How to translate your Israel experience into a stellar resume

 
You’re back from your five months or a year in Israel. So what now? Regardless of whether you participated in a gap year, study abroad, or post college program, your Israel experience has given you a wealth of skills and experience that you can highlight on your resume to help you get the most out of your next phase in life.
 
Brandeis University’s Director of Career Services Joe Dupont says of recent college grads who have pursued internship opportunities abroad, “Employers like to hire people who take risks and can adapt.  A person willing to go 3,000 miles for an internship is definitely someone I’d hire.”
 
He also says that the best candidates are the ones who can clearly relate the skills they gained from their internships. “The Masa Israel experience is so rich and robust that it only makes this easier.”
 
Many people deliberately choose to work abroad in order to develop global consciousness and language skills (ABC News has some advice for people who do), but even if your experience doesn’t involve traditional office work, experiences like volunteering and intensive language immersion can easily be translated into compelling points for your resume.
 
Here are some examples of how you might communicate your international experience to employers or school applications:
 
Leadership skills

Scenario: You teach English at a public school in an immigrant town and developed a class newspaper.
 
Resume line: Developed curriculum to teach English as a Second Language to immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and organized the production of a class publication to help them develop their language expression and comprehension skills.
 
Team player

Scenario: You work at an organization that aids African refugees and help newcomers to Israel find the support they need.
 
Resume line: Coordinated projects for international NGO to aid absorption of refugees from Darfur, Eritrea and Ethiopia
 
Multulingualism
 
Scenario: You spend four hours each day for the first month of your internship program in an intensive Hebrew course.  Five months later, you’re a pro at ordering in restaurants, bargaining in the market, and chatting with the cab drivers.
 
Resume line: Developed near-fluency in spoken Hebrew within five months, proficient in reading and writing.
 
How have you translated your experience abroad on your resume?
 

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