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I quit my job more than 6 months ago. Since then, I've thru-hike accross the US along the Continental Divide Trail (148 days of walking, 2800mi/4500km), and now I'm engaged in thru-hiking the Pyrenees, then continuing toward Santiago de Compostella (1000mi/1600km).

Obviously, those are not your average vacation or travels. How can I address that in my resume to show clearly that:

  • I wasn't iddle for more than 6 months
  • I have gain some specific soft skills (communication, planification, resistance against physical and mental hardships, etc.)
  • I am now ready to come back, and my professional skills are not lost

My resume is, for now, following this structure:

  1. Professionnal experience (with a more than 6 months gap)
  2. Education
  3. Skills
  4. Others: basically just a very brief summary of those hikes and others I've done (thru-hiking the Alps and Iceland, biking through Europe and Japan).

My main concern is that the explanation for the gap is hidden at the bottom, and very short. My resume is not yet so full as I'm only 2 years out of college.

Si how should I show what I did and how it improved me? Should I let it like that and only address it in the cover letter (or in the interview, though it might be too late)?

marked as duplicate by David K, gnat, Dan Pichelman, Kate Gregory, GOATNine Sep 7 '18 at 19:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    What industry do you work in? For most jobs, I would not find your hiking to be relevant skills at all. – David K Sep 7 '18 at 15:45
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    @ David K knowing that OP has hiked for some months is definitely better than just letting the recruiter imagine he's been slacking on the couch watching tv.The soft skills mentionned in the question are maybe not as obvious or relevant as a PhD in a very specific domain or a work in that exact field, but still, soft skills are important. – Laurent S. Sep 7 '18 at 15:51
  • what is your job? the traits you list - durability, planning, engaging with others - are important for any job, but to differing levels. Also, you need to check all your spelling. – bharal Sep 7 '18 at 16:05
  • Most life experience gives us soft skill training, so the hiking may not add much there. I could include being a father on my resume: time management, communication, negotiation, able to work in loud environments on little sleep. – cdkMoose Sep 7 '18 at 16:13
  • A serious trek consisting of hundreds of miles in a foreign country is one of those life experiences that make someone a more interesting person, kudos to you. If you're going to do it, it is best to do it early in your career. It may or may not have a place in your resume, but now you have an interesting story for when you're asked about "the gap". That said, some hiring managers will think that 6 months of producing "deliverables" for a derpy project manager will always outweigh through-hiking the Pyrennees, most however will find it cool and interesting. – teego1967 Sep 7 '18 at 20:54
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I would avoid spending too much time on the subject, I would just reference that you took 6 months to travel and challenge yourself physically. Sure there is a chance that an employer connects with you based on your section about "thru-hiking" but I think the majority wouldn't care.

The reason they would care in a negative way is because of a different fact that you mentioned: you have been out of college for two years, and already have had a 6 month gap in employment (1/4 of the time you have been graduated). Regardless of what you explain you were doing, that will be a factor. Ultimately I think a short mention of what you were doing, and explain more thoroughly in an interview if asked, rather than giving them a bunch of reasons why you took the break in your actual resume (being concise in resumes matters!) ((imagine if the resume was as wordy and long-winded as my post is right now))

Overall regardless of what I said above, I wouldn't worry about this too much. Keep your resume focused on skills that are directly applicable to your job, not tangentially.

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