Work Experience That Will Help You Get a Job Abroad

Florence, Italy - View from Piazzale Michaelangelo My most frequently asked question is how I got my job doing tour guiding and marketing for a travel company in Europe after college. Basically I sent my resume to the company, had a Skype interview, and got the job. Just like any job.

However, my experience and skills from college helped set my resume apart so that I was one of the few that was given an interview.

The job was a mix of many things: leading weekend trips to different cities in Europe for college study abroad students, digital marketing, sales, and events.

I'm going to outline helpful work experience for the jobs I've had that have allowed me to travel, some soft skills you should mention in a cover letter and interview, and what my resume looked like when I applied to these jobs.

International Tour Guiding and Marketing

Croatia tour

Helpful experience to have for this type of job:

  • Study abroad or international travel experience
  • Leadership
  • Public speaking
  • Social media (helpful to have experience doing this for businesses)
  • Sales
  • Event planning, operations and hosting
  • Customer service
  • Photography
  • Video editing
  • Writing
  • Basic foreign language skills (if the people \where you're living speak a different language)

Budapest trip

Soft skills to mention (provide examples from your experience to back these up):

  • Passion for travel
  • Creativity
  • Social/outgoing
  • Strong leader
  • Willingness to understand/accept other cultures
  • Independence
  • Easy-going, flexible
  • Able to make snap decisions
  • Sense of humor (especially when things go wrong)
  • Like to have fun

Faculty Advisor for International Conferences

gylc europe

 

I've also gotten to do some traveling by working for a different company at leadership conferences. First I was in DC/NYC for a summer, and the following year was in Europe for a couple weeks, and this upcoming summer will be doing another one in China for a couple weeks. The job entailed leading a group of 20-25 international high school students and facilitating curriculum on leadership and international relations.

Helpful experience for this type of job:

  • Experience leading groups
  • Work/school experience in the area of the conference's theme
  • Teaching, counseling, and/or coaching
  • Public speaking
  • Have worked with students
  • Enjoy bonding games and icebreakers

rockefeller center

Soft skills:

  • Able to make snap decisions
  • Staying calm in stressful situations
  • Being able to maintain high energy (LONG days)
  • Friendly personality
  • Role model (you follow the same set of rules the students do)
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Always thinking with a "team" mindset
  • Promoting inclusivity and a team spirit among your group

staff selfie

When I originally applied to these jobs out of college, my resume included:

  • Bachelor's degree in Public Relations with minors in Promotions and Journalism
  • Studied abroad in Florence, Italy
  • Public Relations Intern (7 months)
  • Study Abroad Ambassador (2 years)
  • Copy Editor for college yearbook (2 years)
  • Social Media & Newsletter Editor for my school's chapter of PRSSA (1 year)
  • Freshman Orientation Leader (3 years)
  • Zumba instructor (1.5 years)
  • College dance team member (4 years)
  • Junior high dance team coach (1 year)

While I have a degree in PR, you don't necessarily need to be studying that to get one of those jobs. Some potential majors for wanting to go into something similarly related could include: communication, photojournalism, international relations, hospitality, international business, any foreign language, or tourism.

The more important thing is describing your previous experience and relating it to how you're qualified and will excel at the job at hand.

Have you worked abroad? Add your tips in the comments below!