With competition for graduate jobs becoming ever more fierce, it is important that a gap year does not equate to a gap-in-your-CV-year.
Done well, a gap year can prove invaluable in developing confidence, adaptability and an increased understanding of how the world works, and can help demonstrate important skills to prospective employers, such as self-discipline and motivation.
Here are five CV-enhancing ways to make the most of any valuable time out that might help secure that all-important job.
1. Get a foot in the door
Want to take time out to travel, with the promise of a safe foot on a rung on the corporate ladder on your return? The scholar scheme offered by Deloitte combines a 30-week paid placement in the UK with a £1,500 bursary to go travelling afterwards.
2. Volunteer at home or abroad
Spending a gap year fundraising, volunteering or doing charity work demonstrates an interest in other people and causes, plus self-discipline and adaptability – skills that are particularly valued in the creative sector.
Raleigh International runs community and environmental projects lasting five to 10 weeks in Borneo, Costa Rica, Tanzania or Nicaragua, costing from £1,950.
3. Teach English as a Foreign Language
Teaching develops leadership and communication skills, and doing it in a foreign country demonstrates an independence and adaptability that makes candidates appealing to employers.
You will need to obtain a TEFL qualification prior to travel, but once you have one you can take it around the world.
4. Pick up a new skill
Taking classes, undertaking courses or learning to speak a new language demonstrates self-motivation and a drive for self-improvement. Blog about your adventures and you will also be demonstrating your ability in self-marketing as well!
Cactus Language offers 120 cultural, sporting and gastronomy courses with optional language classes worldwide.
5. Get set for employment
Over a third of graduate employers favour candidates that have worked in multiple jobs in more than one city around the world, according to recent research conducted by Booking.com.
Companies such as Bunac can help you find employment tailored to your interests, as well as helping with transport, visas and bank accounts.