/ Asked by Christian
I realize the immense benefit of having the experience of an internship, but unfortunately I do not. That's not to say I haven't tried. I'm wondering what I should concentrate my energy on. Should I pursue an internship in my field or continue to focus on getting an entry level job? The answer will probably be both and to choose whichever comes first. My real question is can I really except a decent (relative term I know) entry level job without the experience of an internship?
Answered by Cassie, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on Thursday, January 15, 2015
You are correct that you should continue to look for both, however our internships are only available to current students. Other companies may have a different policy, but if you have already graduated just know that some internships may not be an option.
Yes, you should still be able to find an entry level job without an internship. Just make sure to include on your resume any relevant school projects or classes that you took that relate to the job you are applying for. If you had any type of job you should also list that on your resume so employers can see you were or are working and at least have some experience in the workforce. Make sure to also list any relevant skills or technology experience you have in that field.
Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on Friday, January 16, 2015
It really depends on what stage your are in your search.  If you are an up-coming May grad, I would definitely keep on the lookout for both.  Although some companies do not hire interns who have already graduated, many still do.  Any internship is a valuable resume-builder that gives you some real world application experience.  

Whichever direction you decide to head, you should attempt to build a resume and your qualifications around what you have accomplished, not what you haven't.  Have you done anything else while at school?  Clubs, fraternities, volunteering?  I would make sure to dive deep into any of those activities and demonstrate what you have learned and how valuable those activities have been.  

When you do start interviewing, definitely dive in to the roles and responsibilities to make sure that it is in the career path you are looking for.  Even if it is an internship, at least it sets you on a path toward the career you eventually would want.  

Best of luck in your search!

Mike 
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, January 16, 2015
It does depend on where you are at in pursuit of your degree.  If you still be will back for another year of school, then focus on an internship.  But if you are in your final year, go ahead and pursue both.  To answer your core question, yes, you can obtain a good entry level job without an internship, but the key is differentiation.  Since you would not have the internship, you will have to identify something in your background that differentiates you from other candidates.  For example, leadership skills is something that most companies really focus on.  If you have demonstrated leadership skills, restructure your resume so that there is more emphasis on this skill and how you aquired it, and less focus on your work experience.  The best way to gain leadership experience is through on-campus, community, church, or other volunteer activities.
Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, February 11, 2015
You would be correct in continuing to look for both internship and entry level job opportunities. If you are still going to be in school for another year then I would focus on internships but if you are graduating in May or have already graduated then I would keep your options open for both internships and entry level jobs. It isn’t absolutely necessary to have an internship to obtain a good entry level job. Be sure to include information that will set yourself apart from other candidates. Include any leadership skills, any certificates you have, volunteer activities, etc. I would also encourage you to list a few classes that you have taken that relate to the job you are applying for. In an interview be prepared to discuss what projects you have worked on in the classes you list. Additionally, lists jobs that you have previously had to show employers that you have had work experience in the past. Best of luck!
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