So you’ve just got back from a life-changing experience abroad. Whether it was teaching English in Asia, doing an internship in the UK or backpacking all over Australia for an entire year, you’ve grown and you’ve changed. You know so much more about yourself and have vastly improved your ability to handle stress and take whatever challenge is thrown at you. Let’s face it, living and working outside of your home country is challenging and there’s no way you’re going home the same. But how do you convey this international experience to a future employer?
The skills that you pick up while abroad are invaluable in the work place and can really make you stand apart from the competition. However, you must make sure you’re marketing your experience or hiring managers may fail to realize this. Try using keywords and phrases that employers search for. Here are BUNAC’s top tips for demonstrating your experiences abroad on your resume:
1. ‘Supervised,’ ‘worked independently,’ ‘took initiative’
Employers love to see that people can step up to the plate and be a leader. Showing that you worked independently and took initiative on a project is a great way to demonstrate the way you may handle challenges at your next job. We guarantee that if you taught English in another country, you were responsible for supervising a group of students at some point. This shows you are comfortable as a leader.
2. ‘Worked as part of a team’
Being a positive team-player is just as important as being able to work on your own! When teaching abroad did you work with a co-teacher? What about during your internship? Did you work with other interns or collaborate with colleagues on any projects? Make it known on your resume that you are comfortable working with a diverse group of people.
3. ‘Excellent communication skills’
Even if you share the same language, all cultures have a different way of communicating. Through phone, email and in-person, being able to communicate professionally in all different environments is a huge skill and definitely a requirement for landing that dream job. Maybe you had to overcome language barriers while working abroad. This shows patience, understanding and a high level of cooperation that was necessary everyday.
4. ‘Flexible,’ ‘easily adapts,’ ‘fast learner’
It doesn’t matter what your working environment was, it was new and you had to roll with the punches. Being flexible is an incredibly important characteristic at any job. It shows that you are a fast-learner and are able to work in a changing environment.
5. ‘Working in a challenging environment’
There were probably many challenges you faced abroad! This gives you excellent experience for answering those situational questions that interviewers love to stump applicants on. Point out the challenges that you faced and explain how you successfully overcame them and how being able to function under pressure makes you a stronger candidate.
Not only will these 5 skills and experiences help your resume stand out, they’ll also give you great talking points in the interview. Having stories from abroad and talking to your interviewer about how you think outside the box will make you more memorable. Now walk into that next interview with confidence and knowledge that you’ve got something that makes you unique!