Dear Matt: My summer internship is winding down. I really hope to get hired full-time. How can I stand out and get hired?
Matt says: Going from intern to full-time employee is a combination of timing and skill, says Michael Crom, Executive Vice President of Dale Carnegie Training, an internationally recognized performance improvement, assessment, training and solutions company.
“An employer needs to know that a future employee will fit in both with the staff and the culture and that they will be able to maintain the workload as well as continue to grow and advance in their career,” says Crom.
Throughout your internship you should track progress and results. Compile a list of the projects you’ve been involved in and how you specifically contributed and if possible, show the results of your contributions. Show how you’ve learned new technology or used company software and applied that to your everyday duties to achieve results. List certain teams or projects you’ve been on and highlight areas where you excelled. Do it with enthusiasm and zest to show you were excited about the opportunity to take on new challenges. More importantly, tracking assignments, achievements and results can help break down all the good things you’ve done. Certain decisionmakers may not see you every day or understand exactly what you did, so compiling this information can really help boost your value to the company when seeking the next employee.
When you have this information, try to set up a time with your immediate supervisor to discuss next steps.
“Your supervisor can be an important person in promoting you as a candidate for a full-time role, so don’t hesitate to discuss what specific next steps would help the organization seriously consider you,” says Crom.
These steps might include completing a formal application for employment, submitting an updated résumé or requesting a job interview with just the right person recommended by your supervisor. When that opportunity comes, it’s important to demonstrate that you really see yourself fitting in with the corporate culture, and that you are capable of handling the workload of a junior level executive, says Crom.
If you don’t get hired, end the internship professionally — and look to the future knowing you have more experience than you did just a few months ago.
“Following an internship it is always nice to send a thank-you note to a supervisor or boss to show your gratitude for the experience,” says Crom. “One of the Dale Carnegie Training principles is to give honest and sincere appreciation and doing so will ensure you left a good mark as well as also keeping you top of mind after your internship ends.”
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