From Summer Job To Just Plain Job: How To Turn Your Internship Into A Promising Career

cartoon of woman juggling three balss, labeled internship, job & careerSummer internships are a rite of passage for college students, but how can you turn yours into your dream job? Read on for the next steps you’ll need to transition it into an actual job.

Here’s the good news: You’re in the door, because most companies prefer hiring from within.

Unfortunately, it’s not automatic; the company won’t necessarily find a position for you. That said, it’s not impossible. It only takes a combination of accomplishment, luck and know-how to land your dream position.

If you’re struggling with converting your internship into a full-time position, remember these five pointers:

1.) Ask for a specific position
A common mistake made by job-seekers is asking the broad question, “Are you hiring?” The answer may be yes, but it’s unlikely that anyone knows about every open position. An advantage of being an intern is learning about potential openings.

Keep an ear out for new projects, teams or promotions, as these will likely have new positions. Your immediate supervisor may not be able to hire you, but he can connect you with someone who can and recommend you for a position.

2.) Time your ask
Don’t ask about future employment on the last day of your internship; it makes you look like a procrastinator.

Ideally, ask after a big win. When you’ve just completed a major project, you’ve got the limelight. It doesn’t have to be a vital-to-the-life-of-the-company project, but should be a significant success showcasing your skills.

When referencing this accomplishment, use a humble-brag. Ask your immediate supervisor if the task was done to their satisfaction. Getting them to sing your praises makes them more likely to recommend you for another position.

3.) Be everywhere
Part of the benefit of an internship is the chance to see the inner workings of a company. You can learn about different aspects of the business – but not through keeping your head down. Instead, take every opportunity to visit and work with other departments and people. The more people who know your name, the more likely it is you’ll get to stay.

4.) Become indispensable
Lack of experience can be an asset in your internship as it provides you with tremendous flexibility in how you tackle tasks. Find a piece of technology or a set of procedures you can master, either through training or observing others. Your objective is to become an expert in something the company needs. It can even be running the copier – anything goes, if it gets you in the door.

5.) Be professional
The best attribute to display in your internship is follow-through. Be on time to work and take on every task with enthusiasm and dedication. Demonstrate to your employer that you’re someone they’d want to hire.

The summer internship can be a great start to a great career – if you want it to be. With a lot of work and a little luck, it can be the first in a series of career successes.


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