How to Land a Full-time Job From an Internship

I asked two of my favorite agency recruiters to provide suggestions in response to this question posed to @Culpwrit by @martell_logan (Lamont Logan of London):  “. . .could you offer some tips on how to secure a full-time job from an internship?” 

   Erica Caplan, Vice President/HR, Zocalo Group

Tips on how to secure a full-time job from an internship (is this a question of how to secure a job at the same company you are interning?  Or how to secure a full-time job when all I’ve had is internship experience?  My answer would depend on which question it is).  For my first response, I’ll assume you’re already interning somewhere and want a full-time job.

  • Ensure your manager and HR are aware that you are interested in full-time employment.
  • Be proactive – look for extra work, things you can help do.
  • Take initiative – Just because you’re interning doesn’t mean you don’t have great ideas – share them!
  • Dedication – Show your passion for the work, put in the extra hours (if allowed) to show dedication.
  • Ask questions – if you are not getting the feedback you want or are unsure of anything, speak up and ask.  It shows initiative.
  • Manage your own career – don’t wait for things to happen, ask the right questions to the right people to show your interest, capability and  dedication.

If someone is looking for work at another company, with only intern experience:

  • Ensure your resume is up to date and error free, be comprehensive in your description of responsibilities.
  • Find contacts (preferably HR) from the companies you are interested in and send them a polite email with your resume.
  • Network like crazy on LinkedIn (resumes can get lost with hundreds of others when you apply to a job on-line).  Go beyond just applying–network and make yourself known in the industry and with recruiters.
  • Ask for informational interviews even if there are no open positions.  If you make a good impression, they will remember you!

  Travis Kessel, Vice President of Recruitment, Edelman

Ask questions.  No one wants to hire someone on full-time who does not seem engaged in what they are doing and who are actively looking for ways to make things better.  Being entry level, you are expected to NOT know everything, so show that you are eager to learn by asking good questions.

Add value.  Show that you are creative and have the ability to grow.  Volunteer to take on challenging projects at every opportunity and prove that you can bring your own perspective to the table to add value.  Inexperience should not discourage you from showing leadership qualities.

Be Digital. You do not have to work for a corporation to write your own blog or have a strong social media presence.  Remember, Facebook is for friends, Twitter is for the universe, and who knows what Google+ will behold; be the first on this new frontier to prove you are savvy.

Know YOU!  What do you want to do?  What are you truly interested in pursuing?  Find an internship that matches with your interests and you will excel.  I like this quote from Dr. Seuss when I think about interns looking for the right fit:  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

4 thoughts on “How to Land a Full-time Job From an Internship

  1. Hi Erica !
    Do you believe interning at a company sort of increases one’s chances of landing a full time job there or is that irrelevant?

    1. Hi Priyanka,

      Yes, interning at a company definitely increases your chances of a full-time job opportunity. Many companies see interns as a trial and if all goes well will offer them an entry level position. This isn’t the case everywhere but I would walk into every internship giving it your all as you never know what experience may lead to something more. Hope that helps!

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