According to a Niche survey of more than 700 users, 77 percent of students had an internship or part-time job over their summer break.
Either experience is great to put on a resume, with students learning how to apply their education to the workplace. Plus, these opportunities give students an idea of what they like and maybe don’t like about a particular field.
However, finding a job post-graduation can be tough. Businesses open their doors to college students so they can receive additional help at a leaner cost, but when it comes to these students actually getting a full-time gig after they graduate, that can be a different story. If you want to make these temporary gigs permanent, there are some things you should consider doing.
Step One: Be reliable
If an employer says start time is 9 a.m. Monday, you should be there at 8:45 a.m. Monday. Show that you are serious about this position. Only take sick days if you are knocking on Death’s door. If you hit some serious traffic on the way to work, send them an email letting them know what happened and where you are. Chances are, the employer will understand, especially if you’re upfront with him or her. Reliable interns and workers stand out for employers because they become go-to people.
Step Two: Do your job, and do it well
This one is kind of obvious, but many interns stand out for going above and beyond the call of duty. Yes, showing up is half the battle, but there’s a difference between someone who shows up in professional garb and texts on his or her phone all day and the person who’s actively engaged in his or her intern duties and with fellow employees in general.
If you’re having trouble catching on to something, ask questions and/or tell your boss you’re having issues. As much as you’re there to work, it’s also a learning experience for you. Being honest about your skills and striving hard to hone them are two good ways to become a solid worker.
Step Three: Be memorable (in a good way)
Sometimes internships can be pretty monotonous, but if you can, make yourself so memorable that when you’re not there people wish you were. You can achieve this by doing your job well (see above), but if you don’t have a lot to do at your internship or job, you could keep it simple, like Donut Fridays, where you bring in a dozen donuts for the crew. Or maybe even during some downtime, you offer to go out and get people Starbucks when other employees can’t leave their desks. Yes, these examples have to do with food, but never underestimate the power of it. An afternoon pick-me-up can do wonders for company morale.
Another way to be memorable is to show up to company functions or take coworkers up on lunch offers, as these are good opportunities to become more than just “the intern.” Colleagues can put names to faces and get to know you a little better.
Step Four: Send follow-up emails/greeting cards
If you’re a college undergrad and won’t be able to become a full-time employee for another year or so, you can still make the transition from temp to permanent. Just don’t let the prospective employer forget you. During the winter season, send a holiday card to say hello and remind them again how much you enjoyed your time with said employer. If you see that the company received a positive mention in a news article, send them a link to it and say, “Good going!” This shows you cared about this work opportunity and still consider yourself a part of the company team.
Step Five: Be upfront with them and tell them you’d like to be considered for any future job openings
This shows initiative, which not every intern has—pluck and spunkiness get remembered. Generally, if you’re upfront with them, they’ll be upfront with you. And when it comes to recalling interns for company roles in the future, they are naturally going to remember the one that asked.
The Bottom Line
Even if it’s only for a season, temporary employment in the form of internships and part-time jobs is an excellent way to show companies your worth as a permanent employee. You just have to know what to emphasize and how to show them you’re more than just the freshest face in the back of the room.