The odds are better than even that an internship will garner you a job offer. In a 2018 survey, employers at 309 companies reported offering interns full-time positions 59 percent of the time. Those same employers plan to offer full-time positions to even more interns in the coming year.
So how do you make sure you’re one of the close to 60 percent of interns who get an offer? The following tips can help you make a smooth transition from intern to full-time working professional.
- Stand Out: Working Your Way into an Offer
- Look for mentors
Have lunch and coffee with full-time employees (and not just with other interns). Take part in the company softball team and corporate volunteer opportunities, go to happy hours (if you’re of age, and if you are—behave prudently!), and look for ways to form mentoring relationships with senior members of your team or department. Even if you don’t garner a full-time offer – or accept one – you’ll still be counting on the older colleagues and supervisors you meet during your internship to provide career advice, guidance, and references.Interact with other departments. Make it clear that you want to understand how all the different departments work together, and that you want to learn what opportunities exist in each. Also, keep in mind that you may get offered a full-time role in a different department.
- Make work a priority
Think of your internship as a months-long job interview, and make the most of it. Conduct yourself professionally, including dressing as professionally as possible. Show up on time or ahead of time. If you are asked to do administrative work, don’t complain. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and own up to any mistakes you make. If you finish a task ahead of time, check over your work, paying close attention to the details. Then, ask for more to do.Now is a good time to learn how to compartmentalize. Your coursework is important, but when you’re at work, you should focus on work and nothing else. Stealing time away to study at the cost of missing a work deadline and costing the employer time and money is a sure way to make certain you won’t be transitioning from intern to full-time employment.Show that you’re eager to learn by reading industry websites and asking questions that show your interest. When appropriate, share your ideas and volunteer to take on tasks you have knowledge about; for example, social media messaging. The best way to ensure a transition from intern to full-time offer is to let people depend on you, and make yourself indispensable.
- Make your intentions clear
Let your direct supervisor and human resources contact person know that you want a position at the company after your internship ends. Ask for feedback in ways that make your desire for a full-time offer clear. For example, you might ask, “What would I need to achieve during my internship or improve upon to be considered for a full-time role?”Before you leave your internship, ask for an evaluation and use it as an opportunity to highlight achievements your supervisor may not be aware of, or go a step further and provide a report on the projects you worked on and the things you learned. On your final day, while you still have access to company email, send notes to everyone you worked with to thank them, and include contact information. Make sure you connect on LinkedIn, too.Finally, when you build a resume 0r retool an existing one, make sure to incorporate your internship experience into the document. There’s a solid chance you’ll have to formally submit a resume and cover letter for a full-time job opening at the business you’ve interned with.
- Consider Your Options: Deciding Whether to Accept an Offer
It may be tempting to take a position with a company you’ve interned with, especially if it’s your first full-time offer. You’re likely to feel grateful, possibly even indebted. But before you accept, ask for some time to consider the job offer, and perhaps to apply for other positions.Research the company and compensation ranges for similar positions in your field. Ask other employees who started at the company as interns what the transition from intern to full-time employee has been like for them. If you feel the company is a good fit for you and that the position offered will further your career goals, get ready to begin crafting your professional persona.
- Earning Respect: How to Transition from Intern to Full-time Professional
The kind of responsibilities you are assigned during the early stages of your career will depend on signaling to those around you that you are ready to be seen as a colleague and not a student.Sit down with your new boss as soon as possible to define your new role and make sure your job description isn’t simply a rewording of what you did as an intern. Hopefully, you have been dressing professionally all along, but a slight shift to even more formal attire for the first few months will help signal your elevated status.Even if you act and dress the part and begin making valuable contributions right away, don’t be surprised if it takes a while for your coworkers to stop seeing you as an intern. Be patient, pitch projects you’d like to take ownership of, and your transition from intern to full-time professional will happen.