Gap year advice
A gap year is not a year off. It’s a way to develop yourself and your skills before taking the next step in your education or career.
A gap year can make a big statement about you as a person and can help you get into certain careers.
Benefits of taking a gap year
A gap year can give you an advantage when you apply for jobs or courses.
Some of the advantages include the opportunity to:
- think about your career plans
- travel and experience other cultures
- earn money to support yourself in future study
- improve your CV by doing work experience
- get skills you cannot learn in a classroom
- become more mature, focussed and motivated
Activities to do on your gap year
You should choose activities to build the skills you think you’ll need in your future career. Popular skills include teamwork, leadership, problem solving and independent learning.
Depending on your circumstances you could:
- get a paid job
- volunteer or find work experience
- do a year in industry placement
- travel or work abroad
- learn a language or take online courses
- resit your exams
Improve your applications
You can enhance your personal statement or job applications by describing your gap year in the right way.
Make sure you highlight:
- the things you’ve done or experienced
- the skills you’ve learned or developed
- how you’ll apply the skills you’ve learned
- your experiences using the star method
Planning your gap year
When you’re preparing for a gap year, make sure you:
- plan ahead of time
- think about money and how you’ll support yourself
- keep your CV up to date
- make a note of application deadlines so you do not miss them