Turning an Internship into a Job

While there's a common belief that companies only use internships as a way to get free labor, this isn't true. One 2011 survey showed that 42% of new hires were originally interns, which means that you have a good chance at being hired on at a company after you intern with them. This advice will make sure you're hired after your finish with your internship.

Work Your Hardest

Hard work is absolutely necessary if you want your internship to turn into a full-time job. However, you'll want to go one step further and be able to show your hard work so make sure to take notes as you go. Obviously, you have to go above and beyond the job description, and enthusiasm just isn't enough anymore with so many people battling it out for the same jobs. Seek out extra responsibility and accept new tasks given to you with grace, even if you feel like those tasks will stretch you thin. Suggesting your own projects will show that you're not afraid to take initiative and make a big impression within the company. If you're not sure of a project you can spearhead, offer your assistance to people who are already undertaking difficult projects.

As long as whatever you're doing makes yourself integral, a company will think twice about letting you go once your internship is over. However, this might not be obvious at first. You'll want to consider how your strengths -- whether they're project management, public speaking, writing or something else -- can help the company.

Meet Your Mentor

Another important element to doing well in any work environment is to develop a mentor relationship with someone who has more time at the company. This will help you better integrate with the firm's culture and show that you're invested in the company, too. Your mentor may not be your supervisor -- it might be a coworker at the same level with more seniority -- but this isn't a bad thing. Sometimes employees who aren't in positions of power are able to explain the ins and outs in a realistic way rather in one that glorifies the company morals in an idyllic way.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask

You're not alone if you're afraid to ask for that internship, even if you think that your work record proves that you deserve it. Many employees fall pray to a similar situation when it comes to ask for a raise or promotion. If your supervisor simply doesn't realize that you're interested, this might be the nail in the head of your hiring coffin. Let it be known that you're interested in staying with the company once you complete your internship. Plus, letting your boss know that you want to stay on can be beneficial if she spreads the word to other managers within the company.

You might be asked why you'd be a good addition to the company and how you will contribute. If you can answer definitely that you completed a project in X fewer hours than anticipated, brought in X number of new clients or made the company X amount of money, you're much more likely to be retained, especially if the company is worried about whether there is enough money to pay another employee. When you can prove that you'll pay for yourself, you're a shoe-in.

Personal Perspective for Job Prospects

Ultimately, no one is going to hire a new employee who isn't friendly. Learn the way that the office works. Present yourself as friendly, helpful and open. Keep drama at home and always have a smile ready for customers and associates. Personable interns are more likely to become full-time employees than unpleasant interns who show up on late, call in sick and arrive to work with an unkempt appearance.

As you're blending in to company culture, make sure to meet people outside of your department. The role you take on as a permanent employee might not be the same job that you had as an intern. If you can train in other departments, your flexibility be be viewed as a strength when it comes time to hire.

In an economic downturn, even a business has to examine its budget. Turn-around is expensive, which is why the hiring process has become more important. To most companies, an internship is like an extended interview, so you should show up with your best foot forward without fail if you want to continue your career with that firm.