How could a gap year be beneficial?

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

In the current economic climate employers are looking for something different from their potential employees. Two things that certainly stand out on a CV are a gap year and travel.

The job market is awash with degree students and employers are looking for that something extra that makes someone stand out from the crowd.

Gap years can be a fantastic idea as it allows for some time off after university and gives you valuable life experiences that can be learned when trekking around. Volunteer work can look very good on a CV, proving to potential employers that you have a selfless drive and can offer a company something different.

Reasons for doing so can vary, but one common purpose could be to see the world before it is made more difficult to do so by full-time study or employment.

It can also be a chance to get a first taste of a career – for example, working for a charity could lead to a person then gaining the qualifications to go and work for a charitable organisation.

Gap years have been around for decades, but with the potential of bagging a job at the end of it, more students seem to be signing up to broaden both their horizons and job outlook this year.

Undertaking such a trip is be a big decision with a number of factors, so it may be important to have a Q&A session with an expert in the field before booking a trip or deferring a university place. Cost can be a huge factor, so scrimping and saving to travel is a must. Many university leavers attempt to get part time jobs to earn some extra cash before they jet off around the world.

Travel insurance may also be a consideration for those heading on trips to remote nations, or if you're partaking in any extreme sports when you're away, such as bungee jumping or parachuting.

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