How to Make the Most Out of a Gap Year
Thinking of taking a year out? Brilliant; doing something useful with a gap year can often be what sets you apart from other graduates. That is of course depending on what you do with your year off.
As you can imagine, sitting at home participating in a whole bunch of nothing isn’t going to look great on a CV post graduation. There are a few things in particular that employers will look upon favourably when it comes to graduates having taken gap years.
1. Relevant work experience
This is the most obvious way to utilize a gap year. Getting a job during time off studying is a huge contributing factor when it comes to employment. However, the key word here is ‘relevant.’
Admittedly, getting any job shows commitment, time management skills, confidence; all the regular skills so to speak. But getting a job within your field of study shows passion, dedication, and of course gives you the opportunity to learn the role and the industry before you’ve even qualified.
There is argument between whether a degree or experience makes someone most qualified for a position. Why not aspire to be both?
Yes, travel is on the list. Believe it or not travel gives people a massive advantage with employers, due to it showing a large number of desirable attributes.
Travelling actually takes a special skill set, and those skills are very much transferable when it comes to jobs. Travelling requires you to be organised, have good time management and communication skills, be open to other cultures, manage your finances, plan ahead, and be confident, strong, and committed, amongst a plethora of other awesome traits.
Some say that travelling is about finding yourself. It can also be about finding a career.
3. Volunteer abroad
You’re probably thinking, 1 + 2 = 3, right? Well you should be. Okay so it wouldn’t necessarily be relevant work experience (depending on the field you would like to go into of course). But volunteering abroad displays the perfect combination of commitment to work and confidence to leave your comfort zone. Additionally it shows something beyond the type of employee you would be, it shows the type of person you are.
What you know is sometimes equally important as who you are when it comes to bagging a job role. Employers aren’t always just looking for someone who can solely complete the tasks. It is often important to be personable and likeable.
In such a highly competitive day and age, it takes more than just a degree to get a person noticed. Utilizing gap years is one of the ways to get your foot in the door. However, once you’re there, it is on you to show your potential new bosses what you’ve learned, who you are, and how you do truly stand out from the graduate crowd.
One more important thing to do during your gap year, enjoy it!
Clare Caddick is a contributor for Inspiring Interns.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.