How to Turn Your Internship Into a Job Offer
Date: June 6, 2016
Sometimes internships teach you exactly what you don't want to do in life, but the right internship can ignite a passion and potentially evolve into a full-time position. If you think you've found the right fit, take the necessary steps to turn a beloved internship into a dream job.
Accept Criticism and Admit Mistakes
Accepting criticism and admitting your mistakes will help you make the most of an internship. In fact, handling yourself with humility after a hiccup can actually work in your favor. Even the most seasoned employees can struggle with negative feedback. Be a breath of fresh air for your supervisor by listening to advice and implementing suggested changes. Never place the blame for your errors on others, and don't underestimate the power of a sincere apology.
In addition to being punctual, don't seem eager to rush out the door as soon as the clock strikes 5 p.m. Employers want workers who stay engaged throughout the day, so be on the lookout for ways you can meet the organization's other needs after you've completed all your assigned tasks to the best of your ability. Does something need to be restocked or reorganized? Do it with a smile. Employers revere workers who don't act like remedial tasks are beneath them.
Attention to detail and ambition are two traits that ideal employees possess, but, as an intern, be sure to ask for permission before executing any of your ideas. Give your prospective employer a sneak peek of what kind of employee you'll be and market yourself as someone they can't afford to lose.
Act (and Dress) the Part
There's an old saying about dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. Show your superiors that you take your internship seriously by dressing appropriately and mirroring the office environment. You don't have to copy employees, but take note of the office culture and show that you would fit in as an employee.
Modesty and professionalism are absolute musts, but if you're not sure about dress code, check with your supervisor. Similarly, behave in a manner that would be expected of an employee, not an intern. Exhibit maturity at all times, and treat everyone with respect. Your professional appearance and behavior are just as important as your ability to get the job done.
Whether you're in the throes of an all-nighter interning at a law firm or in a network newsroom on election night, sign up for a double shift or extra work without complaint. While it's important that the company isn't taking advantage of you, opportunities like these allow you to showcase your commitment and provide invaluable experience. Not only will you have a front seat in the middle of the action, but you might also be given some of your most challenging assignments and responsibilities to date. If your supervisor is impressed with your performance, it could be the perfect time to discuss future employment opportunities.
"Before the internship ends, ask the decision-maker for a full-time position," millennial money expert and YoungFinances.com founder LaTisha Styles advises.
"Don't wait for him to approach you. If you fit the company culture and you are a hard worker, they will be reluctant to let you go. However, if they are not able to create a position for you, make sure you get a typed recommendation letter and a reference for your next application."