Explaining how your yearlong teaching stint in Thailand, or your three month volunteer experience in Peru makes you the best candidate for a new job can feel a bit daunting. Fortunately, you can use travel experiences to your advantage to stand out on an interview and nail that job interview with flying colors, even when your new job has nothing to do with teaching English or working with animals in the Amazon jungle. Here’s how:
1. Explain Your Initial Goals for Studying or Traveling Abroad
Assuming that your intention to travel wasn’t limited to attending an epic full moon party in Thailand, sharing your goals for taking a gap year or career break can provide great insight into your potential as an employee. The important component to this tactic is providing concrete examples of successfully achieving those goals. To really use your travels to stand out as an applicant you will need to be able to summarize your teaching experience in an Italian classroom or your responsibilities as a volunteer abroad. These stories highlight that not only do you have a global perspective, but you are able to take initiative and are motivated to following through on your goals.
2. Use Travel to Illustrate Your Important “Soft Skills”
What soft skills have you gained during your time abroad that will make you a perfect fit for the position? Navigating through a daily routine in a foreign language, adapting to new environments, and overcoming challenges while maintaining a positive outlook are all ways you can demonstrate to your potential employer that you possess skills that make you a team player as well as a good fit for the company.
3. Give Specific Examples of Meaningful Travel Experiences that Relate to the Job
It is one thing to tell your interviewer that studying abroad in Spain changed your life, but it is another to be able to offer a specific example of a travel experience that shaped your career development. Research the organization and get familiar with their mission statement. Did you volunteer while you were abroad or take any classes that gave you an international perspective on a topic that relates to your potential work? Practice articulating this experience and its meaning in a clear and concise way. Check out this article for more insight on how to talk about your travels to answer these popular interview questions.
A gap year or career break doesn’t have to be a source of stress on your next job interview. By using these simple strategies, you will stand out as a potential employee and advance your career through your travel adventures.
How have you used your travel experiences to land your dream job? Share your tips below!