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Turning an internship into a job offer

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Published: 24 December 2020

Interns working

One thing employers look for on your CV will be your past work experience.

But if you’ve joined the University of Sunderland in London straight from school how do you achieve that?

The simple answer is internships. They’re an amazing opportunity to learn new skills and find out what it’s like working in your industry.

It’s natural to wonder how you can turn your internship experience into a job offer. Follow these eight tips to increase your chances of landing that dream role.

1) Know the company

Before you start your internship, learn everything you can about the company. It’ll help you understand how the business runs and about the projects they’re working on. It wouldn’t hurt to find out if they tend to hire interns after the programme finishes either.

2) Be curious

The best interns are the ones who want to learn so don’t be afraid to ask if there’s something you’re not sure about. This tip links to the first one – the more you know about a company the better chance you have of making your position permanent.

3) Set your goals

Speak with your manager about the goals and skills you’d like to learn during your internship. Make sure you do this early on as most internships are short so you shouldn't waste any time.

4) Work hard

Employers want people who are going to work hard and show initiative. Don’t fall into the trap of relaxing through an internship. Instead, try and figure out what work you can do next, how you can improve on a particular assignment. Being a self-starter is a very common thing to find on job adverts, so make sure your company knows who you are from the start.

5) Be a professional

Dress the way you want to be seen in the office, making sure you stick to the company’s dress code. Be on time, or early if you can, and don’t leave hours before other staff members. Get more tips in Professionalism 101.

6) Get to know people

If you want the people you’re working with to become your colleagues, make the effort to get to know as many of them as you can – at all levels. Try and develop a reputation for being polite, friendly and approachable. Also, make sure you don’t get involved in office politics or gossip.

7) Have a positive attitude

Whatever you think of the work, try and appear enthusiastic. As an intern, your role is to make the lives of your colleagues easier, so ask to be involved in meetings and be helpful to your co-workers.

8) Find your mentor

In every company, there will be people who want to help you. Find them and learn from their professional knowledge. Making efforts like this will show that you could be a valued member of the team in the long-term.

Not every company hires people straight from their internship programme, and it’s certainly not something you should expect.

Even if the business you intern at doesn’t hire you, it’s still an opportunity to make connections and network. Focus on learning a lot and making a good impression. Doing that will have long-term positive impacts on your career going forward.

Learn more about jobs skills on the Digital Literacy Skills section of the Library website.

For more information, visit our Careers and Employability page. You can read about employability skills on our news pagesFind out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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