‘What have you been doing this past year?’ the interviewer probes. ‘Erm ya know just travelling the world,’ you hesitantly reply. Selling yourself and trying to get a job is hard at the best of times, let alone when you have to explain a year gap in your CV. However, this so-called hole in your CV when you were travelling can be sold as a skills enriching period in your life. While, travelling to have fun, party and laze on beaches sounds undesirable to future employees, exploring to learn or work with others is viewed as an achievement.
There are two types of travel. Firstly, traveling aimlessly (the party folk) and secondly travelling with a purpose. The latter will make your CV stand out from a crowd. This does not mean you cannot have fun while travelling, it just focuses on what you will get out of travelling. Here are some ideas you could focus on:
Travelling to write – start a travel blog, diary or contribute to travel websites. On your CV for the year spent away your job title will be a freelance writer. Document what you see on you journey. This will not only keep your family and friends in the loop with what you are doing but will also demonstrate to employees your writing skills. It will be your portfolio.
Traveling to take pictures and videos – Make a Youtube channel, submit pictures to the National Geographic for their competitions or post on Instagram. Employees will be impressed with your attention to detail, your desire to take the perfect picture and patience in doing so.
Travelling to learn – Even if this is not your number one purpose for travelling, you will learn whether you intend to or not. Everyday you will see new things, enriching your knowledge about history, global cultures and indeed yourself.
Travelling to volunteer – your purpose for jetting off might be to help others. There are lots of volunteering opportunities available around the world. Make sure to research into the cause before hand to ensure you will be helping people and not hindering. For example, some schemes cost a lot to be involved with and the money may not be given to locals but corrupt governments – so just be certain where your money is going.
Travelling to study – you could take a short course, undergo a masters degree or study a new language. Signing up to a course does not alwasy have to be expensive. There are grants, scholarships and bursaries to be applied for. A great organisation who funds many global adventures is the The Royal Geographical Society (check out their schemes).
Conclusively, be proud of your adventure, sell it for what it really was – a character building, skill enriching and eye opening experience.