Make it Count: 5 Questions to Ask When Planning a Gap Year

Written by  Verge staff April 12, 2013

Be strategic about your international experience and wow them at your next job interview.

When it comes to impressing a prospective employer at your next job interview, your international experience won’t necessarily speak for itself—that’s down to you. Here are five questions to ask yourself to guarantee that your experience working, studying or volunteering abroad truly separates you from the pack.

What are my best options? Is the type of overseas activity or program I’m considering directly relevant to the career path I envision myself taking?

What skills can I develop? Where are the opportunities to gain or sharpen specific hard skills related to my career goals?

What about the soft stuff? What soft skills (language learning, the ability to learn about and understand people and customs) might I acquire and hone—and how will I pitch those skills to a prospective employer?

How am I going to explain this? How will I articulate my overseas experience as a positive part of my skill set — and not a gap in my resume? Can I build an online portfolio or use some other way to illustrate what I learn?

What’s my elevator pitch? How can I describe this experience and the skills I’ve developed concisely and conversationally in a job interview?


Related articles: What Would the Boss Say?—Employers on Gap Years


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Published in Volunteer Abroad

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