How to use your overseas experience on your CV
Coming to Australia for your OE? Here’s how to use your new skills and stand out from the crowd.
By Leah Dobihal
An overseas experience is all about learning, discovering and experiencing. While some might imagine a year spent sunbaking on the sand, a working holiday gives you valuable real-life experience that you couldn’t gain by staying home.
You might find yourself rescuing baby turtles, working on a boat in the Whitsundays or leaving a new language. Whether you study, work, volunteer or just travel, your year in Australia will make your CV stand out.
Take a class
You’ll find a wide range of classes available in Australia’s major cities. You could take up a course learning Spanish or Japanese, or try your hand at creative and business writing. For something shorter, consider a one-day class or conference. You can find everything from flower bouquet arranging to wine tasting, and even a short course can give you the basics in an industry of your choice.
One of the best things you can do to boost your CV during your gap year is volunteer. In Australia, you’ll find volunteer opportunities in exchange for accommodation and meals, which will help you save money and elevate your CV at the same time. You may find yourself harvesting fruit on an organic farm, helping turtle hatchlings reach the ocean in Bundaberg or preserving precious Australian ecosystems. There are also plenty of research expeditions and volunteer holidays to consider.Show more
Get a job
A job won’t just fund your travels during your gap year; it’ll also give you amazing experience to put on your CV after you’ve returned home.
There are a variety of industries that hire working holidaymakers, including hospitality, retail, tourism, construction and agriculture. While you may not get a job within your ideal industry (although it is certainly possible), you’ll gain valuable experience no matter where you work.Show more
Track your new skills
Whether you’re travelling by campervan across Australia or settled into the city life, you’re bound to gain valuable skills during your gap year. Moving to a new country not only shows your initiative and independence but also inevitably improves your adaptability, your resourcefulness and your exposure to different cultures, people and worldviews.Show more
State your accomplishments
After you’ve participated in volunteer, work and study opportunities in Australia, it’s time to make your CV stand out. Working and travelling abroad is a big accomplishment, and now you get to show it.
If you’ve had a job, or multiple jobs, during your working holiday in Australia, list it under your work experience. Be sure to state the tasks you accomplished in each job. If you worked at a café, you might have gained experience in money handling. Retail workers may have acquired skills in customer service.Show more