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If you are considering taking a gap year, you may be wondering when is the right time to take one. So when should you take a gap year? And how could it benefit your career?

Many people take a gap year to travel, explore work opportunities and to gain some life experience before embarking on a career. Depending on your circumstances you could take a gap year straight after high school, after college or take a sabbatical later in your career. Either way, here’s why taking a gap year could benefit you professionally:

• Travelling before embarking on your chosen career can actually help you to gain a job as many employers will see this on your resume and will feel confident that you have got your desire to travel out of the way and that you want a long term career with their company.

• If you travel abroad you could look for internships on your travels. Working abroad for different companies and working in different positions will help you learn new skills and develop on your resume template. Internships in different countries also allows you to find out about different working cultures which could help with your career development in the future.

• Travelling abroad can usually open up volunteering opportunities. Working for charity can be great for your resume content and can be extremely rewarding. If you do volunteer abroad, you should include this on your resume and cover letter when you apply for jobs as it demonstrates to employers that you are keen to help others in the workplace.

• During a gap year you should also have the opportunity to meet new people. You can meet new people whilst travelling, whilst working and whilst volunteering. Not only will meeting new people help you to expand your rapport building skills, but it could also lead to new work opportunities in the future. If you keep in contact with people you meet, you never know what jobs may come of it.

• Whether you work abroad, volunteer or simply travel and explore cultures – you will pick up new skills along the way that will benefit a variety of employers.

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