Recruiters do not miss the gap years/months on a resume, and if the candidate is unable to quantify the gap, it certainly leaves a bad impression.
There are numerous reasons for traveling – interest, passion, or a little break from the daily hustle-bustle. It can be an enriching experience only if a person knows how to add it to their professional documents such as a resume.
While addressing the employability gap, instead of indicating “Traveling” in interests or Additional Section, one should always modify the same to their advantage.
Changing the design or selecting functional format among various resume templates puts a red sign over your resume.
To leverage the travel experience it needs to be added to the resume in a strategic manner so that it supplements the testimonials in a professional way.
Here are some tips on how to make travel look good and enriching on a resume.
Page Table of Contents
Leveraging the acquired skills
The first and foremost step of adding skills to a resume is to analyze the job description of the targeted profile.
Identify the skills required and retrospect the traveling experience to correlate them.
Traveling opens up the door to incomparable worldly knowledge, adding the same to the resume will be an advantage for the candidate.
For instance, if a job requires people management skills, it becomes imperative to think about the instances wherein the same skill was required and implemented while traveling.
Also, there may be the case that what one has learned is a mix of hard and soft skills. So try to differentiate between hard skills and soft skills required for the job.
1.1 Language and Communication Skills
Traveling helps in acquiring language skills, being bilingual or multilingual will always act as an advantage during the recruitment process since it helps in dealing with foreign clients.
Multinational companies or big corporations that deal with foreign clients prefer candidates who have proficiency in foreign languages.
It isn’t a compulsion to add language skills to the resume, if the targeted job doesn’t require these skills then one can add them in the ‘Additional Information’ section.
The only time one should put a foreign language on resume is when one genuinely know it. So while adding languages, make sure to add the proficiency level against it, such as beginner, intermediate or advanced.
A clear proficiency level in a foreign language helps in highlighting the ability to communicate with people from different parts of the world.
Always frame travel experiences in a professional way. Adding unnecessary details or humor may end up mitigating the impact of experiential skills.
For example, call attention to the gap by titling it as ‘International Experiences’ or ‘Foreign Volunteer Experiences’ to keep it professional and informative at the same time.
Here are a few examples for reference:
- Created and presented travel vlogs during multi-month solo and family trips
- Activities included 1 month of volunteer work at an NGO in Ntabankulu, South Africa to help people become self-sufficient and independent
- Cultured language and effective communication skills through establishing contacts with people
- Acquired the knowledge of using non-verbal and verbal communication to overcome communication and language barriers
Abroad Internships and Experiences
Visiting foreign nations for some volunteer activities or internships or education, draws attention to the effectiveness of skills acquired.
Even at a vacation, one may want to join some work to earn extra money by teaching a foreign language, or working at an NGO, etc. These jobs definitely instill a lot of unprecedented skills in a human being for lifetime.
Traveling through different countries, volunteering abroad, learning new cultures, new languages, and skills develop an individual into a more compassionate and culturally aware person.
Recruiters often look for people who are confident, independent, and responsible. And all these experiences will highlight these qualities in the candidate.
3.1 Foreign Education
Most probably this happens to be the first time of going abroad and that for quite some time. Although it not deemed to be a gap but it is a foreign experience for sure. Whether spending semesters or even years there, go ahead and highlight that in the resume.
It depicts that the ability of successfully continuing education in a foreign country with students of other cultures, other languages, and ablility to learn under foreign professors.
Adding this to resume is not as difficult as it seems. Just add the specifications in the ‘Education Section’ of resume. Provide particulars about location and duration of the foreign education program and the skills acquired from that experience.
So, whether paid or unpaid add all these work experiences to theresume. Always ask for a reference from the boss or the owner of the institute or organization before leaving the job.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Reflect on previous experiences and contemplate on skills gained through them
- Look for the requirements of the position in order to relate travel acquired skills with it
- Add the skills that are relevant to the profile of the job
- Frame a professional story around experiences gained while travel to make them more impactful
- Add foreign internships or volunteer experiences and skills obtained by them