As the summer winds down and your internship along with it, you may be wondering what your next career move should be. The first place to look is right under your nose, in a full-time job with your host employer.
After all, you already have an inside track. They know you, you know them and the job openings available right now or in the near future. Nobody is in a better position than you to snap up that opportunity. Check out these tips for making it happen.
Let them know you want it.
If your internship program includes progress meetings with your supervisor, make sure your long-term goals are part of the discussion. (If you aren't having such regularly scheduled meetings, ask for one.) Explain how your goals align with the company's. Then come right out and say you're interested in permanent employment with them.
Don't wait for the exit interview to do this. Your supervisor may need time to discuss the hire with senior management before a decision is made. Start planting the idea in their heads now, and give it a chance to grow.
Look beyond your department.
There just may not be an opening in the department where you did your internship. But could your newly gained skills and experience be used elsewhere in the company? Take that position, then transfer to your preferred department when the opportunity arises.
Detours like this are common when you're starting out on your career path. At this point, your primary objective is to be working for a company where you can grow. And you never know, that detour might lead you to something even better than you originally planned on.
Act like it's already happened.
Do you look and behave like you're a member of the full-time staff? Hiring managers always take into consideration how well a job candidate is likely to fit in and contribute to the team. In your case, they can observe first hand what they'll be getting if they hire you.
Hopefully, you've been doing this for the entire internship. If not, clean up your act immediately and make their last impression of you a great one. This includes:
Being reliable and punctual in attendance and work assignments
Being a team player and offering to help others, not just waiting to be told what to do
Showing initiative with ideas for projects that the regular staff doesn't have time for (ideally, a project that would require your continued employment)
Act like it might still happen.
Even if there aren't any opportunities with the company right now, there will be in the future. Make sure you're the first person they think of by staying in touch with your supervisor and other key people at the company. This is the beginning of your professional network, which will help you throughout your career.
Go farther and maintain your relationships with everyone, including fellow team members and interns. They're entry level now, but someday one of them may be the decision maker who offers you your ultimate dream job.