10 Tips To Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 1, 2021 | Published November 12, 2020

Updated March 1, 2021

Published November 12, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Being an intern is a great way to gain relevant experiences and insights into your chosen career field. If you make an excellent intern for the company, they may even ask you to join as a full-time employee. To improve your chances of getting a job, make an impressive performance by exceeding supervisors' expectations and proving that you can add value to their team. In this article, we provide 10 tips to help turn your internship into a full-time job, along with steps to ask for the opportunity.

What is an internship?

An internship is a temporary period of work experience offered by companies and typically performed by students. There are both paid and unpaid internships, though unpaid internships may offer school credits as a benefit. Internships can provide you hands-on experience in your desired field, along with a clearer understanding of how businesses in that industry operate.

Related: 10 Benefits of Doing an Internship

Tips for getting a full-time job offer from your internship

Performing well and making a good impression during your internship can boost your chances of gaining a full-time opportunity. You can use the following 10 tips to boost your internship performance:

Show that you fit in

Before you start your internship, make sure you have researched the company, its mission and its values. These details will help you better understand how you can support its goals. If possible, also read company reviews about its culture or environment. This knowledge can make you feel more comfortable because it provides an idea of the personalities or work styles you might be working alongside. Then you can see how you already fit in or need to make some adjustments.

Understand and follow the rules

During your first week, you will learn about the rules, procedures and other codes of conduct the company expects you to follow. You usually get this information in a written format, so take the time to read through it carefully. You want a complete understanding of these expectations before starting work to ensure you avoid mistakes.

If you have questions about whether something is allowed, ask your supervisor before doing anything. Following the rules shows your respect for the workplace and can make work easier for your supervisors, knowing that they do not have to worry about your actions.

Establish strong relationships with supervisors

Make sure to get an understanding of the role's responsibilities, along with your supervisor's expectations. As you perform your tasks, try to exceed their expectations to prove you are an essential member of their team. You also will want to establish strong communication by checking in regularly, such as providing updates on the progress of your projects or any accomplishments you have achieved.

Strengthening this relationship is crucial, as your supervisor can potentially help you get a job in the future—inside the company or elsewhere. When you check-in, try to establish a more personal connection rather than strictly discussing work. They will appreciate your interest in them, and it will also help them gain a fuller understanding of you and what you have to offer.

Showcase your work ethic

Your performance as an intern should prove to your supervisors and colleagues that you would be a valuable permanent member of the team. Companies appreciate an intern who displays a commitment to their job, so show them that you are eager and happy to perform your responsibilities. Here are a few other ways to demonstrate a strong work ethic:

  • Be punctual by arriving on time to work and meetings

  • Provide consistent, quality work so supervisors know they can rely on you

  • Organize your tasks and workspace to help focus on your responsibilities and better manage your time

Related: Tips To Demonstrate Work Ethic

Network with your colleagues

Employers want to see strong teamwork abilities, so ensure you are building professional and personal relationships with your colleagues. Ask for help when needed or offer to help a teammate to demonstrate your willingness to collaborate on achieving team goals. If you establish a good rapport and showcase a strong work ethic, your team will notice that you are an enjoyable person to work alongside. Your colleagues can pass their positive feedback to your supervisor to illustrate how you benefit the team.

You will also benefit from building relationships with members of other departments to grow your professional network. Employers will be impressed if you can establish a positive reputation across their different lines of business. It also may increase the number of opportunities available to you at the company, as you may find openings that match your qualifications outside of your internship team.

Show enthusiasm

As an intern, your first assignments might consist of smaller or more repetitive tasks. Approach these responsibilities with enthusiasm, turning them in on time and up to your supervisor's quality standards. If they see that you can responsibly manage these tasks, they will be more willing to start assigning more advanced tasks. These tasks can grow your professional skills and demonstrate that you can perform the more demanding aspects of the job, as a full-time employee would.

