7 Ways to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job

7 Ways to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job


One of the questions we get asked a lot in the Inspiring Interns office is how to make sure that once you secure that all important internship, you convert it into a permanent job offer.

Many of the companies we recruit for start candidates on a 3 month internship before deciding whether to take them on full time or not, with the vast majority choosing to.

So what’s the trick? Well, for starters….

Be Impressive

The best tips are often the simplest ones. At the end of the day, the best way to make sure your new boss takes you on long term is to be the best recruit you can be.

It sounds obvious, but you have to make sure you’re always punctual. For the first week or two, always try to get to work at least ten minutes early, and make sure you stay a bit later than you need to each day. Make sure that you’re eager to learn and happy to work hard. If you’re asked to do slightly menial tasks, complete them with as much enthusiasm as possible. It will often be as much of a test as with the more complex tasks, to find out more about your attitude.

Establish goals and meet them!

If this doesn’t come up organically, ask for a meeting and ask whether there are any specific goals you should aim for during your time at the company. This doesn’t just offer a clear direction for yourself, but shows the employer that you’re keen to work hard towards adding value to the company.

Remember that an internship is an opportunity to learn as much as possible, not just to convert to a full-time job. You should establish personal goals at the start of the internship about what you want to learn from the internship, whether this be mastering technical skills, refining personal soft skills or establishing a list of contacts. Learn from your supervisor, ask how you’re performing, and ask if you can take any more specific responsibilities that you want to learn about.

Add Value to the company

While you want to focus as much as possible on these personal goals during your internship remember that what you’ll be doing on a day to day basis won’t always directly line up with your goals.

The company will want you to learn, but you also need to be adding value to their business (provided you’re being paid).

This doesn’t just mean that you need to take to everything you’re asked with enthusiasm and focus, but that you should take the initiative too; when appropriate, pitch ideas to your supervisor, ask if there’s anything more you can take on the minute you’ve completed your tasks, and be prepared to have an answer when you’re asked your opinion on business decisions. The last point is crucial, as it will illustrate that you’ve really thought and understand your new business, declaring your dedication to the company.

Become Indispensable

By taking the initiative as above and taking on ad-hoc duties, you can easily become indispensable to your potential employer. If they know that taking on someone else will require training them in areas that you’re already well versed in, then it doesn’t make sense financially or for efficiency to take someone else on. Try to select ad-hoc tasks that are specific to your company, that even someone with experience in a similar area would still require training on.

Even better would be to take advantage of any specialist skills you have. If you’re fluent in a second language, think about areas of foreign client management or foreign marketing that you could become a crucial part of. If you have an understanding of social media strategy, design skills within the adobe suite, or have experience running a blog, let your supervisor know and you could become a critical cog in the day to day running of the company.

Essentially, it’s a simple mantra: what can I do to make sure I’ll be missed?

Be a Social Butterfly

While you’re at the company, try as hard as you can to get involved in as much of the social aspect as you can. Try to make as many company networking events as possible. Use your lunchtimes to talk to employees you haven’t spoken to yet and get them on side.

If it comes to the last few weeks of your internship and a number of voices within the company are telling the management team how much of an impact you’ve made on company culture, it can’t be a bad thing. Always be willing to go the extra yard outside of work as well as inside of it.

Tell Them How You Feel

When it’s coming towards the end of your internship, It never hurts to tell people that you’ve enjoyed your time at the company. Flattery always helps and it shows you truly care about succeeding there.

I have a friend who was becoming convinced it wasn’t going to work out as his internship at a huge advertising agency was coming to an end. After a few too many drinks at a networking even, he stumbled into one of the executive team and told her that he really didn’t want to leave and how much he’d enjoyed his time there. The next day, she made some calls and made sure there was a job for him to start the next week.

Stay in Touch

Sometimes things don’t work out for factors beyond your control. It could be that the budget isn’t there for a full time member of staff, or that they don’t think they’ll have enough workload to bring someone new in.

