Nearly every day I catch myself reading a new story that pops up on the internet about how yet another person managed to quit their job to travel the world.
While the dream of traveling without a job or working as a digital nomad does come true for some, for many, this travel narrative isn’t desirable, attainable or sustainable.
However, just because you are career oriented or wish to maintain steady roots in one location doesn’t mean that traveling isn’t for you.
In fact, whether you are planning on spending a weekend, a month, or a year abroad traveling, you can leverage this experience to enrich your resume and create a work + travel lifestyle that helps your career.
Here are some of my best tips to turn those “vacation” days you spent traveling into resume material!
How To Turn A Travel Experience Into A Major Resume Builder
1. Find a job abroad
If you have the ability to leave your home and take a year or more to travel, one of the best ways to build your resume while traveling is by actually working abroad.
Planning on going into education? Look into teaching English or becoming an Au pair. Interested in the tourism industry? Try finding hospitality jobs. While it does require research, finding a job abroad is possible.
If you are looking for something a little more short term, check out Workaway, where you can find places to stay for free nearly anywhere in the world in exchange for a few hours work each day.
Many businesses value employees who have a commitment to volunteering and helping in their local or global community. While lately many “Voluntourism” programs have come under fire for their lack of true impact in the community, there are still some programs out there, particularly supporting environmental or conservation needs that actually make a difference.
The key to finding a volunteer program that matches your interests and where your impact will truly make a difference is research! Check out this article from Go Overseas to learn what sets meaningful volunteer experiences apart.
3. Gain an international perspective
The world becomes more and more of a global marketplace each and every day. One of the most important skills travelers gain is the ability to see things from an international perspective.
The more you travel, the more your ability to understand others and cultures different from your own develops, a skill which is invaluable in the workplace - so don’t shy away from listing this as a skill on your resume!
4. Network like crazy
In my year abroad in Italy, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of people from all over the world. I have used my time abroad to meet people, make new friends, strike up conversations with strangers, and learn from those around me.
You never know if the person sitting next to you at the local cafe is the HR manager of your dream company, or if a connection you made while traveling could result in a better career opportunity later on, or even lead to a free place to stay on your next adventure!
5. Get Social
Use your time traveling to hone your social media skills. Start a blog, youtube channel, travel Instagram, Snapchat, or all of the above! Recording your travels will not only help you record personal memories, but will also help you teach yourself a new skillset, or develop ones you didn’t have before.
Even if your career isn’t related to social media or marketing, these side projects could potentially earn you money. In my case, starting a blog became my passion, and completely changed my career path!
6. Market your soft skills
As a traveler, odds are you have developed some pretty useful and practical skills.
Here are a few you can consider listing:
When traveling, you must communicate with others from different cultures, and many times this requires getting creative when you don’t know the local language.
Planning and budgeting
Booking planes, trains, packing, sorting out visas, budgets, currency exchange rates, and all of the details of traveling means you’ve become a pretty good planner. Being able to create and execute your own itinerary is quite an accomplishment!
The ability to leave home and your comfort zone and delve into new cultures and experiences shows that not only are you independent, but that you thrive off of challenges and new experiences.
As a traveler, you have been exposed to many things and situations completely different from your norms, and have learned to quickly adapt and adjust. That train you missed and quickly managed to find a bus that would take you to the same place? An excellent example of how you’ve learned to think on your feet and problem solve.
7. Stand out from the crowd
Not everyone has had the opportunity to travel. In fact, in the United States, only 36% of all Americans even have a passport. If you have spent time abroad, you have had the ability to gain skills and experiences that 64% of Americans have not.
Don’t be afraid to throw in a relevant travel tale while having small talk in an interview, or list a volunteer experience in Australia on your resume. These unique experiences will help set your resume apart from the rest!
I hope these tips can inspire you to not only see travel as a “vacation” from work, but as a vital part of your own personal professional development! Keep on exploring!
Catalina is a tour guide who fell in love with Florence, Italy and never left. When she is not consuming way too much gelato for her own good, you can find her sipping on a cappuccino & recording all of her (miss) adventures on her blog www.missadventuresabroad.com.