Hitting the road for three months will give you memories you’ll look back on for years. It’s important to remember, however, that when you return you’ll likely be looking for a job. Placing ‘I visited France’ on your resume probably isn’t going to do much to show off your skills to potential employer.
You can, however, leverage your travel experiences to help make your resume shine. In addition to the fact that, on it’s own, travel shows you are an interesting person with unique experiences, here are a few ways you can really make yourself stand out during your jet setting days.
1. Learn the Language of the Country You Visit
If you’re planning on spending a good deal of time in one country, learning the local language is a great way to add to your resume. It shows that you didn’t just “bum out” while on the road and that you have the initiative to take on challenges.
If you’re visiting a country like France, Germany, or Spain, learning the local language could be extremely valuable to you throughout your career. Due to their customer type or geographic location many employers are actively looking for people who can communicate in multiple languages.
As a side note, learning the local language of your destination is good for many, many reasons beyond career advancement. You’ll make friends more easily, get more respect from locals, and potentially talk yourself out of a tight situation that otherwise could turn sour!
2. Teach English
If learning a language isn’t your thing, consider teaching your mother tongue instead. With just a few weeks of weekend training you can become TEFL certified, meaning you are officially trained to be an English teacher abroad.
Especially in Asia, it is fairly easy to get a job as an English teacher when you arrive in a new city. If you like working with kids, this is a great option for you. You’ll earn money, which will allow you to extend your trip, and build your resume at the same time.
Teaching experience shows that you are dependable, a clear communicator, and most likely fun to be around. All of these are important to employers and will help your resume stand out in the stack.
3. Get a Location Independent Job or Internship
You don’t need to commute to the office to get job experience any more. Many companies are hiring workers on a remote basis, meaning they can work anywhere that has Wi-Fi.
For those of you with the travel bug, this has massive implications. For starters, you can get job experience in between days at the beach in Thailand. You no longer need to choose between a “resume booster” and your dream vacation. With just 2-3 hours a day you can work with a cool company and you don’t need to miss out on your world travels to do it.
Even better than an internship, you can get a job that actually pays you! Especially if you are in Asia or South America where you can live comfortably off of $10 per day, even a part time $15/hour gig can leave you feeling like a king.
I currently work multiple location independent jobs as a freelancer and run a small location independent company. Between these two income sources I earn enough to travel comfortably, and I’ll have something to show employers if I ever do return home looking for a job.