Trying to turn that internship into a real job come graduation? This is just one of many tips in our Internship-to-Job Series.

Now that you’ve made sure everyone in the office knows you’re looking for work, co-workers will probably make you aware of any job openings before they’re listed. But some companies are so big that word-of-mouth can only go so far. There might be opportunities at other branches, at other companies owned by the same entity or even in other states and countries. 

The best way to become aware of all the openings at your company is by working with HR or “human resources.” This is the department (or single person) who manages the hiring/firing process. 

Here’s why this is cool shortcut. Outsiders, even very well-qualified outsiders, can’t walk right into the HR office like you can. You’re only an unpaid intern and you have this great edge. Set up a meeting with a rep and talk to them about your job situation. 

HR can also help you hear about positions before they even open up to the public. Many companies prefer to hire from within rather than open positions to outsiders. Giving employees a shot a promotions can improve company morale.

However, it can ruin company morale if someone is picked unfairly. So, most HR people know that they need to give everyone a fair shot, including interns, when it comes to internal hiring. For that reason, you can probably expect at least a courtesy interview if you apply to an internal position. 

Some companies have entire internal hiring databases or email lists. Get access to those resources and start applying/networking now so that you’re in the running as graduation approaches. 

[Image courtesy of -Jérôme-]