How To Use Your Internship Experience To Get A Full-Time Job

How To Use Your Internship Experience To Get A Full-Time Job
by Lauren McGoodwin
Photos Joe Kathrina | December 12, 2014

“I graduated about two years ago and have had some great internships/ opportunities, but none of them have translated into a successful long-term position (my longest run with a company out of college has been 14 months). I get a lot of compliments on my resume and my experience, but I feel like no one will hire me. It’s super frustrating! My question is: How do I transition from internships and part-time jobs to a full-time career that may not be in my exact field but has many parallels?”

- Shrioni, Statesboro, GA


I can totally relate! I graduated with an education degree and planned to become a teacher, so I really threw employers (and myself!) for a loop when I decided to pursue full-time roles in marketing. Here are a few tips for pursuing a full-time career that might be slightly outside the realm of your previous experience:

SPREAD THE WORD

Follow up with all your previous employers (including your previous internship managers!) and let them know you’re looking for full-time employment. Never underestimate the value of tapping into a network of people you’ve worked with directly; they know how good you are at what you do! Send an individual email to each contact letting them know you’re on the hunt and would love for them to keep you in mind if any opportunities come their way. Include what types of roles you’re looking for and attach your resume to your email request—you might even want to include a short blurb about yourself and your experience that your network can pass along to their own contacts in email introductions. And it never hurts to add a link to your LinkedIn profile to your email signature!

BE CONSISTENT

Looking for a full-time job is all about consistent effort. Carve out time each week to identify companies and jobs you want to target. After you find a job and/or company you want to target, find someone currently in that job or working for that company and ask them for an informational interview. Informational interviews allow you to gain insight about a role or company without the pressure of a job interview. Plus, the informational interviewee might be able to offer some great advice on how to get your foot in the door at a company. Just remember to not ask them for a job—you’re there to gather information!

FOLLOW UP

There are plenty of people that send informational interview requests, but very few people actually follow up and make it happen. By following up and staying in touch with your contacts, you’re not only showing the ability to take initiative but you’ll also be at the top of their list of people to contact when a job opening does come across their desk.

Remember: it’s all about how you craft your story—education, experience, interests—to the hiring manager. They don’t care that you majored in fashion, but they do care how that affects your story and how you can apply those skills to the specific role they’re hiring for.

Good luck with your search!