Graduates who are planning to take a gap year after university, will be glad to hear that a ‘year out’ generally helps rather than hinders their graduate recruitment prospects.
Recent research has shown that the number of students spending 12 months abroad for a variety of purposes has surged in recent years, and that many firms view a gap year as a great addition to the CV of any potential candidate.
When a number of employers were questioned about their attitude towards gap years, nearly three quarters (73 percent) felt that a constructive gap year involving volunteering overseas, independent travel and working was beneficial.
The majority of businesses (85 percent) also felt that internships, if relevant, also offered more experience of the working world than the average non-vocational degree.
Putting gap year placements or time spent working for a company abroad on CVs was the perfect way to make applications stand out for 63 percent of employers.
The study also revealed that the gap year skills most highly prized by employers included confidence, problem-solving, independence and respect.
If you are planning a gap year upon graduation, here are just a few ways you could spend it productively:
From Turtle Conservation in Mexico to helping orphans in Thailand, there are a host of gap year opportunities and providers that will see you gaining valuable real life experience, exposing you to different countries and cultures and seeing you forge life-long friendships.
Gap year programmes can be costly, but there are a number of organisations such as Concordia or IVS who offer affordable programmes across the globe. Failing that, you could get a temp job and save up the money needed for the programme registration fee.
Get a TEFL certificate and teach abroad
An internationally recognised CELTA certificate takes only 4-weeks of full-time study to complete and could be your passport to teaching English as a foreign language in countries such as Korea, Japan and the UAE.
A TEFL job abroad normally comes with an attractive package such as a salary that affords a decent standard of living and free accommodation. JET is a TEFL programme in Japan that has amassed a solid reputation.
Try out different jobs
Temping is a great way to try out a number of different working environments without making a permanent commitment. You could also gain skills that may help you secure a permanent job. Sign up to your local recruitment agency and ask to be put forward for roles that you think are suitable.