Internships can count toward work experience, but follow these tips

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New grads can expect modest rise in hiring

Graduates and the job market. (AP Photo)

For college students and recent graduates searching for an internship, there’s some good news:  Nearly 97 percent of employers plan to hire interns in 2014, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). In addition, employers plan to hire 1.3 percent more bachelor’s degree-level interns this year.

Once you do land an internship, the key is to make the most of it as it could lead to a full-time role. According to the NACE study, employers made full-time offers to 65 percent of their interns. The Creative Group offers five key tips to maximize your internship:

1.      Treat it like a real job. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking of yourself as “just an intern.” Instead, adopt the mindset of a full-time employee and make a positive impression by demonstrating a strong work ethic.

2.      Learn the rules of the road. Every organization has its own policies and procedures – ignoring them can lead to an awkward talk with your supervisor. Strive to get a sense of the office culture and do your best to fit in.

3.      Look the part. Make a statement with your performance – not your attire. Follow the company dress code and take notice of what others wear. When in doubt, dress a step above what you think is expected.

4.      Be upbeat. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a positive outlook and friendly demeanor. Accept assignments with enthusiasm, even when they’re less-than-glamorous.

5.      Aim to impress everyone. Of course you want to impress your manager, but it’s also important to build relationships with as many people as you can in the organization. Offer to help, ask questions and share your career aspirations. You never know who could help you down the line.

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