, but why would they hire an unknown candidate when they’ve already got someone trustworthy that they’ve trained to do the job? You just need to let them know that you’re interested.
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