Between my time in Corporate America and running my own businesses over the past 35 years I have had the opportunity to hire many interns and have some definite thoughts on the subject. It is my hope that these tips will help you be a better intern and get hired after graduation.
Make yourself available for an interview and NEVER cancel – I had an intern who cancelled on me an hour before their scheduled interview. Needless to say this person wasn’t hired! Barring an emergency, show up, be prompt and of course dress appropriately.
Always answer emails promptly – When I assign work I want to know that interns have received and understand what is being asked. I have had to call interns in the past to see if they received. You never want to hear “Sorry I didn’t check my email…”
When given an assignment, complete on time and communicate out that you are done – So you have done the work and done it well. Don’t forget to let others know, so they can check your work and hopefully praise your efforts. As strange as it seems I have had to ask interns on occasions if they had completed the task at hand. “Oh yeah, I finished that a long time ago…”
Check Your Work & Then Check It Again – One of the worst things you can do is turn in work full of typos and misused words. I had an intern last year write a blog post with 5 typos in a single sentence!! Also, as spell check doesn’t tell you that you have used the wrong version of “there”, you need to read and re-read everything. Believe it or not I have gotten resumes with misspelled words. This doesn’t leave a good impression.
Ask For More Work – Be eager, you are low person on the totem pole. People love to see interns who ask for more to do. This is a great way to get hired after graduation. Internships are many times a try out for future employment. Treat them as you would your dream job, not just a temporary position.
Be on time and alert – While this seems obvious, I have had interns show up late and even have had an intern fall asleep at their desk after coming in late after a weekend! At the time, I was working for one of the most successful companies in the world and my boss called me to say he walked by this person’s desk and she was asleep. When I asked her about it, she said, “I was just resting”.
Positive attitude only – No one likes working with someone that has a poor attitude. Remember, as I said above an internship is a lot like a tryout. For a company to hire you after graduation, they want to see how you interact with people and customers. So always show up with happy, positive outlook.
Own Up To Mistakes – You are an intern and are expected to make errors. When it happens, learn from it and move on. But always admit you made a mistake and don’t be afraid to ask for help. That is how we all learn, that is how we all get better.
Ask for feedback – Always ask your boss for feedback, especially at the end of your internships. A good boss will tell you the truth, and give you things to work on which will help you future internships and then on job interviews as well.
End on a strong note – My last batch of interns was a stellar group. This one particular intern did a good job for our company for most of his 6 months. But then towards the end he was already moving onto his next internship and started missing assignments. He would say I’ll get to it today. He would even tell me that he’s been busy with his next internship. This of course is nothing an employer wants to hear. Sadly he never did finish his last assignments and I had to reassign his work to other interns. The shame of it is I could’ve been a good reference. But now I couldn’t in good conscience as he finished so poorly. So always finish strong and work as hard on your last day as you did on the first day.
Bottom Line: Think of your internships like the NBA combines. You are trying out and showing your skills to possible future employers. So make the most of the opportunities, your future may depend on it.
With billions of web pages out there, how do you show the world that you are a legitimate business? Since anyone can build a website, or create a social media account, you need to do something to legitimize your business and add credibility.
There are several ways to do this, and this post will show you a few ways:
Number one: Verification
Proving to the world that you are who you say you are, is a big deal in a time in history where you receive fake emails, people create fake webpages and more.
Quit simply, verification proves you are who you say you are. As an example, on some Twitter accounts you will see the verification mark. Twitter verifies many celebrities, and other public figures so people aren’t confused by fake accounts. You see this for actors, politicians and more. But, they also will verify other accounts. As an example, Twitter verified my account @roosites (see image). Facebook also verified us as well. So if nothing else when people come to my pages, they know I am who I say I am.
Number two: Testimonials
Testimonials are great way to show people that your company is a legitimate entity and also allow you to brag without having it come directly from you. But, here are some important things to know about testimonials. Testimonials which are vague or don’t show a person’s whole name or their company our next to useless.
“They are a great company”
(This may not be fake, but it sure looks fake!)
What I do is I recommend to my clients that when they show testimonials, only if the person allows them to show their full name, their company as well as their title. As you can see below, this is a real person from a real company having a real review testimonial. Nothing legitimizes a company like great testimonials from real people. See below, here is an example from my testimonials page.
Number three: Local Search
Most people search for things by location. So if you are looking for a plumber, you don’t typically just type in ”plumber”. You typically will type: My Town + Plumber as an example.
By having your company listed in local directories, This will further legitimize your company. In the old days people would just pick up there yellow pages and that’s how they found you. But as we know, those days are gone. However there are still local directories, Google My Business, YP.com (The old Yellow Pages ), as well as a bunch of other local directories. Start with Google My Business, this will give you a listing that appears right when people are searching for your business or similar businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. See my Boston listing below as an example. We can recommend several ways to gain local business citations. Contact us for assistance.
These are just a few simple ways to add legitimacy to your small business. There are of course many different ways to do this, and we would be glad to help you. All of our support plans include time each month for working on your company’s credibility through time-tested methods.