Turn your internship into a full-time job

So you've nailed your internship! After months of hard work at Awesomeness Unlimited you’re positive the company trusts your ability.

You’re ready to sign a permanent contract and begin to practice your pose for that Employee of the Month pic. But… they haven’t mentioned the possibility of full-time employment yet. If you want to work full time at Awesomeness Unlimited, you’ve got to let them know. Here’s how to do it the professional way…

Many internship programmes come with an evaluation form – if you haven’t seen one yet, ask for it. If there is no formal form, ask your manager or HR representative exactly what you need to do to be considered for a full time job. Find out where you can find out about vacancies, which extra skills you may need, and if you’ll need a recommendation. Employers take it as a positive sign when you inquire about the steps you need to take to be considered for full-time employment.

Let’s repeat that last bit for emphasis: It’s important to let your managers know you’re interested. Don’t take the chance of having them overlook you. Perhaps an extension on your internship is enough for you, or maybe you would rather be officially employed full time? Either way, be straight forward and ask to be considered for an upcoming opening. You’ll never win the raffle if you don’t put your name on that list yourself.

Another great way to be considered is to find, and fill, employer needs that aren't currently being met. In this way, even if there isn’t currently a vacancy for you, you are able to show Awesomeness Unlimited the benefits of creating a position for you… take the initiative like Portia M, who started on a six month internship contract and was made permanent when her contract at a popular online brand management company ended:

“After being stagnant for nearly a year, our company’s blog stats more than tripled during my internship. They knew that letting me go would mean a drop in not only in the number of posts each week, an resulting traffic, but the quality of them too. Letting me go would mean they’d have to pick up the slack or lose out, so they asked me to stay!”

Yay, Portia!

It is best to make a note of each triumph you’ve achieved during your internship. Remind your employers of your accomplishments. Having evidence of your ability and proof of your improvement indicates great potential. Promote them in a fact-based way, and don’t brag because bragging is not a pretty colour to wear to the office.

Keep your professional connections active. Chatting round the cooler and in line at the coffee stand will ensure everyone knows who you are. Choosing a mentor within the company means you’ll have someone to lean on for advice, insight and a reference. If you’re certain that this company and its culture is the best fit for you, be as persistent in your application as Nzama Q was. Even after her internship programme at a large financial institution ended she didn’t give up:

“I wasn’t invited to stay on, after my internship ended, but I knew I wanted to work there. The culture and ethics suited me perfectly! So I applied and interviewed for several different positions and was rejected for all of them. But I didn’t give up and after interviewing for a fourth role I was finally hired. Best day ever!"