Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

From Intern to Employee: How to Make the Switch

For college students and recent graduates, the job market has been an increasingly difficult effort. Entry level jobs that college graduates vie for are now easily filled by experienced workers that are willing to take less pay due to lost jobs. Companies are more reluctant to take on interns due to cuts in spending and payroll.

However, that was the tune to the song of 2011. 2012 is a new year and that means there is a new tune to hum to. As reported earlier today by Spark News, employers plan on hiring 9.5 percent more graduates of 2012 than in 2011. For so many, that tune sounds harmonious and great. So, how can recent graduates entering the job market snag their first positions? Think, internship internship internship.

Yes, internships are still crucial to your blossoming career and can still be the tool that kicks your foot in the door. As reported in earlier weeks, 76 percent of those who interned with the company they work for maintained their position for at least a year. In the workplace world, securing a job at a company you worked for is an achievement and keeping it for a long period of time is even better. But how do you secure a position at your internship in the first place? That’s where Spark News can help you. Below are a couple of tips and words of advice that interns can follow to secure a position in the company.

An internship is a great time to show an employer that you posses the traits and skills they value and desire in their employees. As an intern you should be very observant and anxious to learn the goings and comings of the environment you work in. You should always be looking for the chance to show employers that you have what it takes to excel and succeed at their company. If you know how the business and company operates, both in the work and the environment, then you can better understand what it is you need to do to succeed.

Be Dependable
You may not think that employers notice you come and go, but make no mistake about it, they do. Being on time and even a bit early for work is a must if you want to make a good impression on your employer. My father always used to say, “if you’re on time, you’re already ten minutes late” and the phrase has rang true in almost every instance of my life. Be early for work each day and you will be seen as a responsible and dependable worker. If you think you are going to be late, call your employer and inform them that you are running late before you are already late. However, be sure not to make a habit of it. After a certain point, it doesn’t matter if you called and said you would be late-you’re still late- and that is unacceptable. Punctuality may go unnoticed, but make no mistake, tardiness will not.

This also rings true in terms of projects and due dates. If you are running behind on a project and don’t think you will meet the deadline, say something. Being honest and discussing time constraints with your boss doesn’t show that you’re weak or unqualified, but rather shows that you are responsible and care about your job. If you are truly doing everything you can to meet the deadline, maybe they will realize their schedule is unrealistic or that you have too much work. Regardless, having a discussion about it is worlds better than being late or missing a deadline with no prior explanation.

Be Positive
Having a positive attitude is infectious and usually results in positive outcomes. As reported earlier this week, optimism in the workplace has great benefits and can make a big difference. Positive employees tend to motivate others and make the workplace more fun and inviting. Employers want these kinds of employees in their office and if you possess this kind of positive and upbeat attitude, you are one step closer to securing your position.

Be Patient
Much to the dismay of many, there are tons of micro-managers in the world. These managers want to map out every detail of your task and observe every move you make in completing it. You can’t exactly fault these managers for caring so deeply about their work, but at the same time they can make you want to rip your hair out. I’ve had a couple employers like this and dealing with them never gets easier. What I have learned however, is that patience is the key to dealing with employers that micro-manage or employers that possess any undesirable qualities. Liking your employer is never guaranteed, but if you like the job and want to keep it, you have to learn to be patient. Showing aggravation or stress likely won’t work to your advantage, but showing patience and understanding will. Employers want to hire someone that can work well with others even when they do not agree with them.

Be Confident
It’s no secret, when you’re confident you perform better. Someone who is confident isn’t afraid to say what is on their mind, isn’t afraid to ask the important questions and feels little need to show they know everything. Someone who is confident also isn’t afraid to admit that they made a mistake. They can pin-point what their strengths and weaknesses are and work towards improving the weaknesses. Employers want employees that are confident rather than employees that are timid and self-conscious. If you show that you are confident in yourself and in your work, employers will take note and will likely appreciate it.

Be Professional
A lot of these seem to be common-sense, but to be brutally honest, a lot of people lack just that. If it wasn’t true, then you wouldn’t have people guzzling down wine and drinks at their holiday office party, getting totally inebriated in front of their employers every year. Yes, that still happens. Maintaining a professional attitude, demeanor and attire is common-sense but a lot of employees or interns tend to forget it once they get comfortable in their workplace. Here’s a tip: don’t forget. Dressing and acting professional at all times at your internship won’t go unnoticed. Even if the other interns you work with choose to horse around, dress sloppy and posses undesirable attitudes it doesn’t mean you should too. You want to keep this internship and turn it into a full-time job, maybe they don’t.

Regardless of the fact that this is an internship, it’s preparation for a real job and you should always treat it as such. Take pride in your appearance and behavior and always put your best foot forward no matter the circumstances or situation. Being professional, however, goes beyond attitude and attire. A professional employee completes their tasks in the least amount of time and doesn’t procrastinate just because they can. They are enthusiastic about their work or express enthusiasm even if it’s not real. Maintaining a certain degree of professionalism will doubtless get you noticed and, even if you don’t snag a position in the company, you will likely get a rave review and that counts for a lot in the workplace.

IMAGE: A Look At

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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