With an internship during college, or even after graduation to build up your resume, you may want to settle with the company and apply for a position. Many interns are promoted as part of their internship agreement, but others are asked to apply just like other candidates and submit a formal application and references. No matter what type of process you have to go through, there are some ways to get that job offer while you’re completing the requirements of the internship. Here are some strategies to ensure you are the Chosen One for that coveted position:
1. Take on extra assignments. Taking on extra assignments at every opportunity shows you’re willing to go the extra mile whenever necessary. Be consistent with this and even over deliver – the goal is to match your productivity to those who already have a position with the company. InternWeb.com suggests that you become a ‘Suzy or Johnny Good Intern’ whenever possible.
2. Be clear about your goals. Engage in regular meetings and feedback sessions with your supervisor so they know about your commitment level. You can prove that you’re a worthwhile candidate with consistency and assurance; just think of ways to show your supervisor that you truly are committed to your goals of career growth with the company, and learn from feedback and suggestions as you take on new projects.
3. Learn to be a people person. You may need to step out of your comfort zone to get to know everybody in your department, but the hard work will pay off. Don’t settle for being ‘just another intern,’ and prove that you actually belong in the company by participating in group events, being professional and courteous to all staff members, and respecting the office culture and environment. Jen Jensen, the manager of campus recruitment for Target Corp. encourages interns to use their time to learn as much as possible about corporate culture in “How to Make the Most of Your Internship” from the American Marketing Association.
4. Make the most of performance reviews and meetings. Performance reviews are a great opportunity to improve your work style, learn about skills you need to develop, and just gauge your overall ‘fit’ with the company. Don’t take criticism to heart – just find out what needs to change, and work on continual improvement. The only way you can really learn and grow is with honest feedback, so be prepared for a few harsh comments and learn from them.
5. Ask questions. No matter how confident you may be about tackling that new assignment, don’t be shy about asking questions to clarify directions or expectations. It’s better to catch the missing details before you start, and you can earn the respect of supervisors and coworkers simply by speaking up.
6. Pay attention. Most of your success will depend on simply showing up and taking on the day’s tasks, but you can also build up your chances of long term success by staying focused, taking notes, and paying attention to details. Don’t become another zombie of the office; take the time to notice things, think of new ideas and strategies, and share them with the appropriate person. Paying attention shows you care, and can set you up for a formal position with the company.
Turning your internship into a job offer requires hard work, dedication, and a sincere commitment to getting ahead in your career. Pick out a few of these six strategies to start closing the gap between your current status and your future success!