The job market is tough. Most people realize that just a few short weeks into a job hunt. There can be dozens, if not hundreds, of candidates applying to the same role that you are. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the professional world had grown increasingly competitive. With fewer jobs to go around and more candidates available applying for them, it is now that much more difficult to get your foot in the door.
By comparison, internships are still widely available. Of course, most candidates are on the lookout for more permanent positions than a paid (or unpaid) internship. However, this could indicate an area that you may have to compete with fewer professionals in. And therefore, the chances of securing an internship go up. But what if you could leverage an internship position into a more permanent career footing? Here are 5 ways to turn an internship into a great job offer:
Sign Up with Professional and Specialized Recruiters
Working with professional recruiting firms like a mortgage staffing agency can help at any stage in your career. Whether you’re a full-time employee, a contract-to-hire worker, a temp, or an intern, being on professional recruiting databases gives you an advantage. You become part of the recruiter’s talent pipeline and increase your chances of finding a better placement. You may find opportunities more in line with your personal and professional goals. And your current internship may even count as experience towards future roles!
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Personal and Professional Goals
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Internships aren’t glamorous. It does not matter if you’re interning at Google or at a mid-sized law firm in the Midwest. An intern’s role can hardly compare to that of a full-blown professional. And the paycheck usually reflects this difference. So, prepare yourself for a few weeks or months of poor budgeting and expense management. Keeping conscious sight of your career goals and personal aspirations may help.
Remind yourself the internship is helping you gain some real-world experience. If you’re interning with an industry-leading company, remind yourself how the employer brand adds value to your resume. If you’re struggling with income right now, remind yourself that the internship offers valuable real-world experience. As you grow as a professional, your income and lifestyle will grow accordingly. This can help you form a more positive and meaningful perception of your internship.
Be Positive and Proactive about Intern-Level Tasks
An internship, by definition, is a temporary engagement. So, most of your fellow interns may not assign a lot of value to intern-level tasks. But you’re different, and that’s why the temporary internship will open up more promising avenues. However, it remains important to let your potential employer know early on that you are a motivated go-getter.
Tasks like running the copier or filing documents can seem monotonous and unglamorous. But all interns have to do some of these tasks. The visible difference between you and everyone else should lie in how you approach them. Be positive about intern-level work and be proactive about using it as a learning opportunity. When you display an ability to learn, be consistent, and acquire a reputation for reliability, you can be reasonably sure it can turn into a future job offer.
Form a Good Working Relationship with Colleagues and Managers
Nobody likes a grump or a pretentious coworker. You may have been an Ivy League law school student. But at a public prosecutor’s office, for instance, you may work with and report to people who went to community college. The opposite could also apply where you find yourself among a bunch of academic overachievers. The approach remains the same in both cases: be respectful, personable, and helpful. Go out of your way to help a colleague or a supervisor every now and then. Try to maintain a generally upbeat and fresh attitude. Even if you aren’t a social butterfly, you want a job offer to work with these people. And it could help your chances considerably if you’re perceived as likable and have a great workplace attitude,
Be Particular and Meticulous about Following Corporate Policies
Whatever you do, as an intern or as a C-level executive, violating company policy is a professional sin. Company policies and employee handbooks are usually handed out to new hires (including interns). A business will typically have a standardized set of policies distributed to candidates during centralized or decentralized recruitment. Invest some time in learning about these policies. As an intern, you don’t want to compromise your chances of a future job offer. Especially not due to an inadvertent policy violation. Be meticulous about following policies involving punctuality, leaves, reports, documentation, and so on. Never being in violation of policy may not always help you get an offer. But it certainly does not harm your chances either.