How to include travel on your resume as an entry-level job applicant

Dear Sam: I would appreciate your opinion on a few things please.

My daughter is 23 and has just graduated from college with a degree in public health which includes an international study in Edinburgh. In her current bona fide search for her first “real job,” I don’t think she’s getting through many of the readers or scanners with her resume. She is super responsible and has worked one job as an assistant manager of a retail chain and has been a nanny to twins practically since birth, who are now seven years old, all the while going to school.

At the age of 22, she managed to tour 22 countries. Doesn’t that count for something? She researches and finds the best deals, finds accommodations, and figures out how to get from point A to point B, whether by plane, train, subway, boat, etc. She is so independent!

Still, she doesn’t think any of this has a place on her resume, not even under the heading “Interests.” I’m sure a prospective employer would not only find this fascinating, but also see that she’s ready. She thinks that would be something to bring up in a real interview. Any thoughts on this?

Second, I suggested that she mail her resume or drop it off directly to companies that she might think she would like to work with because that would show her strong desire and initiative to work. Maybe I’m misguided about this option, but I’m old school — I still can’t get over the impersonal nature of only applying for jobs online. It’s just not the same as showing up in person and making an impression as a potential employee.

Any information you have on this matter would be greatly appreciated. – Ann

Dear Ann: Great questions! I would probably find a way to feature your daughter’s world travels in her autobiography as it would undoubtedly be a topic of conversation and distinction. I would perhaps link it to her interest in public health because I imagine she was exposed to incredibly diverse cultures and public health needs, so her travels could certainly inform her work as a public health professional. Rather than just stating it as an interesting fact, I would make a connection between her travels, her exposure to different health care structures, perhaps the ways in which different countries engage in health promotion, and possibly even her research interests.

In terms of her distribution strategy, it can be a challenge, depending on the organization she is applying to, to show up in person with a resume. I’m certainly not against this strategy as I also agree that for the right organization it can set you apart. Unfortunately, most organizations do not allow this type of engagement prior to the screening process. I hope that she will have such a distinguished resume based on her tenure as assistant manager, her responsibility as a nanny, her degree in public health and international studies, and her travels around the world that she will be able to land the interview regardless whether it should go through the traditional application, paths or not.

Your daughter is a prime example of why some of my favorite clients can be my recent graduates. An outstanding performance can really make a difference in the first step of their professional journey. I see so much opportunity and creativity allowed in your daughter’s resume presentation and I hope she takes full advantage of it.

Samantha Nolan is an advanced personal branding strategist and career expert, founder and CEO of Nolan Branding. Have a resume, career, or job search question for Dear Sam? Contact Samantha at [email protected]. For information on Nolan Branding services visit or call 888-9-MY-BRAND or 614-570-3442.

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