If you’re told at the end of the internship that it’s not going to work out for now, make sure you keep in touch. Use the contacts you’ve built up to ask for updates by telephone or email every now and again and when a position comes up, you’ll be the first person on their minds.

If you’re looking for a foot in the workplace door, check out our job listings for graduate jobs in London and graduate jobs in Manchester.

‘Big Four’ Don’t Care About Your Grades

‘Big Four’ Don’t Care About Your Grades

1416 (1)There’s a big change happening in the graduate jobs sector right now. Four of the biggest UK graduate employers, PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG, are all starting to look beyond academics, with a shift to a system that primarily focuses only on candidate’s potential.

The message is clear from these top professional services firms; there’s a need to modernise the system they use to find the top graduate talent in the UK. It’s becoming increasingly imperative for these companies to increase their appeal to millennials, as well as improving diversity and promoting an increase in social mobility.

With the number of graduate jobs on offer finally returning to pre-financial crisis numbers, firms like EY have an increased interest in making sure some of the talented grads that might have slipped through the cracks in the past are being profiled properly. Absolutist conditions for successful applicants previously included at least 300 UCAS points (equivalent to three B grades) and a 2:1. These have been scrapped.

The focus has instead shifted to online assessments and numerical testing to ensure that only the best candidates are making it through to the interview stage. In June, PwC similarly scrapped UCAS points as a way of profiling candidates too. “A-level results vary significantly with proxies for social class — the south of England versus the north, parents who are better off and parents who went to university” says Richard Irwin, PwC’s head of student recruitment. “Those things can’t be predictors of whether you’re a good accountant or management consultant” he argues.

Deloitte have taken it to the next step, profiling applicants in a way that makes sure the socio-economic circumstances of the candidate is understood as a part of the process. They don’t think all grades are equal; someone with three B grades at a school that averages straight D grades, in fact, is highlighted as remarkable.


‘Choosy’ Graduates Turn Down Record Number of Jobs

‘Choosy’ Graduates Turn Down Record Number of Jobs

The UK’s top employers were left to ‘fight it out’ for the top graduates last year, according to market research company High Fliers. Their annual Graduate Market report notes that ‘over 1,000 graduate positions were left unfilled last year’ meaning a reduction in intake of almost a third for the UK’s top employers.

So in a graduate jobs market that appears to be getting increasingly competitive, why are so many sought after roles left empty? Managing Director of High Fliers Martin Birchall, thinks the problem derives from a handful of the most desirable graduates.

‘There are two distinct portions of the market. At the top end, employers have told us that the most sought-after graduates are holding four or five offers’ he said. ‘Overall we probably have twice as many graduates as there are jobs, but at the top end graduates are becoming increasingly choosy.’

With a number of offers in their hand, the top graduates are able to be considerably more selective and so increasingly the pressure is transferred to the top employers to attract their preferred candidate.

The Graduate Market 2016 report, is a study of the country’s top 100 employers graduate schemes, conducted in December 2015.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • The top 100 intend to expand their graduate recruitment by 7.5%, showing an increase for the fourth consecutive year, and taking graduate recruitment beyond the 2007 pre-recession peak for the first time.
  • More than 90% are offering paid work experience programmes for recent graduates for 2015-16, with an record 14,058 places available.
  • Graduate starting salaries are set to remain at median of £30,000, while 8 of the country’s best known graduate employers will be offering salaries in excess of £45,000.

Interested in applying for the top graduate jobs? Check out Inspiring Interns for graduate jobs London and graduate jobs Manchester.

5 Ways Your Part-time Job Helps Your Graduate Prospects

5 Ways Your Part-time Job Helps Your Graduate Prospects

1349 (1)

When you enter the world of graduate jobs without career specific work experience, it can be pretty daunting. But don’t despair, if you’ve done part-time work during your studies it can vastly improve your chances after you graduate.

