Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How To Make Your Trip Becomes Experience in a Resume

If you got back from your trip and need to get a job you might feel nervous or uncomfortable about the situation of being off the job market for a while; don't desperate; not everything is lost. Today the world of businesses need people who are adventured, who accept challenges, who know other cultures and who speak other languages etc...The experience you got on those trips may be useful. Here is the trick.

1. When you write your resume don't put everything in it because not everything from your trip is counted as experience, but some things you usually pick on the road such as: people skills, confidence, and independence may count.

2. Just the resume is far away beyond to get you a job like old times, you can include some travel data on your cover letter, talk about them and give more details like: why you left, what you learned in the trip also how these experiences contribute to improve your skills. Don't forget to give all the details.

On interviews be a bit funny with some stories. Sure it will make you be seen with different eyes and set apart from others. why? those willing to take a chance are the type of leaders businesses look for. They love people who can take them into new directions and not waste their time behind a desk.

3 - To articulate your experience

a: Remember your trip is not a work experience, but at the bottom of your resume put on Other Experience and title it, (your Name) and include the dates of them.

B: Pick Skills that translate into any job. Like everything on a resume, this will be all about how you words sound. Choose your words carefully. For example:

I bargained on the prices in market to save a few thousand dollars off on a pant in Germany? Negotiation Skills.

Got stuck in an airport because you forgot your plane? Adaptability.

Had to plan, finance, and organize your trip? Budgeting and Planning.

Got stuck in a jungle at night because you explored off the trail? Self-reliance and independence.

You get the idea. It’s all about name your experience correctly. Notice how all of those are skills you can use in the world of the businesses.

Writing “I’m good with people” is generic and makes you sound full of crap. Choose only job related “hard” skills for the resume because what you are doing is showing how your life experience makes up for your lack of practical experience.

4: Know your audience! Only put travel on your resume if it helps explain your long absence in the job market (i.e. a year or longer), is relevant to the job, or unique. If all you did was live in Thailand and got drunk then it is useless fill it that will only hurt you. If you volunteered in an something to another country, then keep it on. If this job requires extended travel, definitely put it here.

So what would this all look like? Here’s how I would put it on my resume.

Other Experience

Kraig’s Gap Year 2007-2008

* Developed negotiation skills through daily contact with sellers in markets and vendors throughout Europe.
* Learned how to adapt to unexpected situations and improvise new plans due to periodic travel and unexpected events.
* Developed budgeting and planning skills by financing, planning, organizing my year around the world. This involved using various spreadsheets and keeping a record of expenses.
* Cultivated language and communication skills through contact with people from around the world. Learned to use non verbal and verbal communication to overcome communication and language barriers.

That sounds professional, actionable, and clear. It explains each skill and how I developed it. Remember that the employer is going to ask you to explain these points just like they would in any other part of your resume.

It’s important you have an interesting short story supporting each bullet point, especially since these have no boss to confirm any of this- just your word. If you can’t explain it well, keep it off.

Use your travel experience to differentiate yourself. That’s why in the beginning, I said put it in the cover letter. It allows you more time to explain the story behind it.

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