You like to travel and just so happen to be searching for a job too. Is there any way that your love of travel (and all of the experience you have gleaned from it), actually help you to land the perfect job? The good news is that if you do it right, you can use your extensive travel experience to give you a competitive edge against other applicants. If you have not thought about listing traveling on your résumé before, now is the time to start.
Listing traveling as a hobby in your résumé might be a good idea because it can make you more employable. It indicates and demonstrates to employers that you have developed a set of skills (especially soft skills) that will make you a good fit for their companies.
Candidates can stand out to employers if they can show they:
- have been exposed to other cultures,
- have the desire to learn,
- are comfortable in new experiences,
- have knowledge of working with a budget,
- have networking skills (people skills), and
- have the ability to speak a different language (or at least learn it),
All these can be learned and developed from travel experiences.
Okay, so as it turns out, companies like to hire people who have travel experience. It shows a dynamic personality and provides them with the peace of mind that their new employee has what it takes to make it through all sorts of situations in life. As an avid traveler, you probably also feel ready to take on everything that life has to throw at you. Traveling also shows a desire to learn, expand, grow – and all of these are great traits that an employer looks for in a new hire.
If you want to learn how traveling makes you more employable, how to list traveling as a hobby in your résumé effectively, and what sort of jobs you can apply for using your travel experience, read through the tips below.
How Traveling Makes You More Employable
Traveling looks great on a CV – this much we know, but why? What is it about traveling that makes you more employable? What sets you apart from other applicants who have not had the opportunity or desire to travel? As an enthusiastic traveler myself, I personally feel well-equipped to take on just about any job that I set my mind to. At the end of the day, I do not have to convince myself; it is the interviewer I have to convince.
Below are a few of the top reasons why employers prefer well-traveled employees:
- As a well-traveled person, it is understood that you know how to deal with people of different cultures and backgrounds. This is particularly useful in the workplace. With so much diversity in the workplace, it is important to find employees who are a good fit and comfortable working with a diverse mix of people. This ensures a happy, comfortable workspace.
- Well-traveled people usually know how to deal with strangers and this often also means that you are, most likely, a “people’s person”. This is great in a work environment for dealing with colleagues as well as dealing with customers. The more easy-going you are with people, regardless of your differences, the more employable you seem.
- Traveling shows that you are adaptable. Adaptability is essential in the workplace in times of stress or change. If you have to deal with a sudden change, travel has probably prepared you for dealing with the frustrations and feelings that are attached.
- As a regular traveler, you are bound to know the importance of a budget. You also know how to deal with foreign exchange and different currencies. All departments in businesses have to work according to strict budgets. Budgeting knowledge and skills are therefore sought after.
- If you are a regular traveler, you will have confidence. There is no doubt about that. People who travel a lot (and often) have to develop confidence in order to get through their journey and deal with unusual situations. A reserved, nervous, or shy traveler will not get very far. You need to be comfortable dealing with new people, asking for what you want, and going places alone when you travel. This can really build confidence in a person. You can use this confidence in other areas of your life, including your work life.
5 Ways to Include Traveling in Your Résumé
Now that you know that your travel experience can be a great inclusion in your résumé, how do you go about doing it in such a way that it is highly effective and makes the right kind of impact? Including travel in your résumé has to be done strategically. It has to grab the attention of the interviewer without coming across as overwhelming or like you are clutching at straws. To help you out, there are a few simple tips for you to include travel in your résumé and get the best possible results.
1. Let your cover letter tell your travel story.
If you want the employer to know that you have travel experience that is relevant, do not think that simply listing it in bullet points in your résumé is enough. It is not nearly enough. You really need to tell your interviewer a professional story that includes your travel experience and, in many cases, the best place to do that is in your cover letter.
Your cover letter is the first bit of content that truly grabs the attention of the reader, so you really have to make sure that it works for you. Tell a professional story, speak of your travels, and make sure that the relevance of your travel experience to the position advertised is obvious. Of course, you should still list the travel experience in the pages of your résumé so that there is a record to work from.
2. Do not include it all – stay relevant.
Not all of your travel experiences are relevant to the job that you are applying for. You do not want to overwhelm or bore the employer with lists of places you have been to and soft skills that you learned along the instead. Instead, keep the places you have traveled (to) relevant to the job and make sure that you state the relevance without sounding cheesy.
3. Make clear mention of both hard and soft skills learned while traveling.
Hard skills are typically easy to mention on a CV. They are skills that you can be taught, such as learning a new language, financial skills, and similar. What most people overlook are the soft skills that they learned while traveling – and this is a mistake as soft skills are very useful in the work environment. Soft skills are actually quite critical as they help with all the finer dealings in business. Soft skills that you can acquire while traveling are:
- Adaptability (delayed flights, long waits, sleeping in airports),
- Negotiation skills.
- Planning and budgeting skills.
- Communication skills.
These are just a few of the soft skills that traveling can earn you. If you put your mind to it and think about your specific travels, I am sure that you will be able to come up with a lot more.
4. Include any and all the studies you have done abroad.
While traveling abroad, did you do any studying? Have you completed any courses abroad? If you have, you need to make mention of them as they are seen as quite an important part of your personal development. Studying abroad is of great value on a CV as it is challenging to participate in a course that is outside your “comfort zone”.
5. Include any volunteer work, projects, and programs.
If you traveled to a destination to get involved in a project or volunteer work, this is of high value on your CV too. Getting involved in projects and volunteer programs shows the ability to work hard. It also shows passion, dedication, and the ability to handle new situations. Working on a cause shows a lot about your personality and it is something that interviewers look for.
What Jobs Can You Get With Travel Experience? Use Travel Experience to Apply for These Jobs
Is travel experience relevant to every job? In terms of hard skills, probably not, but in terms of soft skills, definitely, yes. But where does that leave you? What type of jobs can you apply for and expect great responses due to your travel experience? If there’s a particular job that having travel experience can help with, you should certainly capitalize on the opportunity.
If you have traveled extensively, you can use your experience to apply for the following types of jobs (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Flight attendant
- Au Pair
- Tour guide
- Customer services agent
- Travel agent
- Diving instructor
- Online translation
- Travel blogger
- Graphic designer
- Travel photographer
Land Your Dream Job by Listing Your Travel Experience in Your Résumé
There is no denying that there are certain industries that keep an eye open for applicants who have extensive travel experience. If you can use your travel experience to your advantage, why not? You probably never thought that you could use your days wandering through international streets, meeting new people, and sipping on cocktails to your advantage – but now you know.