Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

3 Reasons for Recent Graduates to Consider a Travel Gap Year

If you have recently graduated, or plan on graduating from college in the near future, you may be concerned about the limited job market for so many college graduates.  With so many recent graduates jumping on the job search band wagon, it’s important to think about how you can differentiate yourself in the candidate pool.

One suggestion is that you consider saving your money and taking a gap year after graduation to travel internationally. There are several reasons why international travel is beneficial to a recent college grad searching for the right job opportunity.

1. Understanding of Cultural Diversity

When an employer is considering a candidate for hire, one of the things he will pay attention to is the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity.  Having the ability to get along with a diverse group of people is very important in today’s work place.

When you have traveled to other countries, you are proving to a potential employer that you have the ability to understand and adjust to different environments and cultures.

2. Open Minded

Most people who are open to traveling and experiencing other cultures tend to be more open minded about things.  The ability to think outside of the box is a highly sought after skill at many companies today.

Most hiring managers are interested in hiring thinkers who are able to consider not only how things have been done in the past, but also new ways for improvement.

When you have traveled the world, you demonstrate your ability to think outside of the box and do something different.  While taking a gap year after college to travel is becoming a popular movement amongst college graduates, I guarantee that the percentage of job applicants who have actually done this is low.

When the hiring manager notices that you are different and did not follow the crowd by immediately jumping into the work force, this proves that you are able to think about things differently.

3. Driven

Not only does travel show that you are able to think outside of the box, but it also shows that you are a person of action. How many people have you heard say that they want to travel and see other countries, but they never take the initiative to make it happen? Quite often, these people are just as timid when it comes to other things in their personal and professional life.

A good hiring manager is searching for someone who isn’t afraid to take risks in order to be successful and make things happen. When you have a desire to do something like travel the world, you show your drive and ability to follow through by actually making it happen.  A hiring manager will naturally believe that you are able to do the same in your business life.

Taking a gap year to travel the world isn’t for everyone.  However, if you have the opportunity to do so, never think that it will hurt your chance at a professional career.  In fact, it could very well be the reason that you land that amazing job!

What are some other reasons that world travel could be seen as a positive when applying for jobs? 

Image: Maridav/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

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