Participating in an international experience is a great way to develop new academic, professional, or personal skills that will set you apart when you are meeting with future employers or considering graduate programs. In this age of high-speed connectivity and internationalization, today’s employers are actively seeking out candidates who have a global edge. Being able to articulate your international experience and its impact on your development may be key in separating your from other potential candidates.
Here are some helpful ways to highlight your global experiences:
- It is important to not simply list where and when you went abroad. Employers seek to understand the skills you gained professionally, academically, and personally from your international experience. Focus on the results of your experience, not simply where you went.
- Use descriptive verbs to articulate the skills you gained such as: collaborated, designed, familiarized (for a more extensive list, please click here).
- Make sure to include any language abilities you developed while abroad.
- You may list your global experience under the “education” subheading or if you have multiple global engagements, you may prefer to create a separate subheading for international experiences.
- Remember to adjust your resume to your audience.
- Click here to view a sample resume which highlights international experiences.
- The Curriculum Vitae is a longer and more in-depth platform by which you can detail the skills you acquired abroad. For this reason, consider dividing your skills into sub-headings such as: interpersonal, intrapersonal, cross-cultural, organizational, and collaborative skills.
- For the Curriculum Vitae, it is especially important to mention any research or team projects you were involved in while abroad. Although a Curriculum Vitae is longer in length than a resume, still use strategic and purposeful elaboration to describe the skills you gained through these projects.
- Similar to a resume, include any language abilities you developed while abroad.
Elevator Pitches & Interviews
- The elevator pitch, similar to a resume, is a chance for employers to get a snapshot of the global competencies you gained while abroad. Highlight the skills, trainings, or knowledge you acquired abroad and how they relate to the desired position. Remember to be especially concise and purposeful with each statement since your time will be limited.
- Interviews, similar to a curriculum vitae, interviews afford a more in-depth opportunity to detail your global competencies gained through international exposures. Prepare to be more elaborate in your experiences and with the skills you developed.
- Prepare a list of stories ahead of time. Crafting appropriate stories in advance can be helpful in demonstrating your professional skill set. Some examples to consider:
- A time when you worked in a student team while abroad.
- Encounters which gave you insights to the local culture.
- Moments when you had to overcome different cultural norms in order to effectively communicate.