It’s always important to employers that you have the kind of skills that they know will be useful in a professional environment. Displaying this experience in your CV or in an interview is a great way of providing proof of the skills you’ll bring to the role.

So if the only work experience you’ve got is in a coffee shop, on the telephones or in the student union bar, here’s how it’ll help your chances of getting shortlisted for those all-important graduate jobs.


As a new graduate working in a business, you’re always going to need great communication skills. If you’re in a client-facing role, the skills that you will have learnt from dealing with customers either over a counter or on the phone will be impressive to a new employer. At the very least, it’ll show you have the ability to communicate professionally with your new colleagues. Ensure you make it clear that you were dealing with customers on a daily basis in a professional way and they’ll know you can communicate.

Team Work

If you’re competing with someone else for the same type of graduate job, one of the most important things that will set you apart is your ability to fit into a team. Make it clear that you were part of a close knit team and they’ll know you’ve got the personality to slip right into the office environment at their company.

Organisational skills

If you’ve juggled an academic, social and work life at university, you’ve already proven yourself to have superior organisational skills. Companies looking to hire a graduate will see this and know they’ll have someone who can manage their time and responsibilities successfully.

Problem Solving

Have you ever had to deal with a customer complaint at a bar or found yourself on the other end of the line from an angry caller on the uni phones? Then you’ve already had plenty of problem solving experience. Prepare yourself for this question in interviews, and think of a time you’ve had to deal with a potentially disastrous situation, acted calmly and found a solution. You’ll find this kind of critical thinking is a valuable skill across a whole range of graduate jobs.


If you’ve been given any extra roles at work, especially if it had anything to do with money, make this clear on your CV. Simply stating that you’re honest or responsible in a profile is unlikely to send a very strong message, while proof that you’ve handled money or more advanced roles with integrity will scream that you’re somebody they can trust.

How Inspiring Interns can help you take advantage of the Northern Powerhouse

How Inspiring Interns can help you take advantage of the Northern Powerhouse

Northern Powerhouse

As a recruitment agency we work exclusively with graduates in order to place them in internships with great companies, with the intention of going permanent. We already have a booming office in London, and here in Manchester we are following suit, fusing the North’s brightest graduates with the best opportunities in the Northern Powerhouse.

The Northern Powerhouse is the next big opportunity for graduates and businesses alike. In an effort to expand the UK, the Treasury aims to add an additional £44 billion to the northern economy over the next 18 years, harnessing the talent of 15 million people and 23 of the UKs universities (five of which are in the top 20 British research institutions).

Today the economy of the three northern regions is worth £289 billion. If it were a national economy, the north of England would rank as tenth largest in the EU. Plus a recent report has found that Manchester is likely to outperform global cities like Berlin, Tokyo and Paris in terms of jobs growth over the next five years, with an expected growth of 3.8 %.

Since 2010 in Manchester, figures show that there has been a growth in employment of 68,154. This is mainly thanks to the professional services industry, but Manchester is also one of the fastest growing cities for jobs in management consultancy, finance, law and advertising. The research also shows that between 2010 and 2015 Manchester created almost 14,000 jobs in professional services, and 3,218 jobs in manufacturing, across pharmaceuticals, components and plastic products and printing.

Have we piqued your curiosity? Not only is Manchester, and the Northern Powerhouse, a great up-and-coming place to get a graduate job, it’s also a great place to live. With affordable rent, great work opportunities, and a growing number of social and entertainment events, it is the place to be!
The Guardian agrees with us, recently publishing an article advising young people looking for work and a good lifestyle to move to Manchester.
Here at Inspiring we are very excited about the opportunities that are here for graduates.

Since being established in 2009 Inspiring Interns have placed an amazing 5,000 candidates – would you like to be the next inspiring intern? Check out our latest Manchester graduate jobs and internships!

