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Job Shadowing: The Secret For Career-Changing Adults & New Graduates

Job shadowing has a reputation as a job tryout activity to help you figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Don’t be too quick to dismiss it if you’re a new graduate or a career-changing adult who already knows what you want to do. For you, job shadowing can be a rich resource that will boost your resume, make you stronger in interviews, and even build your network. Related: 6 Steps To A Strategic Career Change


Job Shadowing Helps Your Resume

If you don’t have experience, getting a job can be difficult. Your job history will be lacking in the eyes of an employer. You also won’t have key words that get your resume pulled up in resume database searches. When you complete a job shadow, you can put that on your resume to get the key words and also show that you are a go-getter who can be proactive in getting what you need to be competitive.

Job Shadowing Strengthens Your Interview Performance

When you job shadow, you get a lot more ‘inside’ information that someone who doesn’t. You can ask questions all day long (see ‘What Questions to Ask When You Job Shadow) that will give you critical information to help you speak more intelligently in your interviews. Job shadowing also makes it possible for you to create a stronger 30-60-90-Day Plan for your interview. These plans are a must do for any interview, but especially when you’re trying to show that you can do a job even without experience. Your job shadow will give you the kinds of details that will make your plan (and you) shine. Between your answers to interview questions and your 30-60-90-day plan, you will have a much more substantial discussion because of what you learned in your job shadow(s).

Job Shadowing Boosts Your Network

You will meet a lot of people as you follow someone through their work day. Gather as many business cards as you can, and add these people to your network. They can be a great source of more information or even job leads (in this job search and the next one).

How Do You Arrange A Job Shadow?

Ask everyone you know if they know someone who’d let you tag along for a day. Many people will be flattered to be asked, and very willing to help you out. When you go, remember to dress as if you are on the job yourself, and come armed with as much knowledge as you can gather from pre-job shadow research. Don’t waste your time by asking questions you could have looked up yourself. Respect that they are at work, so save your questions for appropriate times. Take them to lunch, and send a thank you note the next day. Job shadowing can absolutely help you get the job you want. Learn more about how to use job shadowing as a fast way to find a job.. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In this week's edition of Well,This Happened, the series that lets you become a career coach, we addressed James' tough situation.

James was caught off guard during a department heads meeting when he was asked to present. He wasn't prepared but did so anyway and bombed the presentation because of this. James is now wondering what he should do to address this situation.

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