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Asked by Tanya on February 1, 2017

What is a normal amount of summer work experience or internships to have coming out of college?

Answered by Claire, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on February 1, 2017

Hello! It’s difficult to say what a “normal” amount of summer experience looks like since companies have different requirements for entry level full time positions. A company will typically look for at least one internship that is relevant to your field of study. However, before you obtain an internship relevant to your field of study, employers may look for additional summer work experience. Work experience outside of your field of study is good to include on your resume because it demonstrates some additional skills that you may have learned on the job. Although it may not be classified as an internship, any research projects or coursework that you took on during the summer can certainly help your application. Best of luck!

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on February 2, 2017

It’s hard to say what the normal amount of summer work or internships someone should have once they graduate from college. I think by having one internship it will already make you stand out from other new graduates. It really all depends on your schedule and if you are able to complete internships through summer or during the school year. It’s a great way to get real world experience and highly suggest. Make sure to look into internships that will benefit you in the field you want to pursue. I think at least two internships through school is a good number but again all depends on you and your schedule. I would also recommend to join clubs and/or volunteer around campus or your community to add more value to your experience and things you can include in your resume. Best of luck!

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Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on February 3, 2017

When reviewing recent graduate or current student resumes, its not uncommon that these candidates have very little to no work experience. Recruiters and hiring managers understand this, and will look to other parts of your resume outside of your work experience to determine if you could be the right fit for a job. For instance, they may look at your volunteer or community service experience, or if you were involved in sports, fraternities/sororities, or other student organizations. They will also pay attention to keys details like the role you held in each. It's great if you were a member, but it speaks louder if you held a leadership role in the group, such as being President of the National Honor Society or captain of the Rugby team. You can also mention projects you lead or were involved in with these organizations. Companies know that you may not have a ton of work experience relevant to your career objective, but having at least one internship under your belt before you graduate would be beneficial.

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on March 28, 2017

Hi. This is a great question. I would not say that there is a normal amount of summer work expected. This can vary for many different reasons. Employers are typically looking to see what type of leadership experiences, summer internships or just a part-time position that gave you a different set of skills and make you stand out. Good luck to you!

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