Inspiring Interns
Inspiring Interns

Edited by Catherine Moolenschot

Kick start-up your career: connecting graduates with SMEs

Kick start-up your career: connecting graduates with SMEs

CoolcompanycultureA 2014 LinkedIn study asked students what they value most when considering a job. The answer? Work/life balance came in on top, closely followed by benefits, company culture, clear career progression was in at number four, and a sense of pride about where you work was fifth out of five.

Work-hard. Play-hard.

Opportunities for the above values, as well as greater responsibility and flexibility, are available when you get a graduate job at an SME. I can vouch for that. Having joined a start-up in 2014 who were making waves in the graduate recruitment industry, relatively little micro-management enabled me to have creative control over the content I was producing, assess the analytics of campaigns and get good work noticed.

20somethingIt’s 2015 and twentysomethings are beginning to move away from the ‘big four’ and discovering that a work-hard, play-hard attitude can be had in the workplace. Whilst at university, it isn’t always clear why only the big names on campus have an active, physical presence – advertising budgets. So, how can you get to know the exciting London and UK based start-ups? Universities are working to bridge this gap, but in the meantime, focus on targeted online research or use a graduate recruitment agency who do the job search for you. A recruiter is a free tool; connecting students and grads with great companies who are otherwise inaccessible.


TedtalksWhat are the important details? Consider; where you want to work, which industry, individual or company inspires you, which level e.g. entry, your experience and/or IT skills put you. Look beyond job listings, study success stories in your area of interest/expertise and how they started their career. LinkedIn is ideal for this.

Research the different industries you are interested in working in. Read career advice articles like our graduate weapons series, which breaks down each industry and what you need to know.

When you then apply, tailor your CV and cover letter to every application (to help you perfect your CV here is a graduate CV checklist). Use statistics and be specific when selling your skillset and personality on paper. You won’t make it to the interview stage with a generic application.

Want to be connected with SMEs? Check out our latest graduate jobs & internships in London.

Here’s a little inspiration:

Latest graduate jobs and internships at SMEs, available now.

5 unstoppable females: from start-up to success

25 online business tools and apps for high-growth entrepreneurs

Katie is Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

Image credits: Hammocks, 20something, TEDTalks.

10 things to do at university to get a great graduate job

10 things to do at university to get a great graduate job

The job market can be tough. Last week we reported 70% of graduates are now achieving a 2:1, but don’t freak out. There are things you can and need to do outside of the classroom during your time at university, that will help towards securing your dream graduate job.

This doesn’t always mean you have to get on a plane to teach in Thailand for six months. You can volunteer locally or at your university. Be proactive and approach local charities or not-for-profit organisations to gain relevant industry experience. For other industries, approach networking professionally and you could set up a week’s work shadowing during reading week or two days a week at a local agency. Any experience can help you decide what you want to do or confirm what you don’t. When you apply for jobs, you can back up claims like: “I’m a great sales person” with stats showing how much stock you sold in your part-time retail job. Smooth.

Google-maps-logo-inspiration-motivationEmployability schemes
Take part in employability schemes. A large number of university careers services offer self-reflective programmes that award and give feedback to students. It’s time to Google Maps that careers services building and make the most of the professionals who are there to help.

Monday-Let's-Do-This-Motivation-Inspiration-University-Careers-GraduateParty part-time
Get a part-time job to top up that experience and that £1-drinks-all-night-on-Monday’s fund at the same time. Juggling this alongside academic deadlines will improve your time management skills and give you the facts and figures to back up your graduate CV when challenged in an interview.

Leeds-rag-fashion-show-inspiration-motivation-university-careersMake the most of media

Contribute to university media outlets. There are multiple opportunities ready for the taking on campus, including: writing for the university newspaper, hosting or producing a university radio/TV show or getting involved in the annual fashion show. (Leeds RAG fashion show, right)

Ready for responsibility?
The word is often scarier than the action. Consider holding a position of responsibility within a society or at the student’s union. This will tick the voluntary and the work experience box on your CV and enhance your people and communication skills.

