The mail function has been disabled by an administrator.

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

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


Add this article to your reading list
Published in Volunteer Abroad

Join the Verge Community

Verge Magazine Membership

Join our community of savvy travellers and put nearly two decades of inspiring articles, authoritative information and expert advice to work for you.

Show me more > Login >


Travel Intelligence Bulletin


The latest openings overseas—direct to your inbox.

Subscriber Login


Travel with purpose; travel for good. Articles, resources and events for ethical and meaningful travel, volunteering, working and studying abroad.

Verge believes in travel for change. International experience creates global citizens, who can change our planet for the better. This belief is at the core of everything we do.

Like what you see?

Follow us on social media