The best way to explain your sabbatical to a new employer : CAREER

Knowing how to write an effective resume that includes the Sabbath day is an art. The main goal of your resume is to present your key skills, experience and knowledge that will make you suitable for the job.

However, if you have a sabbatical year behind you and would like to return to the workforce, some applicants will wonder how they can justify their time off positively.

Your sabbatical should be seen as a positive move and should not be treated differently than when you list the skills and experience that you have gathered on your resume.

What you learned in your sabbatical can be very important and can improve your skills in a way that adds great value to your resume.

What is a sabbatical for?

Taking a sabbatical offers you a variety of opportunities for personal and professional development. There are many places around the world that offer you opportunities to develop.

This could be to get involved in entrepreneurship, where you can learn new, valuable job-related skills and return to more spiritual retreats that allow you to achieve positive results and look at the world differently.

How can this experience help your career?

It can be incredibly valuable to have real experiences outside of everyday life. From a work-related perspective, your experience has enabled you to grow, think outside the box, and look at problems and circumstances from a different perspective.

Your unique sabbatical experience can allow you to design, design and weave a positive story about your company or brand. You can highlight another point of view that others cannot see or cannot see.

During an interview for a new job, you will no doubt be asked about your sabbatical. Therefore, make sure that you emphasize exactly how your sabbatical was useful for your further development in the chosen professional field or the branch.

Return to work after your Sabbath year

Getting back to work after your sabbatical is not as difficult as you might think. Nowadays it is perfectly acceptable for many employers to travel a year or have new experiences.

The best framework for your Sabbath year is a project where you aim for something valuable. The skills learned or improved through your experience can be a great selling point for a potential new employer.

When you’re at home, it can be helpful to reconnect to your old network or join LinkedIn groups to create new networks and build useful working relationships with people in your business.

You will find opportunities to use your skills and experience to provide advice and support to others in your field. You can hear about new job offers in your workplace long before the company launches an ad.

Make sure you update your resume to reflect your sabbatical experience, and your employer will find that the knowledge you have acquired is a very valuable asset to your business.

Emphasize your newly developed skills

When you get back from your sabbatical, take some time to write down how experience has helped develop and improve your existing skills, or learn new skills you haven’t had before.

For example, has your sabbatical given you the opportunity to develop leadership skills for which you have not previously had similar tasks?

Have you found that you are really good at conflict resolution or are developing a teamwork approach to problem solving?

Were you able to complete a task on your own that gave you a better feeling of independence?

Did your time travel improve your language skills and cultural understanding?

Regardless of what new skills you have learned or what existing skills you have developed, it can be helpful to combine these skills to include them in your successful cover letter when you apply for a new job, or as examples of your next one Spot to use interview.

Concentrate on the benefits of your sabbatical

Whether you are preparing to speak about your sabbatical during an upcoming interview, or are incorporating your experience into your resume, you need to focus on the obvious benefits the sabbatical has for your potential employers.

Regarding your resume, you may want to include it in your schedule, but more fully in your cover letter where you have the space available to include more details.

Try not to streak too long, but keep the benefits of your sabbatical focused on a short list of achievements, such as:

  • I did critical research that was essential for a project
  • I have completed training in XYZ
  • I worked for a nonprofit organization for a year
  • I took a year to travel through Europe

Tame your enthusiasm

Time consuming, but not going overboard. The employer reading your cover letter has no interest in reading a report of your experience every day, no matter how motivating you found your sabbatical on a personal level.

Customize your resume

Another way to explain your sabbatical than to use your cover letter is to add a note to it in your “Additional Information” section or to add a section to your CV that deals with “additional skills”.

Our resume templates for Word can be useful here. They are designed so that you can easily edit your information and save several variations to meet the requirements of your application.

During the interview

Once you have reached the interview phase, your interviewer may ask you in more detail about your release. Make sure that you formulate your answer in such a way that you also state your professional motives for taking your sabbatical. Explain why you were interested in exploring a potential new career path or how you wanted to gain more knowledge or inspiration by working on another project.

Why and where should you provide your sabbatical information?

If you want to return from your sabbatical and return to the job market, you need to include the details of your sabbatical in your resume to explain the gap in your employment history.

Just because it’s your most recent chronological experience doesn’t mean you should be at the top of your resume!

If you know that you have acquired new and valuable skills during your sabbatical that harmonize with the desired skills for the job offered, you should highlight these in your application in your CV AND on your cover letter.

Most employers quickly scan a cover letter and resume and actively search for the relevant keywords that are important to them. If you include the desired keywords in your application, your resume has a better chance of landing on the yes stack for an interview.


You should never feel guilty about taking a sabbatical, and if you come across an employer who is having trouble taking a career break for any reason, this company may not be the one for you.

Most open-minded employers now understand that people’s career paths are not linear. There are all kinds of curves and bends that you can make on your way, which will give you a wider and more valuable range of skills to deal with everything that life and work can do for you.

Use the knowledge and skills of your sabbatical to attract potential new employers and give them the added value that you can offer their company.

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