Now is a great time to be an intern. Here are 7 things you can do to land a first job out of your internship.

Anne Hathaway typing at a desk in 'The Devil Wears Prada.'
Anne Hathaway in ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’ 20th Century Fox
  • Internships provide a unique opportunity to learn about a company and make yourself in-disposable to your team.
  • To get an offer from a remote or hybrid internship, you’ll have to work harder to stand out.
  • The first and most important step for any internship is telling your boss you want the job.

An internship is a rite of passage for many college students and young professionals. But for some, the pandemic threw a wrench in the usual path to a full-time job.

In 2020, 16% of employers reported cancelling summer internships, and 72% switched their programs to be virtual, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. But a year later, job seekers have a reason to be optimistic. As we come up on the end of the year, which is usually when Fall internships end, interns are entering one of the hottest job markets in years.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.3 million job openings at the end of August, and employees are feeling empowered to negotiate for higher salaries and better benefits.

If you’re an intern, you already have an advantage – you’re making connections, learning the company culture, and starting to make yourself invaluable. You are testing the company too, figuring out how your boss can set you up for your career goals.

Despite remote and hybrid work, many of the tips for converting an internship remain the same. Insider spoke to career advisors about how interns can up their game and secure employment.

Tell your boss you want the job.

Lauren Berger, founder and CEO of InternQueen.com, says that many interns see their hopes of receiving a job offer dashed because of one massive blunder.

They don’t tell their employers that they’re interested in a full-time job opportunity.

“If a student is at an internship that’s known for giving a large percentage of interns job offers, they should ask questions at the beginning of their internship to make sure they understand the process of getting a job offer from their internship,” Berger says. “If they are at a smaller company, they should set a meeting with their supervisor halfway through the internship and clearly communicate that they’d be interested in an employment opportunity.”

Spend time getting to know people – especially if you’re remote.

Breaking the ice might be awkward, but TopResume career expert Amanda Augustine says it’s important to get to know your colleagues. This is where being in an office puts in-person interns at an advantage. Remote workers will have to hustle harder to stand out and make sure they’re getting face time with people at the company, said Augustine.

For remote or hybrid jobs, Augustine says it’s important to leverage your communication tools like email, Slack, and Zoom to be present and professional everyday.

“The people you meet during your internship may become valuable sources for references, job leads, or even mentors during your future job search,” Augustine says.

Take it seriously.

Remember, you’re not “just an intern” and your assignments aren’t “just busy work.” Augustine says to take your work seriously and to put effort into any task thrown your way.

“Whether you’re taking notes in a department-wide meeting or organizing files in the back office, your internship can be a valuable learning opportunity, when properly utilized,” says Augustine. “Ask lots of questions. There’s no better way to get the inside scoop on a career path than to observe professionals in the field. While you may not be delivering the sales pitch to clients, you can earn invaluable experience by helping with research or participating in the meeting, even silently.”

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Youtern CEO and founder Mark Babbitt says that one famous comedian has it right when it comes to getting hired.

“Steve Martin’s now famous quote – ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you’ – is almost the perfect career advice for interns,” Babbitt says.

Advocate for yourself.

In order to get noticed, it’s crucial that you do excellent work.

But if you’re working in a busy, competitive, or chaotic environment – or especially if you are remote and have less facetime with your boss – a tasteful amount of self-championing won’t hurt.

“This is where quantified impact statements – preferably in terms of dollars, hours or percentages – come into play,” says Babbitt. “How much money or time did you save? How did you exceed expectations and by how much? Through humble brags, during feedback sessions and certainly on your LinkedIn page, let people know how you’ve directly contributed to the success of the organization.”

Befriend the gatekeepers.

Figure out who’s in charge of making hiring decisions in the office. This goes double for interns that’ll be heading back to school once their internship is over.

You’ll need a connection that can tell you when and if openings happen and what the company’s hiring cycle looks like (e.g. new hires typically come on board in spring).

So make sure to grab coffee or schedule a zoom with your boss, a former intern who currently works full-time at the organization, or someone from human resources.

Be easy to work with.

You don’t need to be the first person to come in every morning and the last person to leave at night in order to impress people. According to Berger, it’s better to focus on being friendly, helpful, and reliable every single day.

“Try to be the intern that’s never sitting around with nothing to do – introduce yourself to different people in the office – your magic words should be ‘I’m here to help,'” Berger says.

This story was updated from an original post on June 14, 2016.