A lot of people are nervous about going off to travel after they finish their studies as they are worried what employers will think about the gap on their CV. The truth is that there are lots of ways to turn your travels into something positive that will actually enhance your employability. You don’t need to tell the recruiter about the time you threw up on your own feet at a beach party. Instead, expand upon the skills you learned while you were away. You might not realise you developed yourself while you were travelling but you did – everyone does.
So, next time you prepare for a job interview, think about how you can use your travels to make you sound amazing. Or, even better, tailor your travels to help you develop employable skills.
This is the best thing to do while you travel when it comes to improving your CV. Even if you only volunteer for a week or two, your employer will be impressed that you did it. Of course, you should only include your volunteering if you actually did it – don’t lie or make things up because you will always get caught out. Your volunteering experience shows you are a team player and that you have the initiative to go out and use your skills for the greater good. Plus, it makes you look like a good person who cares about more than just themselves.
Dealing With a Language Barrier
Unless you went travelling around the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia, you probably came up against other languages. There are two ways you can deal with foreign languages. The first, and most obvious, is to learn that language. This is not so difficult in Latin America where Spanish and Portuguese reign supreme. It is much harder, however in Asia – particularly if every country speaks a different language.
If you can’t learn the language then the second option is to work out how to communicate without verbal language. Either way, you can show your recruiter that you are a problem solver and are able to overcome challenging situations. Of course, if you learn the language you will have the advantage of telling your employer you speak a foreign language.
Thinking on Your Feet and Adapting
Nothing ever goes smoothly when you are on the road. You might have your passport stolen or you might miss a flight. Whatever the scenario, there will be times when you have to think on your feet to overcome an obstacle in your way. Employers love people who are able to be flexible in their approach to tasks. Being prepared for the plan to change at a moment’s notice and having a viable plan B up your sleeve are exceptionally valuable skills. They show that you aren’t fazed by change and that you can quickly adapt to get the job done.
Understanding and Appreciating Cultural Differences
When you travel you come up against people from all different walks of life, whether they are the local people in the town where you are staying or other travellers you meet along the way. Use your travel experiences to demonstrate that you can collaborate effectively with people from different cultures, by embracing and efficiently navigating your differences. We live in a globalised world and there is a strong chance that the company you are interviewing for has some international ties. An appreciation of cultural differences is hugely beneficial in the modern workplace.