According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 58% of employers turned their interns to full-time employees last year. Here are some steps interns can take to increase their chances of turning an internship into a full-time, paying position.
Be upfront with your interests from the start—as early as the initial interview for the internship—to show initiative and get recognized by managers. By planting the seed early, it gives you plenty of time to prove your worthiness to the company.
You can’t make a first impression twice, so make sure you to research the company, its industry and competitors so you are fully prepared during your internship interview. Candidates who ask thoughtful, provoking questions during an interview stand out and are remembered more. Also keep in mind that interviews go both ways, and serve as a time for you to get to know the company and its corporate culture to decide if it is a place where you would like to work.
Keep a list of all your achievements and milestones met during your internship. The list will come in handy when making a case for a full-time job.
Take full advantage of the opportunity to observe and learn from your co-workers and surroundings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask everyone if you can help them out. Remember: You are there to learn from their experience.
Be confident in your abilities, but always welcome the chance to learn something new and take criticism. Build relationships with your co-workers, even if you don’t end up working with them, they might be valuable connections to future employment.
As the end of your internship approaches, schedule a meeting with your boss. Bring your list of accomplishments and use the opportunity to discuss your performance and the potential for continuing to work there in a paid capacity.
Whether you remain at the company after your internship or move on, be sure to maintain the relationships you’ve made at the company—either through e-mail updates or social networks like LinkedIn.
Take time to consider any offers. Even if you receive an offer, if the company or its corporate culture are not a good fit for you it’s okay to move on. If you get an offer but are not satisfied with the pay, do your homework and research the salaries for similar positions at different companies for someone with your level of experience. But be reasonable as well, if your counteroffer is more than you’re worth you could risk losing the offer.
An internship is a great way to get your foot in the door at a company. But once you’re there, how do you parlay that internship into a full-time job?