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Job Search Tips

Job Search
Studying abroad allows you to develop skills and competencies that are increasingly valuable in today's globalized economy, including:
 
  • Critical thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Intercultural competence
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Global networking
  • Time management
  • Commitment
  • Initiative
  • Organization/planning
  • Independence/responsibility
  • Confidence
  • Stress management
  • Foreign language
  • Creativity
  • Course/major-related knowledge
  • Goal setting and attainment
  • Crisis management
  • Flexibility
  • Curiosity
  • Self-awareness/interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Open-mindedness
  • Work ethic
  • Self-reliance
  • Resource management
  • Teamwork
  • Technical skills
  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Resilience
The key to "selling" your time abroad is to show how your experiences relate to your professional development by citing real-world applications.  Employers may not automatically assume that you've developed any (or all) of these skills and competencies just because you listed your study abroad experience on your resume.  You'll need to draw the connections for them.  Here are some tips for highlighting study abroad throughout your job search:
 
  • General tips for building your resume:
    • Avoid using templates downloaded from the internet
    • Formatting should be single-spaced, 10-12 inch font, with margins between .5 and 1 inch
    • Avoid graphics, color, or shading, as these can be distracting
    • Traditional format is to list items in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top)
  • Always tailor your resume to the position
  • Focus on your achievements and list concrete accomplishments related to your study abroad experience
    • Example: Study abroad scholarships you received, specific courses you took abroad, grades you earned, transferrable skills you developed (match these to the skills listed in the job description)
  • List study abroad programs in the education section and international internships under professional experience
    • Alternatively, you could highlight your time abroad in a separate “Global Experiences” section, especially if the job has an international component
For more tips and to see resume examples, visit the University Career Center's Career Preparation webpage.
  • General tips for writing your cover letter:
    • Personalize your letter by listing the employer's contact information at the top
    • Try to keep your cover letter to three or four main paragraphs
      • Introduction paragraph - where you found the job posting, what you are currently doing, what job you are seeking
      • "Sell yourself" paragraph(s) - describe how you fulfill the job's requirements, highlight your unique qualifications
      • Conclusion paragraph - thank the employer for their time, provide your contact information, and end strong!
    • Avoid simply restating what you've already listed on your resume; use your cover letter to elaborate and highlight your strengths
    • Use an active, conversational tone
  • Always tailor your cover letter to the position
  • Provide a brief overview of your experience abroad (2‐3 sentences maximum) within the context of your degree at UT Dallas
  • Describe how studying or interning abroad has influenced your career and life goals
  • Align the skills you developed and experiences you had abroad to the job description
  • Make connections with your potential employer
    • Example: Explain how the cross‐cultural communication skills you developed while studying abroad will be essential to a transnational corporation with an international clientele.
For more tips and to see cover letter examples, visit the University Career Center's Career Preparation webpage.
  • Plan in advance how and when you will refer to your time abroad
    • Example: When responding to the prompt “Tell us something interesting about yourself.”
  • Use specific examples to demonstrate how you developed a particular skill
    • Good: “Studying abroad improved my time management skills.”
    • Better: “While studying abroad, I balanced a full‐time course load, language instruction, and student organizations, all while taking advantage of the opportunity to travel. This required me to prioritize my commitments and manage my time effectively.  Therefore, I'm confident I will be able to do the same in this position.”
  • Explain how you overcame challenges while abroad; this demonstrates resilience and problem solving
  • Align the skills you developed while abroad to the job description and interview questions
  • Showcase how studying or interning abroad sets you apart from other candidates
  • Practice, practice, practice!
For more interview tips, visit the University Career Center's Career Preparation webpage.
  • Review the Comet Calendar for upcoming workshops and seminars offered by the University Career Center, including:
    • Resume/cover letter critiques
    • Mock interviews
    • Job expos
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant to discuss your time abroad and review your resume
  • Take a career assessment, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator© or Strong Interest Inventory©
  • Practice your interview skills using InterviewStream™ (log in with UTD NetID and password)
  • Email your resume and/or cover letter to resumeeditor@utdallas.edu for feedback
  • Access GoinGlobal for employment resources by country and city (log in with UTD NetID and password)