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5 reasons not to hide your travels under a bushel

[ 0 ] February 25, 2013 |

The parable of hiding a light under a bushel is nowhere more relevant than when thinking about how many people try to bury away their travel experiences on their resumes. There is so much you can gain during your travels that will increase your employability. You should have fun, travel far and shout about it on your return. Here are 5 reasons not to hide your travels under a bushel.

 

No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. (Luke 11:33–36, World English Bible)

1. Blogging

Did you keep a blog, write for publications or submit photography for use whilst you travelled? Then you can demonstrate that you not only took your travels seriously but managed a project and learnt new skills. An employer will be impressed if you increased your knowledge about search engine optimization, developed marketing programs, gained networking skills, learnt about aspects of coding or utilised social media tools.

2. Volunteering

You should always represent any volunteering undertaken whilst travelling on your resume. Make sure you include where your volunteering took place, what your responsibilities were and the end result or learning outcomes. Things like improved leadership skills, demonstration of initiative, listening and communication skills will all catch an employer’s attention. If you volunteered for an extended period then your travels may sit better in the work history section of your CV.

3. Working

More and more people are working to fund their travels. This not only shows determination, self-reliance and initiative but it could also be relevant to your chosen field. Did you do any freelance work, consulting, working at a hostel or teaching English that is relevant to your career back home? Highlight it or it will be missed.

4. Learning

Today’s multinational world cries out for multilingual employees. Did you pick up any languages on your travels? Did you, better yet, study a language whilst travelling? There are certainly plenty of opportunities to do so as you can see by clicking here.

A new language can literally be the key that opens up a new career door so make sure you shout about it on your CV. Whether it was an in-depth Business English course, conversational Mandarin or advanced Spanish make sure it is writ large on your resume.

5. Softer skills

Whilst some of the above may be experiences you have deliberately sought out when planning your travels there are other skills that you will have picked up whatever you did. Consider these, for example:

  • Negotiation skills – You will have demonstrated these when organising places to stay and prices paid.
  • Budgeting and Planning – You will have had to plan and save for your travels and monitor your finances throughout.
  • Team skills – If you travelled with others, how were decisions reached and compromises made?
  • Adaptability – So many unexpected things go wrong whilst you travel: how did you adapt and cope?
  • Communication – Communicating across language barriers and cultures is difficult: how did you manage and what did it teach you?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fortherock/3930064017/sizes/m/in/photostream/

These kinds of skills not only belong on your resume but also are great ways to handle difficult interview questions such as “Can you think of a time you have handled a conflict?”

Let your travels shine

Trying to bury anything on a resume is a bad idea. Let the experiences and skills that your travels have given you work to your advantage.

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About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include http://ourtravellifestyle.com, http://vagabondfamily.org, http://nunomad.com and now http://on-our-way-travel.com. View author profile.

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