As a student, you probably had various experiences that could be included in your resume. One of such is your study abroad.
If you are wondering how can this possibly be helpful to your employer, don’t wonder because study abroad is actually very helpful. Employers want to see what skills you have and this trip to a foreign country might be one of the best opportunities you ever had that made you realize how many valuable skills you actually possess.
Include study abroad in your resume:
- Think & Revise
First and foremost, sit down and go through all of your photos and recordings from the trip. Remember all of the minor details about your adventures. Maybe there is something that you forgot and the photos helped you recall it.
Before going on the trip, make sure that you have a device (your smartphone or a separate camera) to take photos and record videos. If you like writing, it would be a good idea to take your diary or buy a new one to keep track of everything you do. In case you like talking, you can record your voice as you retell what happened every evening. There are so many ways to save your trip not just as a memory.
If you don’t have any materials from the trip, you can turn to your friends and ask them. Surely, someone recorded at least a few pieces. Of course, the more the better, but even a small number of photos or videos will be enough.
Alternatively, you can also go through the souvenirs you bought. They may help you remember what you did and where you went. It is also a good idea to find any flyers or posters you got. There might have been promo materials you took here and there and stuffed them into your bag without even looking. Now is the best time to check them!
- Jot Down Ideas
The second step is to jot down your ideas. You have remembered everything that you possibly could, but now is the time to make conclusions. Ask yourself such questions:
- What have I learned?
- What have I achieved?
- What skills did I use?
- What new discoveries did I make?
Maybe you met someone who showed you a different view of the world. Or perhaps you realized how different the cultures are and how people’s habits differ. There are just so many things that you could have discovered for yourself!
One of the most important skills you can mention is learning a second language. The more languages you know, the more chances there are that you can handle different customers or documentation. If the job you want to apply to is connected to international relations or requires working with foreign clients, then languages are your best friends. They are practically a must, so make sure that you master the language of the country you went to at least on a basic level.
- List Skills
You’ve got the ideas, but now it’s time to filter them out and see what your strong sides actually are. The skills you choose should meet these general characteristics in order to look effective on your resume:
- Prominence: The skills you choose should be prominent. If you learned how to cook a traditional dish, that is probably not something you would mention on your resume (unless you want to be a chef). You have to narrow down your list if there are too many skills that you came up with. Anything that is not very important can be thrown away.
- Relevancy: As mentioned above, you wouldn’t want to mention learning how to cook a dish unless you want to be a chef. Choose the skills that are as closely related to your desired job as possible. Don’t include something that you will not be using in your job. Such skills will only take up space and decrease the overall impression of your resume.
- Proficiency: If you are not too good with a skill you learned, then maybe it is not so necessary to include it on your resume. If you only have the basic knowledge about something or very less experience, then it might not work well on your resume or in the future once you are tasked with a job that is much more complicated than what you did. However, this rule does not act for every skill. Languages can be mentioned even if you know them on a basic level. It all depends on the situation and it’s up to you to decide what to include.
Now that you know what you will be writing about, you must organize it all in a comprehensive and logical way. Plan your study abroad section in order for it to look good. You can arrange your skills according to several criteria:
- Topic: If your skills can be clearly grouped according to the topic they relate to, then this is the best way to go. You might have learned some communication skills which you can list in one paragraph and some technical skills that can be listed in another one.
- Proficiency: If you are better with some skills than with others, list them from “Expert” to “Beginner”. This way your best sides will be displayed first and only then some of the less prominent ones will be a nice addition to them.
In terms of formatting, it is a good idea to use headers and bullet lists to organize your study abroad section. Don’t be afraid to make some words or phrases in bold, italics or underlined in order to make your talents stand out to your employer while they read your resume.
Last but not least, write! You have the outline in front of your eyes so you only need to follow the plan. Get your resume and add the study abroad section or write a completely new resume.
If you are not sure about your writing skills, you can always turn to professionals who can write your resume for you. Hire an expert from an online writing service such as Trust My Paper or search for freelance writers on Fiverr. After all, these people have more experience creating professional resumes than you, so maybe it will be a better choice to leave it up to them to compile your resume.
But if you decide to write your own resume, don’t forget to thoroughly check it. There are many online proofreading tools, but they can never do a better job than human editors, so it’s always good to ask for help from your family and friends or turn to, once again, a professional editing service.
Your study abroad is more valuable than you think and you should definitely include it in your resume. Employers will be impressed by your experience and this will give you an edge over others. Include study abroad on your resume by following the steps in this article and you should be good to go.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.