Doostang News July 19: Turning an Internship into a Job

Equity Research Associate, New York, NY
Associate Adjustor, Nationwide
Investment Banking Intern, San Francisco, CA
Campus Director in Training, Multiple Locations
Financial Analyst, Los Angeles, CA

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If you’re going to give up your precious summer break or coveted after-school and weekend hours to intern at a company, you sure as heck want to get something out of it, right?  But parlaying your internship into a full-time opportunity can be tricky, and it’s hard to determine the most tactful way to advocate for yourself.  Here are a few things you can do to leave a company wanting more:

Meet Goals

It may seem obvious, but many a deficient intern has left their work unfinished, failing to see the long-term repercussions of the loose ends they leave – after all, it’s not your problem once school starts back up in the fall, is it?  Well, yes it is, actually.  Because if you want solid recommendations or a possible job waiting for you when you graduate, you really need to put forth your best effort.  Demonstrate that, even as an unpaid, inexperienced intern, you are someone that your boss can rely on.  And if you manage to complete your work early, go a step further and volunteer to take on other projects.  You’ll really make a difference at a company and they’ll be anxious to have you back.

Learn

Another common mistake that interns make is taking a very narrow view of their work.  When you have tunnel vision at an internship, you squander one of the most important reasons you are there – to learn.  Showing up at an internship isn’t just about getting through the day and then slapping it on your resume after three months.  It’s getting to know the ins and outs of an industry, so that you are more qualified to assume a full-time position in this sector when you’re through.  When you graduate, your goal probably isn’t to land another similar internship.  So try to cultivate the skill set of a more advanced position within the company by paying attention to what’s going on around you and helping out in creative ways.

Socialize

For full time workers, one of the greatest advantages of having interns around the office is being able to interact with promising, vibrant students and other young individuals.  So don’t be shy and indulge your coworkers a little.  You’ll learn a lot about the company and the industry by doing so, and these interactions will shed light on the more personal aspects of the job – how easy it is to manage work with a family, what sort of people you can expect to encounter, etc.  More than this, the people you meet will be the individuals who will vouch for you later on.

Show Gratitude

Because an internship generally requires you to show up on a regular basis, it can be easy to take for granted the opportunity you have…and to forget to thank those who helped you along the way.  So make sure to say “thanks” every once in awhile, and definitely send thank you notes to the individuals who really had an impact on your experience when your internship is up.

Stay in Touch

Just because your internship ends doesn’t mean the relationships you established along the way have to end too.  Make sure to email people you met along the way from time to time – to ask questions about jobs, to check in and see how they are doing, to share an exciting experience in school, etc.  It’s far better to keep in touch with people in a friendly manner than to merely contact them out of the blue when you need something.


While it may seem sometimes that you have the raw end of the deal in an internship that doesn’t pay you very well – if at all – and demands a lot of your time, it really is a unique and valuable experience that you can benefit from in more ways than one.  Hard work, gratitude, and friendliness can take you far.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Navigating the Summer Job Market

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com
summer-job-search

Research Associate – Multi Industry, New York, NY
Consulting Analyst, Miami, FL
Hedge Fund Analyst, Beverly Hills, CA
Freelance Managing Editor, United States
Investment Associate, SF Bay Area

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Most people believe summer is the worst time to conduct a job search. Between college students eating up the market, vacations, lagging budgets, etc. hiring would seem to lag during the summer making it a bad time to conduct a job search. In reality, summer is a very good time to job hunt. Here are some tips to make your summer-time job search more effective:

Spiff up your telephone skills. With people on vacation, you will be receiving more voice mail messages than usual as you try to reach people in your job search network. Always make calls with a notepad or organizer nearby and take note of when your contacts will be back in the office. Set an email up to be delivered the day *after* the person’s return and set a reminder to call again the second day after he/she returns.

Make sure you leave a clear, informative voice mail. Make sure you state your name twice, your telephone number twice, and your message once. Give a good time for a call-back. The following is a general formula for an effective voice mail.

“Hello, this is ___. My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. I am calling because ___. The best time to get back in touch with me is ___. Again, this is ___ and my number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thank you!”

Always include your area code with your telephone number. Many times, people cannot return calls because they are not sure where the caller is calling from. Giving your time zone helps the recipient of the message know where you are located and helps them know exactly when to call you back. Speak slowly and clearly, especially if English is not your native tongue. Spell your name if the spelling is not easily recognizable. Provide more than one number if possible and repeat both of them twice.

Take advantage of summer social activities for your job search. Most jobs are filled through word-of-mouth. That means the more people with whom you talk, the more effective your job search. Summertime is chock-full of social activities from picnics to family reunions to ball games. Make the most of gatherings of people to gather information for your search and extend your network toward your target companies.

Volunteer. Summer seems packed with opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering not only gains additional network contacts for your search but it has many emotional rewards, too. Looking for a job, especially for those who have been engaged in long searches (more than 3 months) is emotionally exhausting. The warm fuzzies you receive from volunteering go a long way toward boosting your mental attitude.

Be persistent. Since many job searchers slack off in the summer thinking they are wasting their time, your competition is less. Take advantage of that and redouble your efforts in your search.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!