Shadowing is a critical aspect of professional growth, particularly in fields such as healthcare, law, education, and more. It provides a valuable opportunity to observe and learn from experienced professionals, gain practical skills and learn about the responsibilities of various job roles. If you have shadowing experience that you would like to include on your resume, it is essential to do it in the most effective way. Here’s how to properly list your shadowing experience on your resume.
What is Shadowing and Why is it Important?
Shadowing is the process of observing and learning from an experienced professional by following them through their workday. It is not a formal job, but rather an opportunity to gain a practical understanding of what a job entails. Shadowing can provide an understanding of the day-to-day duties of professionals in a particular field and the competencies required to perform the job.
Shadowing is critical for anyone seeking to advance in their careers as it allows one to learn and network with established professionals in the industry. Additionally, shadowing helps individuals to determine whether a particular profession is suitable for them.
Types of Shadowing Experiences to Include on your Resume
When highlighting your shadowing experiences on your resume, it is essential to include relevant and recent experiences that showcase particular skills and competencies. Here are the different types of shadowing experiences that are worth listing on your resume:
Career-shadowing: This involves following a professional in the same field as the one you intend to pursue, offering a plan of the day-to-day work in your prospective career.
Company shadowing: This shadowing experience involves observing and learning about a particular company’s organizational structure and culture, in addition to the duties of the staff.
Cross-functional shadowing: This type of shadowing entails observing a department other than one’s own. It provides an understanding of how different areas of the company operate and work together.
Reverse shadowing: This type of shadowing allows professionals in senior positions to learn from more junior colleagues. While this is not the conventional approach, it is still valid for inclusion in resumes.
How to Format Shadowing Experiences on Your Resume
When formatting your resume, it is essential to highlight your shadowing experiences in a clear and concise manner. Here’s how to do it effectively:
Utilise Bullet Points
Utilising bullet points allows hiring managers to skim through your resume quickly. Additionally, it will make your skills and experience stand out. Format your shadowing experience in bullet points according to the skills learned and insights gained while shadowing, as well as the duration and location of the experience.
Include Specific Details
Include specific details regarding the industry or profession being observed and the tasks or duties performed during the shadowing experience. This information helps the hiring manager to see how the experience is relevant to the position being applied for.
List in Reverse Chronological Order
Listing shadowing experiences in reverse chronological order allows the hiring managers to see the most recent experience first. Begin with the most recent and work towards others in chronological order.
Tips for Highlighting Shadowing Experience Value in your Resume
When highlighting your shadowing experience in your resume, it is essential to show the value that the experience has brought to your professional growth. Below are tips for effectively highlighting the value of your shadowing experiences on your resume:
Use Action Verbs
Use action verbs to describe your shadowing experience, highlighting the different skills learned during the shadowing experience. For example, use words such as “observed,” “participated,” “assisted,” or “evaluated” when describing the shadowing experience.
Showcase Transferable Skills
Identify transferable skills from your shadowing experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for; these include communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving, attention to detail, and innovation, among others.
Using keywords specific to your industry or profession can help your resume stand out from others. Review the job posting to understand the skills the employer is looking for, and then use these keywords throughout your resume.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Listing Shadowing Experiences on Your Resume
To ensure a positive first impression, there are common mistakes to avoid when listing your shadowing experiences on your resume.
Irrelevant Shadowing Experience
Only include experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Leave out experience that does not add value to your application.
Lack of Specific Details
Ensure you provide specific details regarding the industry or profession being observed and the tasks or duties performed during the shadowing experience.
Not Highlighting Skills
Highlight relevant skills learned and transferable from the shadowing experience.
Listing shadowing experiences on a resume can significantly enhance job applications when done properly. Ensure to present the most recent and relevant experiences first, use details to describe what you observed and accomplished during the experience, list your experiences using bullet points, and highlighting the value and transferable skills gained to the position being applied for. While not a formal job, a shadowing experience can showcase many desirable qualities to the hirers.
Q: Can you still list shadowing experiences even if you did not receive college credit for them?
A: Yes, shadowing experiences are valuable professional experiences, and even if your employer has not offered credit for them, they are worth listing on your resume.
Q: How many shadowing experiences should I list on my resume?
A: Include only shadowing experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying for. There is no fixed number, but ensure that you highlight the most relevant and valuable experiences.