Durham-Lacrosse-University-Sport-Careers-Student-GraduateSuper sporty
Play sport! Represent your uni at national and international competitions or just play for fun with your friends each week. Not only are you burning off last night’s beer, but you’re showing a future employer you’re proactive, a team player and passionate about something other than work or education. It’s important to show your personality. (See Durham university ladies lacrosse team, left).

Sell tickets for university events and develop your negotiation and relationship building skills. A lot of careers involve working with people, so being able to communicate effectively with people is often essential.

Step up your social media

LinkedIn-Social-Media-Social-CV-Graduates-Student-UniversityGo beyond sharing unilad’s latest video and create strong a social profile on LinkedIn and check your privacy settings on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re looking for a job in the creative industries, get involved in Pinterest, Instagram and follow what’s going on in the industry and contribute. LinkedIn is a recruiter’s best friend, so create a social CV and include your education, work experience and a profile picture!

This is particularly relevant if you’re thinking about a career in PR, communicatWordPresslogoinspirationmotivationblogstudentgraduateinspiringinternsions, marketing, editorial or otherwise. Improve and promote your writing skills and show an employer you’re willing to invest time in a project. Go one step further and use Google Analytics to track your blog’s progress and quote these stats in an interview if you hit a large number of sessions on your site. Sites like WordPress are free and easy to use.

Start your own business
Okay, this is a bit of a bigger deal, but the possibilities are endless. Tutor other students, sell on eBay, get involved in competitions seeking entrepreneurs and put your ideas forward to gain feedback, visibility in the industry/media and potentially funding.

If you’re looking for a graduate job now contact Inspiring Interns, we’re the UK’s largest graduate recruitment agency, having placed over 5,000 graduates. Here is a full list of our graduate internships in London.

Ellie is a Talent Development Executive at Inspiring Interns. She holds a BSc from Bristol university and leads market research at ii HQ in London.

Edited by Katie, Senior Marketing Executive.

70% of graduates get a 2:1, so what? Here’s how to get a graduate job in 2015

70% of graduates get a 2:1, so what? Here’s how to get a graduate job in 2015

Send-your-CV-send-an-application-Inspiring-Interns-Graduate-jobs-paid-internships-summer-2015The number of graduate level jobs available is forecast to increase, but the competition has never been fiercer. You may have only just vacated your university campus, but it’s time to shift your focus to what makes you stand out to an employer. Want our advice?

Research is your best friend
Sending 15 applications in one day might make you feel like you’re smashing that graduate job search, but you need to take the time to tailor each application and research the company you’re applying to. Research the roles available within the industry and what skiloscars-winning-awards-job-application-work-experience-sell-your-skills-inspiring-interns-gradaute-job-paid-internship-careers-advicels you may be expected to demonstrate. Is it a technical or data driven job? Are you required to be creative with content or experiment with new market research ideas? Match your skills and personality to the internship or job and company you are applying to work for. This will strengthen your application and prepare you for interview. If you can, include facts and data to support your claims, whether that’s sales figures or awards you have won! Personality, enthusiasm and ambition can be as important as education or relevant work experience when an employer is choosing between candidates. Convey your enthusiasm by devoting time to understanding the company’s values. At Inspiring Interns, we ask candidates and clients questions to ensure we make a great match.

What makes you special?

70% of graduates achieved a 2:1 in 2014 and the number of 1st class degrees rewarded has risen 14% from 2014-2015

The stakes are high and recruitment is moving beyond Microsoft Word. It’s time to film your video CV, create a social CV including a kick-ass LinkedIn profile complete with up-to-date information and a professional profile photo! Engage in indupitch-to-rich-richard-branson-virgin-competition-entreprenuer-inspiring-interns-careers-graduate-job-paid-internship-London-UKstry debate on social media and forums, Google free educational or networking events in your area or sign up to free online courses to boost your CV while you job search. How you can sell your skills to an employer to persuade them to invite you to interview? Highlight what you’ve done in work, education or outside of the office and classroom that demonstrates desired traits like: entrepreneurship, management, IT skills, design or sales. Talk about how your volunteer work, hobbies or interests have influenced you and the transferable skills you have learnt.

