Here’s another great post from our friends at MainStreet:
It might be fun sitting on a beach with a good book in your hands and a paper umbrella in your drink, but travel experiences can also boost your résumé.
There’s a reason most colleges offer study-abroad programs. MainStreet talked with several travel and business experts who told us about the ways travel can help boost your résumé.
1. You Gain Foreign Language Skills
You might have high school and college Spanish, French or German under your belt, but there’s nothing that can compare to immersing yourself in the language of another country by using it daily with native speakers. Brian Chui, a publicist with Lucid Public Relations, says knowing a foreign language combined with using it in travel is something that impresses him when he looks at a résumé.
2. You Can Talk to Anyone
Chui also says that a well-traveled applicant shows he/she can communicate well, no matter the language. “It conveys to me that you have good interpersonal communication skills, from interacting with people who have different cultural values and practices,” he says.
3. You Can Turn on a Dime
If you’ve been able to successfully adapt to a different culture, particularly one vastly different from your own, it gives you a leg up over your fellow applicants, says Chui. “Being well-traveled tells me that you can adapt to different environments, a skill that’s invaluable in a client-related business where different clients have different needs, wants and expectations.”
4. You Understand Global Business
Travis Katz, founder of Gogobot.com, says that 75% of all economic activity happens outside of the U.S., making international travel very important to most businesses. “International travel gives applicants a level of credibility to take on an international role that people who have not traveled don’t have,” Katz says.
5. Interviews Will Be a Breeze
Mike Scanlin, CEO of Born to Sell has been to 70 countries thus far and has plans to hit them all. He says one of the ways his travels have helped boost his résumé is by improving his storytelling ability. Business execs like to break the ice in meetings with anecdotes or some kind of personal connection. “If these stories involve some place faraway that is off the beaten track, they immediately think ‘this is an interesting guy–the kind of guy I’d want to do business with and hang out with,’” Scanlin says. “Travel stories are great ice breakers, and great credibility establishers.”
6. Travel Shows You Can Solve Problems on the Fly
Scanlin also says it shows that you are a great problem solver because as you travel, especially in different countries, you’re sometimes faced with problems that make the average office issue seem trivial. “What do you do if your vehicle is broken down and you are 200 miles from anywhere or anyone? Totally character building experiences,” Scanlin says.
7. You Come Across as a Curious and Creative Person
Scanlin points out that people with an interest in learning about the world are curious and typically creative by nature. “I recently met a husband and wife who had summited Everest,” Scanlin says. “It took them four attempts, but in the fourth season they did it. Then they skied to the South Pole and to the North Pole. They’re definitely goal-oriented types who work through adversity.”
8. You Can Deal With Uneasy Situations
“Travel stretches you outside your comfort zone,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, co-founder of SixFigureStart. “If your job will require that you are flexible, versatile and open to new experiences, then you can use travel as an example of this.”
9. You Are Organized
Ceniza-Levine also points to the planning that goes into a trip as a way to highlight your skills. “If you coordinated multiple countries in one visit, navigated different visa processes, currency exchanges, flight schedules and budget constraints, this is another good example to highlight of your skill set,” she says.
10. Employers Will See You as Adventurous
Extensive travel also shows that you’re an ambitious go-getter who is willing to follow your dreams and passions, says Alexis Grant, a blogger at The Traveling Writer. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone with ambition? Our experts recommend highlighting your travel experience in a section on your résumé entitled “Multi-Cultural Experience,” or “International Experience.”