It’s a badge of honor to be an intern who goes on to be hired as a fulltime employee because that means you impressed your manager and colleagues enough to grant you a place on the team. Here’s how to go from inexperienced intern to permanent hire:
1. Network any chance you get.
Attend happy hour events or other social gatherings that the company might offer. Say hello to everyone you pass in the hallway. Introduce yourself as an intern and ask the other person what his or her role is.
At the end of your internship, your team may not have an opening, but another team might. By putting yourself out there, you might just be introducing yourself to your future boss. You also get bonus points if you can remember the names of the people you’ve met and greet them the next time you cross paths.
2. Ask for more work.
When you’ve completed the projects on your to-do list, don’t just sit there twiddling your thumbs or scrolling through Instagram. Instead, let your boss know you have some free time and ask if there’s anything else you can help with. Demonstrating good time management and your commitment to getting the job done will get people’s attention.
3. Never miss a deadline.
Over deliver if possible—but definitely never miss a deadline. Even one missed deadline could overshadow all the other work you completed on time in your manager’s mind. If you need to, cut your lunch break short or stay later to get the project done.
4. Suggest solutions.
Is there something your company is doing that you think could be done in a better, more efficient way? If so, speak up. Or maybe there’s something you know another company does that your company doesn’t.
Showing initiative will impress your boss—and the more you know about the company or entrench yourself in future projects, the more likely they are to keep you around.
5. Dress the part.
Don’t underestimate the power of your appearance. Remember the old adage that you should dress for the job you want. Don’t show up dressed for the club you’re going to later that night. Always look presentable and professional so that people will take you seriously.
6. Show your interest.
Constantly check the internal job postings. Is there a role that piques your interest? Let your manager know. Showing that you want to work at the company long term will keep your name top of mind—and maybe even give hiring managers the push they need to ask for an extra head to be added to their department.
Getting your foot in the door as an intern is an invaluable experience. You’ve got a head start on applying for positions because you’re already familiar with the company’s systems and inner workings. If you capitalize on that knowledge and follow the steps outlined above, you might just find yourself in a fulltime position before you know it.
About Annie Sullivan:
After interning at Wiley for three consecutive summers and working a brief stint as a temporary employee while getting her master’s degree in creative writing, Annie Sullivan is now Wiley’s in-house copy specialist. She is also the author of the forthcoming young adult book A Touch of Gold (HarperCollins). You can follow her on Twitter (@annsulliva) or on her blog: anniesullivanauthor.wordpress.com.
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