The start of your career is a tough time. No experience, and less developed tech skills … In moments like these job shadowing could come in hand.
But is it worth it to put on a resume?
We’re going with a resounding “yes”.
Job shadowing could be a plus in many situations.
Not only when being inexperienced, but it can also be used as a powerful way to make your resume more trustworthy if you have been out of the workforce or you are changing careers.
So, it is a good way to show an employer what you’re really like in person.
Understanding how to properly list your shadowing experience would help the Hiring Managers quickly and accurately evaluate your skills and abilities when considering you for a job.
In this article, we discuss what job shadowing is and provide you with all you need to know. And we also included 2 examples of how to list shadowing on your resume.
What is shadowing?
Job shadowing, sometimes called externship, is one of the best things you can do when you have little to no experience. Its main purpose is to allow you to learn how a job gets done by someone with more experience than you.
What is more, it is a powerful way to learn new skills and abilities, get the inside scoop on a potential company, and the best thing is that it can be done in almost every industry.
Not only does it get you inside the scoop, but also, if you shadow somebody you could easily learn more about a company or field because shadowing is not just an observation. There are many other things that you may have done. Include them in your resume to give more information about what you have learned and what did you gain skills in.
What's the difference between shadowing and an internship?
Not sure if you should describe your experience as shadowing or as an internship?
Simply said, internships are more hands-on and job shadowing is more about observing.
In internships, you are given tasks to accomplish by someone who supervises your work. However, most internships include job shadowing.
With job shadowing, most of the time you observe how the job gets done. Not all shadowing experiences include hands-on work, but they’re still can be some.
How to Add Shadowing to a Resume
Create a Work Experience Section
You can add Shadowing to your resume by creating a work experience section.
Because you’re already on the job to do the shadowing in the first place. What is more, you’re gaining insights specifically for this job. This is accurate whether you’re writing a resume with no experience, writing a resume for an internship, or in the middle of changing your job plans and writing a career change resume.
If you want it to be easily recognized use Shadow Experience as a title or in the job description.
The process of writing is the same as including a regular work experience.
Write the company name and location and what were the starting and finishing dates of your shadowing.
Include the 3-5 most important responsibilities you did together with the person you shadowed. Use action words to describe your experience and keep it relevant. Action verbs really make your experience sound a whole lot more professional, but replace common verbs like “watched” or “listened” with “observed” and “engaged”
One great hack is to use the job ad as a guide. Use the resume keywords in the ad and add them to your resume if appropriate. An added bonus is that these keywords create an ATS-friendly resume which is just as important as keeping up in your ride-along.
N.B. If you are using the name of a professional in your resume, ask for permission.
Job Shadow – Social Media Marketing Specialist
Growth Agency – New York City
January – June 2020
- Followed Marketing Specialist’s daily routine of managing and growing client social media accounts.
- Learned insights into how to use social media to grow a business.
- Managed some client relations and provided feedback on the performance of their social media campaigns.
Key achievement: Made suggestions that lead to 50% more leads acquired through the company’s own social media accounts.
A J Johns Inc, Jacksonville, FL
June – December 2020
- Shadowed the COO of the company to gain insight into the operations of a corporate office overseeing 500+ employees in the U.S.
- Attended meetings to gain insight into monthly financial planning and budget restructuring.
- Involved in a training event for the employers focused on technical skills development in data analysis.
- Took part of the project flow from initiation to the final product.
Key achievement: Suggested implementing client appreciation measures (birthday greeting cards, private Q&A webinars, etc.). After implementing my proposal, client retention increased by 17%, and overall company satisfaction rates raised by nearly 35%. The Managers were pleased with the level of positive client feedback.
Add it as a separate achievements section or a career highlights section
There is another way to include your job shadowing experience. It’s best when you already have a long professional career but you still need to include the shadowing.
You could always add it in the achievement or the career highlights section.
There are a couple of tips you can use to make it look good:
- If you shadowed a CEO or Manager, add it in the title of the achievement;
- Add a brief paragraph underneath what you have achieved in the position and what you learned;
- Include a name, if you shadowed someone with a long and successful career.
Key Takeaways: Job Shadowing on Resume
Shadowing, if added correctly to your resume, can really beef it up. Depending on your level of experience you can include it in the work experience section or in the achievement/career highlights section.
Show the Recruiter that even though you have no experience, you are ready for new challenges and have the skills to embrace them.
And don’t forget to:
- Include where you did your externship and who you shadowed (if applicable).
- Use active verbs to list your shadowing in a more compelling way.
- Use the job ad as a guide for what employers want to see.
Now you are ready. Go get that perfect job!
What are your thoughts? Did you list your job shadowing experience on your resume? Give us a shout-out in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Make one that's truly you.