How to Turn that IT Internship into an IT Job

An internship is not a guaranteed job offer, but it could be if you play your cards right. Experts weigh in on the do's and don'ts of being the kind of intern companies want to keep around.

Lifeguarding may be good for your tan, bartending may be good for your social life and working at a downtown record store may increase your hip quotient, but rarely will any of them land a college student with the Holy Grail of early adulthood success: a job after college.

However, a well-placed internship just might.

"Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door in an organization and I recommend them highly. There's often a gap between going to school and getting a job. That bridge between academic study and employment is easier to cross with an internship under your belt," said John Estes, vice president of Robert Half Technology.

The statistics back this up. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, one out of every three new hires from the 2007 graduating class landed their first job with a company they'd previously interned for.

But how does a college student with a great internship translate that into a great job after graduation? Therein lies a million and a half things that could go wrong. Fortunately, eWEEK spoke to some hiring experts who could whittle this down to a few salient do's and don'ts.