Study Abroad and Career Services give guidance to students about resumes

Suffolk students, especially seniors that have studied abroad, are finding out that their past experiences overseas can help them improve their resumes for today’s competitive job market. Study abroad and career services recently hosted “Articulating your study abroad experience to employers,” a workshop designed to give direction to students on how to incorporate their time abroad to potential employers.
“I honestly didn’t think my broadcast journalism major and studying abroad experience had any connection but after attending the workshop I realize its importance,” said Jim McMasters, a Suffolk senior currently working on his resume. “If a job requires me to travel or live somewhere unfamiliar my resume will display to an employer my availability to do so.”
The event highlighted how to market your study abroad experiences as well as personalize your resume by figuring out what information is relevant.
“I would say my experience overseas was just as vital to me as my internships,” said Melanie Funken, Study Abroad advisor, acknowledging that while it won’t directly land you a job, it will set you apart from other candidates. “Every time I’ve been interviewed, people ask me about my travel experience especially, when it’s related to the job. I’ve even applied for internships in the past at the Attorney General’s Office and that was the first question they asked me, ‘Tell me all about Italy, that sounds amazing.’ And that had nothing to do with the job but it’s something that all people are interested in—anything that you can have on your resume that will set you apart and have you stand out in that person’s mind is going to be a good thing.”
Those who are contemplating doing both studying abroad and an internship have the opportunity to do so through the Study Abroad Office, which now offers international internships.
Paul Tanklefsky, Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education, interviews both students and employees at Suffolk University and adds that having study abroad highlighted on your resume is definitely an advantage. “There’s a chance, a possibility, that a conversation is going to ensue about it. It might be at the very beginning as the interviewer is looking for a way to keep it light,” says Tanklefsky.
Tanklefsky goes on to say that when being interviewed, “You can give the employer an example of when you have been a self starter and been able to work independently to accomplish something. It’s a skill set that an employer really comes to value and appreciate.”
Students that have lived and studied abroad are attractive to employers because through their experiences they have proven themselves in a multicultural environment. The resourcefulness and independence obtained abroad are traits guaranteed to help in the workplace.
The workshop panel, consisting of staff from the Study Abroad Office and Career Services as well as alumni, suggested adding a separate section for “international experiences,” and a “complimentary skills” section, where students can add traits such as willingness to travel and adaptability.
For those students that have missed the workshop and want to get their resumes looked at, Career Services, located at 20 Ashburton Place, offers open hour between Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Study abroad has walk—in advising hours Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the 6th floor of 73 Tremont Street.

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