Demonstrate initiative

You can make yourself stand out as an intern by taking the initiative to find professional development opportunities at the company. When meeting with your supervisor, express your interest in learning skills that can help you complete your job responsibilities. They may start assigning you tasks that develop those skills or have you follow someone as they perform them. You can also offer to take on additional work, which displays your eagerness to learn and contribute to the team.

Your initiative proves that you are ready to be a full-time member of the team. Supervisors will see your engagement with the company and your willingness to put effort into your personal development to help achieve its goals. As a result, they will feel more confident about adding you to the team permanently.

Related: 9 Ways To Take Initiative at Work

Offer solutions to their problems

Problem-solving is a sought-after skill by employers, so this could be an opportunity to develop and showcase your abilities. If you find any issues during your internship, raise them with your supervisor. They may ask for your input on how to resolve it, so be prepared to offer advice or support. Successfully resolving an issue for the company can demonstrate your unique value as an employee.

For example, if you have social media skills and notice the small business you are interning for has low social media engagement, you can offer to manage their accounts. If you create and schedule posts that increase engagement, the company sees the distinct advantages you offer. By positively impacting their business, you become a memorable intern and can lead them to start thinking about hiring you full-time.

Seek feedback

Throughout your internship, you keep your job performance on track by seeking feedback from your supervisors and colleagues. With their insights, you can discover which areas you need improvement to help avoid mistakes or other problems moving forward. You can also learn where they see you excelling, providing you with a sense of confidence as you complete your tasks. Employers appreciate when you can receive and then implement feedback, as it shows maturity and a willingness to develop yourself. It also demonstrates that you aim to provide your best work possible.

Express interest in full-time employment

Early into your internship, you can ask the hiring manager or HR personnel about the possibility of gaining full-time employment. Having the answer to this question can provide clarity on what to expect and your options. Throughout the internship, mention to your supervisor that you want to work for the company and explain why. When they see good work from you and know you are interested, it is more likely they will have you in mind when a full-time opportunity arises—both right after the internship or in the future.

Related: 19 Tips for a Fantastic Internship

How to secure a full-time position after an internship

You can use the following steps to ask for a full-time position following your internship:

1. Reflect on your internship

Before having a conversation with your supervisor or a hiring manager, you should prepare key messages on why you want a full-time position. Your first message should demonstrate how you have grown during this experience and what you accomplished, which shows why you valued your time there. You want to show the company why you would be a strong addition to their team, so highlight any positive results you already created as an intern.

Next, think about your career goals and how a permanent position at this company aligns with them. You will be much more persuasive if you can describe the specific ways you hope to continue supporting the company's mission and goals. You will mention the particular aspects of the company or job itself that you are passionate about and motivate you to do your best work.

2. Schedule a conversation

Set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your career options during the last week of your internship. Try to mention your interest in a full-time position at least a few weeks into the internship, though, so that your supervisor knows that you want to have this conversation before you leave. Start your conversation by thanking them for the internship opportunity and highlighting what you enjoyed about the experience. Expressing your appreciation will leave a favorable impression with your supervisor and give a positive start to the conversation.

3. Ask about full-time opportunities

After thanking your supervisor, you need to move onto the key accomplishments and goals you drafted beforehand. Explain your interest in working for the company and ask whether they have any full-time openings. Describe what you enjoyed doing most as an intern and your accomplishments, along with how you hope to use your skills to continue contributing to the company as a full-time employee. Mention the relevant career goals you have and how you believe you could achieve them at the company.

If the employer has a job opportunity and believes you are right for the role, they may provide instructions on how to apply or guide you on the next steps they would like to take. If they do not have any openings, reiterate your interest in the company and let them know that you would appreciate them considering you for future opportunities.

4. Keep in touch

If you do not receive a full-time job offer or need to return to school after your internship, stay in contact with your supervisor and colleagues. You can connect with them on social media and interact with their posts, or keep informed about company news and congratulate them on their successes. You cannot guarantee that they will reach out to you about any vacancies, but keeping in regular contact improves your chances.

Explore more articles