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!
Hmmm, never thought about putting travel on my resume. You’re right, negotiation skills are transferable to any career. When you travel you negotiate prices with the locals…thanks for the tips.
Thanks for the great tips. I think I’ll revise my resume. It couldn’t hurt. I speak a little bit of French — better step it up!
Great post. It’s true that you can incorporate travel onto your resume. Just think of how “well-rounded” you are as a person because of travel. The people you’ve met and cultures you’ve been part of will look impressive and more importantly, you probably have developed better people and communication skills than other people. Gotta run (literally)!
This is a great idea. I think I’ll review my resume and cover letters. I’ve revised my resume numerous times. What’s one more time :) I think I’ll brainstorm and come up with a couple of ideas.
What a great idea! I better dust off my resume. I know it can use a little refreshing. I think being a traveler and travel writer can take you far no matter what you do. If you’re a solo traveler, you definitely don’t need anyone to “babysit” you to make sure you get your work done. On the flip side, if you travel with a group — show off your team work skills!
Great advice Rebecca. It’s all about taking the street cred of travel and life experience and applying it to other tasks.
It’s about marketing that experience the right way!
Actually, it’s probably not a bad thing to mention the travel experience in a job interview, because you would be having a more exciting life than the interviewer and they might ask you on good places to visit!
Thanks for stopping by. That’s a great idea to mention travel experience in an interview. It would make the interview more fun and interesting :)
Travel can definitely go on a resume. When you travel, you meet different people from different cultures and backgrounds. Companies are BIG on diversification these days. In fact, some will send you to “diversity” training so you can learn how to get along with others. I’m going to TAKE ADVANTAGE of this…it couldn’t hurt…travel stories are a great way to “break the ice” in an interview :)