To List or Not To List Travel on Your Resume. That is the Question.

For those of us who have been transformed by travel, it can be quite hurtful when we are told that those experiences aren’t valuable or resume-worthy. And sometimes, it’s really not. But as my friend Chad, a recruiter, said in my interview with him, “…[travel is] a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates and to better prepare yourself for the workforce. Most employers find it impressive and it shows your versatility”. And I 100% agree with him. Including travel on your resume can be beneficial…if done in the right way.

“Recruiters and hiring managers will easily accept these experiences as valuable because it’s much easier for you to communicate what you did, what you learned and how the experience will help you add value to your future employer.”

Any structured experience abroad (i.e., work, study, intern, volunteer) should absolutely be included on your resume regardless of the length of time you did it (i.e., 1 week over spring/winter break, summer, semester, year). Recruiters and hiring managers will easily accept these experiences as valuable because it’s much easier for you to communicate what you did, what you learned and how the experience will help you add value to your future employer. You can include these experiences under traditional resume sections:

  • Work/Internship/Volunteer abroad under ‘Relevant/Professional Experience’; and
  • Study Abroad under ‘Education’.

If your resume has a lot of global experiences, you may want to list things under traditional section headings. If you don’t have a lot of content for your resume, creating a separate section called ‘International/Global Experiences’ will help draw attention to the fact that you have a global profile.

“Listing all other forms of travel on your resume can bee quite controversial. A general rule is not to.”

But what about my life changing backpacking trip around Asia? Or my incredible spring break trip to Costa Rica? Listing all other forms of travel on your resume can bee quite controversial. A general rule is not to. The reason is that vacations and short-term travel (i.e., 5 weeks backpacking across Europe) is not usually enough time to develop new knowledge or skills. But, in some cases you can list it:

  • To demonstrate i.e., budgeting, travel/event planning, intercultural communication skills, etc., list your travels under the ‘Skills’ section of your resume
  • To demonstrate country/region-specific knowledge, list your travels under the “Professional Profile’ section of your resume.
  • And if there’s extra room at the end of your resume (i.e., “Traveled to 13 countries in Africa, Asia and North America”)…because having traveled to more than a few countries is impressive!

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to including global experiences–including travel–on your resume. If you’re looking for more advice check out these resources on Listing Travel on a Resume or contact me for help showcasing your global experiences on your resume.

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