I’ve worked a wide range of jobs in my career as a member of the American workforce. From movie theaters to restaurants, colleges to ad agencies. I’ve seen even the best-intentioned part-time employee or intern get passed over for minor transgressions when it came time to hire full time. With this in mind, there are a few things that can be done to give yourself a better chance at nailing down the job that, as an intern, you’ve been craving.
1. Do your work quickly and thoroughly
I know. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget about this. If given a job, try and get it done BEFORE it’s asked for/due. If not, get it done when requested. Anything later not only makes you look incompetent, but also makes your boss look bad to clients and peers.
2. Ask for more work (if you can handle it)
Always look eager to take on more work. A friend of mine was interning with someone who watched episodes of Arrested Development during work hours when he didn’t have something to do, while my friend continually sought more work with which they could help.
Guess who got offered a full time position when the internship ended?
Looking for more work shows initiative and the desire to be productive. Both are great qualities to display to a potential employer.
3. Don’t be too 'big' for the little jobs
You will get a lot of hand-me-down jobs as an intern. Sorting mail, picking up lunch (and sometimes beer) for the office, running to the post office are all potential ‘little jobs’ with which you may be tasked.
Do these jobs with a smile.
Don’t make it seem like you’re too good to go get the client a case of Diet Coke. To your employers, you appear helpful and willing to take on any job – something all employers value.
Not only that, but as you make an employer’s life easier, they’ll associate all of those good/productive feelings with you because you’re the one taking a little of the friction out of their day. This doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you, of course...but that’s a different blog post.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Questions show you're engaged in the conversation and want to know more. Wanting to know more is indicative of a bevy of good qualities employers look for in new employees:
- Dedication to learning
- Being detail oriented
- And more!
Inquire about other departments, show interest in other peoples’ jobs. This could lead to potential cross training and just more overall knowledge about what your business does. The more you can do - the more valuable you are to your company! And everyone wants that. At least, they should.
I personally used these skills to help get myself the job I currently hold here at my ad agency as an account coordinator. I came here with little to no knowledge of advertising. But by following these simple tactics I was able to secure a full-time promotion.
What about you? What advice did you follow to land your current job?