Head to a 'challenging destination' on your gap year to impress employers
Opting for an overland adventure to an unusual or challenging destination could be a good way for those going on a gap year to impress prospective employers, it has been suggested.
With the rise in tuition fees meaning those heading to university will emerge with higher levels of debt and the UK economy still struggling to find significant growth, it is more important than ever that students think about how they will stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs.
Using a gap year to head off on an adventure overseas is a good way of doing this. However, according to Tim Fenton, general manager of social network and advice site gapyear.com, employers are likely to be more impressed if you opt to do something unusual and challenging, rather than just spend your time relaxing on the beach.
Speaking to the Guardian, he explained that volunteering while on a gap year as well as travelling to "more challenging destinations like south east Asia and South America" are growing in popularity as students become more concerned with gaining an experience which could help them in their future careers.
"It is important when you sit down in front of a prospective employer to have a good story to tell and a well spent gap year is a great way to create that story," he said.
Heading off on an overland adventure in places like south east Asia can be an excellent way to see parts of the world and enjoy authentic cultural experiences that many miss out on.
For example, south east Asia adventure tours could include a stay at a Buddhist monastery, a trek through the rainforest, or visits to bustling cities like Bangkok, Phnom Penh, or Kuala Lumpur.
GapAdvice.org director Phil Murray recently advised that such trips can help build confidence, which may also boost employability.
"What most people would say, particularly employers, is the increase in confidence before and after [a gap year] is dramatic. At university you can almost spot the ex 'gappers' because they are greatly more confident," he said.