When you skim over your current resume, does anything in particular pop out at you? If not, then you may want to beef up your credentials by throwing an international learning experience into the mix.
Sure, you've done great in school, earning yourself a commendable GPA while still finding the time to participate in intramural sports and other clubs around campus. While all of your achievements are nothing to downplay, you also know that filling out graduate school applications and interviewing for jobs are going to require you to bring your A game. You will have to do something that will make your CV stand out from a whole stack of other applicants'.
Take baby steps to fulfill future goals
You don't have to lead an effort to stop world hunger just so that you can tell potential employers and admissions councils that you are different – though, good for you, if that's what you've been up to the past couple of years. Instead, you can dress your resume to impress by participating in a study abroad program.
The Chicago Tribune explained that recruiters look favorably upon students who take the initiative to take their educations to the international level.
"A lot of growth is going on in markets outside the U.S.," Stacie Berdan, co-author of the book "A Student Guide to Study Abroad," said. "The study-abroad experience shows you can live and work internationally and manage cross-cultural situations."
If you want to go abroad, but know that there is absolutely no room in your already jam-packed schedule, there is no reason to panic. The source explained that spending a summer abroad can give you just the right amount of exposure to different cultures and countries without forcing you to make sacrifices to an semester's worth of coursework.
"By junior year, it's often too late for a lot of students," stated Allan Goodman, co-author of "Study Abroad." "They're locked up in double majors and can't afford to miss classes."
Rather than signing up for a program that takes place over the course of the academic year, you should simply look to tack on some immersion and international learning during your vacation time. This way, your study abroad experience will be purely supplementary, making you feel as if you weren't missing out on opportunities like adding an extra minor to your degree.
Show employers you play well with others
As you embark on your summer study adventures, you want to pay attention to all of the skills you acquire throughout your experience so that you can then market them to future employers or faculty members.
Keep in mind that companies and schools want to see not only that you managed to get your feet wet in the global community, but that you successfully took something away from your experience.
This means that you should view a summer study abroad opportunity as a chance to expand your knowledgebase in the classroom, in addition to promoting personal growth. Make yourself stand out by showcasing how you can navigate through a variety of cultures, picking up snippets of insight as you travel. Ultimately, this will demonstrate that you have amazing interpersonal skills and may be able to work with people from different backgrounds.