Should You Accept an Entry Level Job Offer From Your Internship?

posted by Brian Krueger under job search on September 12, 2016. #careers #jobs #employers #preparation #internships #offer

Interns with employer

College students are returning to campus and some will be returning with that elusive, coveted entry level job offer in hand. If you just completed a summer internship between your Junior and Senior year, you may have received an offer for an entry level job to return after you complete your Senior year.

So the question is: Should you accept it right away? The answer: No. At least, not yet.

You should wait until later in the Fall semester, after you have considered all of your other potential options. Then make your decision, but not before. It is only then that you will have the data needed to make a fully informed decision. And you might even surprise yourself with the eventual answer.

Getting an entry level job offer upon completion of your internship is a very good thing. You might even be inclined to accept it immediately. Why? Because it’s easy. And then you wouldn’t have to go through that job search thing again.

But that job search thing will be way more supercharged now that you have a job offer. You can only improve upon what you have in hand. And your job offer becomes a quick competitive “in” with other major employers who will quickly recognize that your job offer is a stamp of approval. It becomes your informal industry certification.

So yes, go through the employer info sessions, the job fairs, the interviewing and work toward generating multiple offers, knowing that you are already classified as a prime candidate. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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But what if your internship was with your first choice employer, such as Google, Facebook or Amazon? Should you just accept it outright? No. Right there I have listed two other employers who will be interested in you due to the offer from a third and this applies to all industries beyond tech. Being the industry leader does not necessarily mean the best employer. And being the best employer does not necessarily mean the best team. And the best team does not necessarily mean the best job. Do your due diligence to explore all potential avenues before making your final decision.

What if the offer is made with a limited timeframe for acceptance? Most major entry level employers provide an acceptance window of at least November or December. But what if your internship employer does not? Talk to your campus career center to find out if there are rules of engagement on your campus for employers making entry level offers. Most campuses have specifically recommended timing for employers to recruit on campus and it works to your benefit. If that’s not the case on your campus, simply ask your intern employer for a time extension. Be very open about the reasoning: You are very interested in accepting their offer, but you want to make 100% certain it is the right long-term opportunity for you before making your commitment.

Then work hard to explore all potential entry level opportunities available to you. Make sure you also review the entry level jobs posted at CollegeGrad.com to go beyond your campus in considering all of the possibilities that are out there.

Congrats on the offer! It’s a big first step toward your job after college!

P.S. For those of you who are still early in your college careers (entering Freshman, Sophomore or Junior year), take note: this is the best of all worlds as you enter your Senior year. Start now to work toward securing your internship next summer. CollegeGrad.com also lists thousands of internships at our site, so please check them out!

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