How to turn an internship into a full-time job

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- If you’re a recent college grad having trouble finding a full-time job, you may want to consider taking on an internship.

Even for entry-level roles, employers want new hires that can contribute immediately. Internships provide an opportunity to gain on-the-job skills, learn more about the type of work environment you prefer and develop your professional network.

Internships are mutually beneficial for both employers and students or recent graduates. Interns can offer companies fresh perspectives and provide additional support during busy times. Those who perform well on the job also make good candidates for full-time entry-level roles.

But once you’ve landed the internship, how do you go about turning it into a full-time position? Here are five tips to help you.

Identify goals.
By organizing your wish list of accomplishments around your future career objectives, you can start on the right foot.

Act the part and be upbeat.
Rather than thinking of yourself as “just an intern,” adopt the mindset of a full-time employee. Accept assignments with enthusiasm, even when you’re asked to tackle less-than-glamorous tasks.

Lend a helping hand.
To make a positive impression, take the initiative to help others when your workload is light, the more you do, the more you can learn and add to your list of job experiences.

Network with colleagues.
Networking with others in your field allows you to make important contacts that could serve you well in the future. You never know who you’ll meet that might have hiring authority or valuable connections down the road.

Maximize your participation.
Speak up in meetings and let your supervisor know when you think you can be of particular value to a project.

Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, providing skilled professionals in the fields of accounting and finance, technology, legal, creative, marketing, and administration. Andy Ernst is regional vice president, overseeing operations at the Phoenix, Phoenix West, Chandler and Tucson offices.