The job search can be a tough uphill battle. You need to have the right skills, connections, and experience to get noticed by your dream organizations. One of the ways you may have tried to score that “in” are through internships. In fact, research indicates that 40.7 percent of young professional have completed at least one internship. However, how do you amplify these experiences in order to land a job once it’s all said and done?

Let’s be real: The point of an internship is to hone your talents, meet thought leaders, and of course, nab an open position, should the luck be in your favor. So, what are some ways to rock your internship and get hired in the process?

Go the Paid Route

Conventional wisdom definitely shows that, more often than not, you would choose a paid internship role if the opportunity presented itself. However, did you know paid interns are also more likely to get hired? In fact, 61 percent of paid interns receive at least one job offer. Plus, paid interns are happier and more engaged, which contributes to better work ethics and positive performances.

Request Access to Mentors

Mentors are important. So important 47.3 percent of interns reported wanting to gain access to them. Not only can mentors give some real-time feedback and advice on your current projects, they can also give you some valuable insight into your career path.

For instance, if you were in an advertising internship, your boss can teach you the ins and outs of the industry, what software or programs you should know, and which skills you need to brush up on. While just being in an internship can provide you with this information, mentorship provides it on a more personal level. Plus, it provides you with that one-on-one time with someone who may be influential in the hiring process.

Ask for Real-Work Experience

Interns have long been thought to be coffee-runners or errand messengers. However real-work experiences are what’s going to show off your skills and get you hired in the end. Now, I know asking for real-work experiences can be intimidating, but taking the reigns of a project can show your internship employer that you’re serious about a career way past the tenure of the program.

The key is to jump at an opportunity when it’s presented to you. Let’s say a full-time team member is swamped on a client project during your advertising internship. You can lend your skills, such as copywriting, design, or brand research. This not only takes some of the burden off their plates, it also shows your enthusiasm for the role and eagerness to take on real work.

Do More Than the Bare Minimum

Employers want to hire star players. They also don’t want those star players to go to different organizations, especially their competition. By proving that you’re more than an “intern,” you let others see you as a contributing member of the staff, instead of someone with a three-month timeline. Going above and beyond is how you can prove this.

Maybe you finished all your tasks for the day, but still have a few hours left on the clock. Ask anyone if they need help. Perhaps you came up with an awesome new business idea. Present your plan to your boss. Or, maybe you want to learn everything you can about the industry. Suggest representing your organization at a professional development event. Doing more than the bare minimum creates value. By doing so, you can become so much more than an intern; you can become the next great hire.

When you take on an internship, remember what the end-goals should be: Learning, doing, and hopefully, staying on. Use these tips as a springboard to rock your internship and get hired in the process.

What do you think? What are some other ways to get hired after your internship?

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