5 Ways to Leverage your Travel Experience on a Resume

use-travel-for-professional-development

In addition to holding on to a lifetime of memories, Greenheart Travel Alumni can also use their experience abroad to land your next dream job.  The first step in looking for a job is making sure your resume is on point.

Here are five ways to leverage travel for professional growth:

Show Concrete Accomplishments from Your Travels

List your travel experience as either a professional or volunteer position on your resume and think about your accomplishments.

  • What unique contributions did you make while abroad?
  • What interesting cross-cultural projects did you work on?
  • Who did your program positively impact?

List 2-3 points under your title that will make you stand out to an employer. Here are some great examples we’ve seen our alumni use on their resumes:

Example #1:

English Teacher

Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Co-taught intermediate English reading and writing comprehension skills to seventh grade students with a native Thai teacher at a local school.
  • Maintained a safe and respectable learning environment in and out of the classroom, while creating unique lesson plans and innovative techniques for gauging students’ growth.
  • Developed and implemented varied teaching styles to accommodate multiple learning abilities and utilized discipline strategies that weigh heavily on positive reinforcement.

Example #2

Volunteer at Ecological Reserve

San Carlos, Costa Rica

  • Assisted with conservation projects at an animal rescue center in Costa Rica, which uniquely focuses on rehabilitating animals and releasing them back into the wild.
  • Lived with a local volunteer host family, cooked traditional Costa Rican foods, and conversed in Spanish daily.

Example #2

Teach English in a Homestay tutor

Sicily, Italy

  • Designed and taught personalized English lessons to two children aged 11 and 13 for 15 hours a week.
  • Lived with a local volunteer host family, cooked traditional Italian foods, and conversed in Italian daily.
  • Gained a deeper sense of cross-cultural communication and Italian values.

 

A foreign English teacher with students in Thailand.

Demonstrate Relevant Skills Gained from Travel

Your resume can also demonstrate your character and personal development. Include a relevant skills section, which highlights both your job-specific skills and your overall character strengths.

Your “soft skills” are often put to the test when traveling alone in a foreign country. For instance, what communication or conflict resolution skills did you improve or gain from your program abroad? Later, in the job interview, you will be able to expand on how your travel experiences further shaped these skills.

Many Greenheart Travel alumni also receive TEFL certification. For this type of certification and any other specific skill you may have gained from your program abroad, consider listing it underneath as an accomplishment of your program. However, if it directly relates to the position you’re applying for, then go ahead and list it under relevant skills.

Show Off Your Communication Skills 

Many Greenheart Travel participants like to blog and take photos during their program overseas. While it may seem like just a personal project at the time, these examples of your writing and photography skills may be very attractive to a future employer.

Consider sharing the link to your blog in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile, which allows employers to learn more about your writing and your travels. If you’re interested in journalism or design consider making a portfolio of your travel photos.  This will not only demonstrate your creative side, but also your organizational skills and your ability to self-promote your work.

Articulate Your Leadership Skills

Again, think about how you can articulate concrete examples of the skills you developed while traveling. Were you a recipient of a scholarship for your program abroad? Scholarships demonstrate dedication and hard work, and may further validate your travel experience to employers as a real program and not just a vacation. You may list these under a special section called “Awards and Recognition.”

Also, make sure you mention any public recognition for your program abroad such as media coverage (even if it’s your hometown paper) or a host country community event in your honor.

Lastly, if you were the first person to go on a new program or to a new location with Greenheart Travel, consider that an honor in itself (ex. “I was selected as one of the first participants to volunteer at a new cultural exchange program in Sri Lanka”). An employer will appreciate these accomplishments and see you as a candidate who goes above and beyond what is normally expected and not afraid to take risks.

Make Sure You Stand Out with a Second Opinion

When listing your travels on your resume, consider reaching out to someone in your desired field such as an acquaintance, friend or family member for help. Having a second pair of eyes on your resume will ensure that your points are coming across clearly and will resonate with an employer.

Simply rearranging the order of your resume, or changing how you phrase an accomplishment while abroad, could make a big difference. Lastly, please remember to be your biggest fan. You resume should give you confidence and be a place to brag about all the amazing things you have done in your life!

We hope these tips help you land your next job! For further support, join Greenheart Travel’s Alumni Network on LinkedIn and see how your peers are sharing their travel experiences.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *