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Why you need international work experience on your resume in 2020

By January 6, 2020Business, ESL Industry Advice

International Work Experience for your RESUME

Do you want to travel all over the world for exciting experiences such as delicious food, exotic culture and adventure?

But during your vacation, you don’t have enough time to complete all of your bucket list?

Are you concerned about how your extended trip will be regarded on your resume?

Or you have you finished your life-time trip but still don’t know how to include your international experience on your resume?

Don’t worry, we have you covered!

Even though many people dream of traveling world, most of them hesitate to put it into action because they are worried about an extended gap in their resume and the impact it may have on their future career.

However, with a change of globalization, many employers now actually prefer candidates with international experience. Your international experience can be used to make your resume outstanding from others with a little thought and tips.

Plus, choosing a career with global travel opportunities, like becoming a TESOL teacher with us, means that you won’t have any gaps on your resume.

You will be working and travelling in an industry that has endless future career opportunities and practical skills that can be applied in any future workplace. All of these skills will put you and your resume ahead of the others.

Why is it valuable to have international work experience?

With a globalized world, diversity has become one of the most important keywords in the world, and employers are looking for candidates who can comfortably work with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Traveling to new countries and living in them shows your willingness to immerse yourself in a different culture and adapt to it. Thus, you can prove that you are resilient and a dynamic employee in any workplace from your international experience, which is now highly required as an appropriate candidate.

If you have lived and worked overseas, it means that not only are you willing to go out of your comfort zone but you can also adapt to a new environment and build a network. However, what is required depends on the job that you’re applying to, so it is very important  to customise and adapt the description about your international experience for each position. So, as an international TESOL teacher, you can tailor many of the skills you will apply in the classroom and school to your resume for lots of different jobs in the future.

For example:

  1. Collaborating with teachers to create lesson plans = Extensive teamwork experience making me a great team player
  2. Working overseas with a language/cultural barrier = Able to work under pressure with limited resources.  I was able to adapt to the new environment and flourish.
  3. Liaising with parents/students about their education = Great customer rapport to ensure that the customer is satisfied and their expectations are met.
  4. Being a classroom teacher = Charismatic and energetic. I am enthusiastic and able to present effectively to individuals and large groups.
  5. Creating lesson plans/resources = I am independent and resourceful. I creatively formulate materials suitable to the task.

Or, TESOL as a career in itself is endless due to high demand for TESOL qualified English language teachers around the world. So, you might not even need to adapt your experience to suit your resume. The experience you have could be the start of a life long career in TESOL teaching.


8 steps to add international experience on your resume.

1. Be selective

While overseas experience gives you an advantage, not all travel is equal, thus, you must carefully consider what details you include in your resume. You always have to include the experience which is actually relevant to the job or job role you’re applying to. If you have been lying around on beaches for the past 6 months, it will be hard to convince an employer that your experienced is valuable. That’s why a career gap year in TESOL teaching is great. Because you get to work and travel and have experience and references to show for it at the end.

On the other hand, your abroad experience will be acknowledged even though the job you’re applying to is in a different field from what you’ve done abroad. For example, teaching English in Asian country shows an employer that you know how to adapt to new environment and work in a different culture and that you are active beyond the language barriers.


2. Find the right place

Considering where to include your international experience in your resume is as important as it is to know what to put. If your travel work experience is directly relevant to your job position, then you should definitely include it in main body of your resume. However, if it is not directly application, you should include it in other part such as ‘Other Activities’ or ‘Other Experience’. TESOL teaching can be included in the main body of your experience as long as you highlight the relevant skills that can be applied to the role you are applying for.

Resume should always be a tool to tell your professional story, thus, it is necessary for you to include your abroad travel and work experience in the right place to assist your career naturally.


3. Include hard and soft skills

Hard skills are abilities that can be certified such as language skills and technical skills. Soft skills, on the other hand, are difficult to be taught because it is more related to interpersonal skills such as communication, leadership skills and creativeness.

If you have acquired any hard skills abroad and it is relevant to your job application, you should include it. And any language skills should always be included regardless of the role. As employers are also looking for candidates with appropriate soft skills, do not forget to include them to your resume with specific examples that highlight your soft skills. Soft skills can be just as important as hard skills in a society that now values Emotional Intelligence (EQ) over IQ.


4. Always include languages

Since language skills are always highly valued, please make sure to include all languages that you learned while you were abroad. Even though language skills are not required for your application, you can still write about it in the ‘Skill’ section of your resume. Even if the language level you learned was only conversational. It always helps to have a second language. If the job you’re applying to is directly related to the foreign language that you speak, you should highlight it more, for example, include that skill in ‘Work Experience’ section if you use it during work abroad.

If you have studied any foreign languages whether in study abroad program or in a language school, you must include that experience in ‘Education’ section.

But there is one thing that you have to care about. You should always be honest with your level of fluency if you don’t want to be embarrassed in an interview or later job by exaggerated your language skill. Even basic foreign language skill is valuable enough to stand out your resume from the crowd.

The best part about TESOL teaching is that there are a lot of positions in Asia. The Asian languages are some of the most sort after languages by employees so if you want a great job, knowing some conversational Mandarin phrases can put you ahead of the pack. And most of our graduates who have taught and lived in China, are nearly fluent in Mandarin just through total immersion in the country.


5 Don’t forget to study abroad

While international work experience can be a huge advantage, do not forget to include study abroad program that you’ve taken part in. Through studying abroad, you might have grown interpersonally by overcoming many difficulties. Thus, it is very important to include your soft skills highlighted by your real experience that you had while any projects or program abroad. Then you can show how flexible you are. A great course like our TESOL courses branch the need to study abroad. Because you are studying with us, we will give you all the tools to teach and live abroad so your international study is already complete!


6 Include volunteer experience

Even though you don’t have any work or study abroad experience, volunteer work in foreign countries is as valuable as to employers and it also should be included in your resume. No matter what kind of volunteer work it was, please think of skills you used and developed while volunteer work. There are many rewarding volunteer experiences for you to partake in as a TESOL qualified ESL teacher.


7 Include it in your cover letter

It can be difficult to summarise your abroad experience in bullet points, but still there is a way to include your experience in your job application. You can put them in your cover letter instead of including them in your resume.

Your cover letter has more flexibility and creativity compared to your resume, so you can maximise your skills and story in your cover letter with a little creativeness and passion. This is the place where you can show your personality and differentiate yourself from others. Of course, you must stay professional on your resume and global experience is no exception.


8 Expand your Network

They say that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. International work experience gives you a great opportunity to find connections outside of your usual network. This gives you the option to make connections in countries you wouldn’t normally be able to make. We have so many graduates who started doing TESOL to make connections and have ended up opening numerous schools or becoming heads of departments and more. Simply, through your connections, you can open up a network of opportunities you previously wouldn’t have thought possible.


The best way to start your English teaching career is to become a TESOL teacher with ATA TESOL College.
Make sure to check out our courses page to find out about TESOL courses in Australia.
Or email us at to find out more today!
Want to learn how to choose the best TESOL Course? Email us today.


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