Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Going Global to Help Your Job Search

As a junior in college, the majority of my friends have spent a semester or summer abroad. Although it has always been my dream to spend my time exploring new parts of the world, I believed that dedicating such a large chunk of time to travel would eventually harm my professional career. Whether it meant having to step down from a leadership position in a student organization or miss out on an internship opportunity, I continued to tell myself that my resume would be stronger because of it. Sure, if I decide to travel to England or Ireland, I could find an internship while abroad. However, with an interest in traveling to France or Italy, and not being fluent in either language, job and internship opportunities seemed scarce.

However, after talking to several friends and professionals about studying abroad, I have finally come to my senses that studying abroad is one of the best ways to build your resume and marketable skills when entering the job force! The article Maximizing Your Study Abroad Experience in the Job Search from Come Recommended did a great job at outlining basic yet necessary skills and experiences learned while abroad that didn't require an internship or a job to learn.

The article mentions these tips:
- Inform employers about how you were able to navigate your way throughout a foreign city with patience and understanding. This shows that you are able to tackle obstacles effectively with a clear mind.

-Discuss how you handled the foreign language barrier and how you were able to work with others from a different culture. This shows that you can handle diversity well in the workplace.

-Talk about how your study abroad experience allowed you to strengthen your independence, flexibility, awareness, problem-solving skills and leadership and explain specifically how this was a direct impact from your time abroad.

As stated in the article, although studying abroad is a fun experience, it can also be incredibly beneficial when it is marketed correctly during an interview. I plan on trying to study abroad this summer and I look forward to all of the invaluable experience and lessons I will learn.

What do you think about studying abroad and how it can help while job searching? Let us know!

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