eyes-emoji-proof-read-check-your-job-application-proof-read-CV-graduate-job-paid-internship-application-search-careers-advice-inspiring-internsPerfect your proof-reading
100s of applications are put forward for almost every role advertised online and eliminating CVs with mistakes is a quick way to narrow down candidates. Typos and grammatical errors indicate laziness and a lack of attention to detail. To an employer, the quality of your CV and cover letter correlates directly with how much you care about the role. A badly written CV riddled with mistakes indicates that you are likely to apply the same lack of attention and organisation to the internship or graduate job you’re asking to be put forward for. Perfected the written word? Read it, email it to your Mum, ask your housemate to read through it, ask your neighbour! Fresh eyes can spot mistakes you might not have seen staring at the same screen for hours.

Practise psychometric tests
These tests might seem impersonal, but employers use them to weed out unprepared candidates. Preparation shows your dedication and determination to succeed and there are free practice tests available online or in most bookshops if you want to go old school.

The moral of the story?
Don’t undervalue the importance of enthusiasm and hard work. Employers understand that it’s tough out there and it’s not always possible to gain relevant work experience. You aren’t expected to be a polished professional, but you are expected to be willing to learn. This comes across instantly at interview.

Have you been inspired? Check out our full list of our London internships and graduate jobs .

creative-design-latest-graduate-job-paid-internship-inspiring-intern-careers-adviceFrances is a Talent Development Team Executive at Inspiring Interns. A multilingual Oxford graduate, Frances has lived in Italy and spent time in France, before moving to London to join the ii team.

Edited by Katie, Senior Marketing Executive.

Fast 5: the top graduate jobs to apply for this (rainy) summer weekend

Fast 5: the top graduate jobs to apply for this (rainy) summer weekend

Summer-Sun-Deck-Chairs-Motivation-Inspiration-Inspiring-InternsAttacking the job hunt this weekend? Excellent! Let the summer rain wash away those post-university blues, hit the links below to apply.

Private Equity Internship – Paid – London
This is an exciting 6 month internship in banking & finance based in the heart of the City, with a view to convert into a full-time job. With an equivalent salary of £25,000 per annum, the role will cover analysis of deal flow, trends and investments and supporting portfolio management. Get it before it’s gone!

Healthcare Administration Support Officer – Paid – London
This is a fantastic role at a national organisation where we have placed a number of talented graduates who continue to move up the career ranks! This is a 4 month internship, starting salary: £22,914 per annum (equivalent), with a view to converting into a full-time job at the end of the 4 months. Based in North London, your day-to-day role will be varied and require a degree of responsibility and professionalism. Expect fast-track progression and a great team to work with.

Digital Marketing Internship – Paid – Blackburn
This is a 4-6 month internship based in Lancaster, with a view to start immediately and convert into a full-time position after the internship. The growing company is a digital marketing specialist and in your day-to-day role you can expect to be involved in innovative campaigns, PR and social media strategies, identifying new trends and analytics. Starting salary: £15,000 per annum (equivalent). To see other Marketing Internships London check out our dedicated page.

Online Learning & Development Coordinator – Digital Advertising – London
Fancy a full-time job in West London at a new venture formed through a Google partnership? Thought so. If you’re interested in technology, digital media and professional development through online learning, this one is definitely for you. Start on a £21,000 salary, join a friendly tech-savvy team and get access to great business contacts and gadgets.

Finance & Account Internship – Paid – Preston
Graduate with a degree in accounting or a finance related degree? This company specialises in the supply of high quality garments, predominantly jeans and trackies, reflecting current market trends and are looking for an ambitious graduate to join their finance team. 3 months. £1,000 per month.
Katie is Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.