Here’s how to use new skills to stand out from the crowd.
A gap year is all about learning, discovering and experiencing. While some might imagine a year spent sunbaking on the sand, a working holiday provides valuable real-life experience that couldn’t be gained by staying home.
Your customer may find themselves rescuing baby turtles, working on a boat in the Whitsundays or learning a new language. Whether for study, work, to volunteer or just travel, their year in Australia will make their CV stand out.
Visitors on the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) or Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) can study for up to four months during their 12 months in Australia. If the budget allows for it, a class can be a great way to enhance their CV on return.
They’ll find a wide range of classes available in Australia’s major cities. They could take up a course learning English, Spanish or Japanese, or try their hand at creative and business writing. For something shorter, perhaps a one-day class or conference. They can find everything from flower bouquet arranging to wine tasting, and even a short course to give the basics in an industry of their choice.
One of the best things to do to boost a CV during a gap year is volunteer. Visitors on a Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) or Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) can volunteer throughout their stay in a huge variety of organisations.
In Australia, it's possible to find volunteer opportunities in exchange for accommodation and meals, which will help them save money and elevate their CV at the same time. They may find themselves 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.
Volunteering is valuable because it shows a potential employer that they're compassionate and hardworking. Plus, gain experience in industries like event planning, research and administration.
A job won’t just fund their travels during a gap year; it’ll also give your customer an amazing experience to put on their CV after they've returned home.
There are a variety of industries that hire working holidaymakers, including hospitality, retail, tourism, construction and agriculture. While they may not get a job within their ideal industry (although it is certainly possible), they’ll gain valuable experience no matter where they work.
Working as a deckhand on a yacht in the Whitsundays will not only give a new appreciation of underwater ecosystems, but it will also teach time management and adaptability. Or, managing the front of house for a bustling guesthouse will teach both customer service and communication skills.
Regardless of the role, they'll gain experience that will put them ahead of the pack.
Whether travelling by campervan across Australia or settled into the city life, they are bound to gain valuable skills during their gap year. Moving to a new country not only shows initiative and independence but also inevitably improves adaptability, resourcefulness and exposure to different cultures, people and world views.
No matter what they choose to do during a gap year, suggest they track their new skills and experiences. Have they started a travel blog? Then they'll likely gaining expertise in writing, social media promotion and even basic code. If picked fruit on a farm, they’ve probably learned how to be efficient and gained experience in food production. Even a stay in a hostel can give them valuable new skills. They've likely learned to cooperate, negotiate and use teamwork with their flatmates.
Adding these new real-world skills to their CV can help impress potential employers when there are a stack of applications.
After they've participated in volunteer, work and study opportunities in Australia, it’s time to make their CV stand out. Working and travelling abroad is a big accomplishment, and now they get to show it.
If they’ve had a job, or multiple jobs, during their working holiday in Australia, list it under work experience and state the tasks accomplished in each job. If café work, they might have gained experience in money handling. Retail workers may have acquired skills in customer service.
Beyond paid work, the experience they've gained during a gap year can seem challenging to portray on a CV. But including an ‘International Experience’ or ‘Other Relevant Experience’ section can give the perfect opportunity to lay out their learnings. They could include accomplishments like travelling solo along the Great Ocean Road, immersing in new cultures and adapting to new situations.
Recommend they always read the job description carefully to cater their CV to the skills the employer is seeking. Do they want someone that’s able to think on their feet? Include an example of when a quick decision had to be made during their travels. Are they looking for someone with great interpersonal skills? Explain an experience making friends whilst in Australia.
After an unforgettable adventure, their CV will show just how much they’ve learned during a year in Australia.