Students who study off-campus may have an edge when searching and interviewing for a job. Such an advantage is not guaranteed but must be thoughtfully developed.
Studies have shown that a study abroad experience will not in itself offer an advantage to job seekers. Rather, it is how well you can plan for, reflect on and articulate your experience in terms of skills acquired. Recognizing newly learned competencies and communicating them effectively to a potential employer will set you apart and add value to your resume. These same principles would also apply to domestic off-campus programs.
Learning to articulate what you learned from your experience is also a skill, and there are strategies and processes to help you. It means thinking about these things before you leave campus, recording your experiences in a useful manner, and then telling your story to demonstrate your skills and successes.
The Career Advancement Center helps students incorporate their experiences in a resume. But you can begin the task by using the following documents as strategic resources:
- The Personal Log (Excel document) provides a format for recording your experiences in a way that will be useful when you tell your story. You can also use it to plan how you will engage to maximize your experiential learning.
- The STAR Technique (PowerPoint document) explains how to tell your story in a way that clearly demonstrates particular skills, the results you achieved or successes you accomplished.
- An Accomplishment Driven Resume (pdf) offers a blueprint for selecting and summarizing those experiences that have proven to appeal to future employers.
- Students can also view this article from The Muse about discussing your study abroad experience in an interview.
If you need advice on the best way to present your off-campus experiences to get a job, please contact the Career Advancement Center.