Many people tell you nowadays that travel can look great on your CV and put you above others applying for the job, but the reality is that it’s really just not true. It’s not simply good enough to say that you’ve been travelling and have had worldly experiences; you need to represent and translate your travel into a professional experience on your CV. So you’re just back from you your gap year abroad and now you need to look for a job - so how exactly do you make travel look good on your resumé?
Add in travel experience, don’t leave it out - Travelling can leave large gaps in your CV, which doesn’t look good to potential employers. If you simply leave your travel out, your long gaps could in fact be attributed to anything, so it’s important to explain them. While travelling may not be appropriate to put in your work experience section, why not have a section for other experiences too?
Don’t write everything - Having said that, it’s important not to put all of your travel experience in either. There’s no point writing on your CV that you bummed around the beaches of Thailand going to full moon parties or went clubbing around Sydney.
Make sure you add in any volunteer work - Many gap years these days include some type of volunteer work, which is actually a great experience for your CV. Even if your volunteer work was only for a couple of weeks, teaching children in the jungles of Peru or looking after orphaned animals in a rescue centre in South Africa looks a lot better than just saying you travelled around Peru and South Africa.
List your soft-skills - Even if you didn’t do any volunteer work while travelling, there are always skills that learnt on the road. Perhaps you got good at haggling in the markets in Vietnam - negotiation skills, or had to work out exactly how much you could spend each night on your hostel in New Zealand- budgeting skills, or interacting with friendly locals in Cambodia - communication skills. Any documentation of your travels can be translated into skills too, perhaps you maintained a blog along the way, or tweeted your experiences - these things can be useful tools in today’s job market.
List your achievements - Gap years are a great time to learn something new, or achieve something you’ve always wanted to do, so there are probably quite a few examples you can come up with for this section. Maybe you learnt a new language, climbed a mountain, conquered a fear or learnt how to dive, all these things can translate into impressive achievements on your CV.
Write about your experiences in a professional tone - Most importantly if you make your travel experiences sound professional (even if they weren’t at all) and write them up well, it shows your potential employers that you have initiative and know how to make your experiences work for you.
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