Beyond Amazing and Awesome: Crafting a Passport of Skills

Charlie Plain | May 28, 2015

Learning abroad not only gives you a new perspective on the world, but also makes you more marketable while searching for a job. Learning how to translate, market, and promote your international experience is key. SPH Assistant Director of Career & Professional Development Services Darren Kaltved and Ann Hubbard from the American Institute for Foreign Study recently compiled their advice in an article titled “Beyond Amazing and Awesome: Crafting a Passport of Skills.”

Here’s what they recommend.

Reflection
Take time to reflect upon your international experience and identify:

  • How you’ve changed in response to your travels
  • Strategies you used to interact with people from a different culture
  • Methods or approaches you used to adapt to cultural challenges
  • Global social issues you became aware of as a result of your travels
  • Your sense of identity, personal values, and goals for the future

Career Profiling
Begin “career profiling” by outlining the type of job you want and organization where you’d like to work. Next, gather a list of skills and qualities necessary for success in your target position. Lastly, try to detail a typical day in the life of a person working in that position.

Determining Skills
Assess your current skills, talents, and desirable qualities. Pay particular attention to the skills and traits that helped you to be successful while traveling abroad.

Once you have a list of your best attributes, match them with the list of skills you created for your target position.

Marketing Skills
Employers will ask job candidates to demonstrate their skills through behavioral interview questions, such as “Tell me about a time when you resolved a conflict with a coworker.” In these cases, use the STAR technique to provide a concise and descriptive response:

S – Describe the specific setting or situation in which the experience took place.
T – Identify the tasks or objectives for the situation.
A – List the specific steps or actions taken to complete the task.
R – Share the results or outcomes resulting from the actions taken.

 

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