I recently read a great blog post on Brave New Traveler titled “How to Make Travel Look Good on a Resume“, in which author Matthew Kepnes writes about people who have taken a year off to travel (commonly called a “gap year”), and how they can use that travel experience on their resume if they know how to properly present it to a prospective employer.
It occured to me that Travel Writers can do pretty much the same thing……let’s face it, there are basically two types of Travel Writers – those that travel, and those that don’t. Both can craft well-written articles about a destination they visited (type 1) and about the area in which they live (type 2 – remember, where you live is a destination for someone else).
But let’s say that you’re an experienced traveler who wants to break into travel writing – you may not have a lot of articles under your belt yet (not published articles anyway), but you may have acquired a lot of travel skills that will benefit your travel writing by giving you a unique perspective on the needs of a traveler that the “type 2” travel writer may not have.
These skills – if presented properly – can look attractive on your resume when you’re being considered for a writing assignment, and are extremely marketable if you happen to be applying for a job in the travel industry (in order to get cheap – and sometimes free – travel and gain an insider’s perspective while you are working on your writing career).
For example, on your travels you may negotiate the price of a necklace or some other trinket – successful negotiation is a strong skill to have. Perhaps you are fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Many travel companies look for individuals who can speak different languages, and if a travel editor is looking to give a writing assignment on China to someone, being fluent in that language will give you a leg up over your competition.
Start by listing all of the skills you put into use while you’re traveling, and look for ways to position those skills in a way that is marketable to an employer or editor, such as:
- Speaking a foreign language
- Knowing how to use technology such as laptops, cameras, video recorder, etc..
- Knowing how to upload and create videos or create/upload podcasts
- Understand different currencies
All of these skills are marketable and can make your resume much more appealing! I bet you didn’t realize this. See, traveling can pay off!
These skills are also highly prized by employers in the travel industry if you happen to be looking for a job in any of the following fields:
- Travel Writer
- Travel Editor
- Travel Journalist 
- Food Critic
- Short-film/documentary maker
- Cruise Director
- Travel Agent
- Tour Guide
As you’re brainstorming, ask a close friend or family member to describe any skill that they think you have – you may overlook something (it’s hard to be objective about ourselves).
Some Resume Tips & Tricks
- Add “soft skills” such as confidence, adaptability, follow direction, team work, communication, and independence in a specific section of your resume.
- Use bullet points on your resume.
- You proofread your travel writing articles so proofread your cover letter and resume.
- Make sure your write a brilliant cover letter. This is where you can tell a story and paint a picture of your travel experiences
Traveling is a great way to expand your skills and insight. Many people probably wouldn’t dream that travel can enhance your resume. For example, you may not have a guide to show you around a city, therefore, you must rely on instinct and a map! Add your travel experience to your resume and watch your career take-off!
Use your travel experiences to help land that dream job. Good Luck!