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You got some killer experience job shadowing and now you’re ready to show recruiters that you can do it on your own. But you’re looking through your resume and you can’t really spot where your shadowing experience is supposed to go.
Can you put shadowing on a resume in the first place?
Of course you can. Placed correctly, it can prove you’re ready for the job ahead. We’re here to show you how to do exactly that.
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.
Check out our other guides that can involve adding shadowing to a resume:
- Entry-Level Resume
- Resume with No Work Experience
- Undergraduate Resume
- High School Student Resume
- College Student Resume
- College Graduate Resume
- High School Graduate Resume
- High School Resume for College Application
- College Freshman Resume
- Resume for Teens
- Internship Resume
- Engineering Internship Resume
- How to Explain Gaps in Employment
- How to Put Education on a Resume
- Resume Examples For Any Job
How to Add Shadowing on a Resume
Shadowing sounds more creepy than practical. But at the end of the day, it is practical, on-the-job experience you’ve gained. That’s more than other candidates can say. The whole trick in adding shadowing to your resume is to have it demonstrate what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve acquired.
Let’s start off with the best place to put your shadowing experience when writing your resume—your work experience section.
Create a Work Experience Section
Why there? Because you’re already on the job to do the shadowing in the first place. Additionally, you’re gaining job-specific insight. This holds true whether you're writing a resume with no experience, writing a resume for internship, or in the middle of changing your job plans and writing a career change resume.
Here’s how to add your shadowing experience to the work experience section of your resume:
- Add “Shadow Experience” as the title.
- Enter the company/institution where you did the shadowing and its location (city and state)
- Add the dates that you were shadowing for. They don’t have to be exact, month/year is fine.
- Include what you were engaged in while shadowing. For medical or clinical shadowing, include the name of the person you were shadowing.
Pro Tip: Don’t include the number of hours you were shadowing. It’s the experience that’s key, not the amount of time. If recruiters want to know, they’ll ask themselves.
List Up to 6 Responsibilities
Employers aren’t interested in a list of everyone you ever followed around and what they did. Their time is precious so don’t waste it and remain relevant and concise. Narrow it down to 6 bullet points and show them how what you learned could be of value to the company.
You can do that by using action verbs when talking about your experience. Ignore common verbs like “watched” or “listened” with “observed” and “engaged”. Action verbs really make your experience sound a whole lot more professional.
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.
How to Put Shadowing on a Resume Examples
Acme Smile, Georgetown, KY
- Shadowed Dr. Maria Vasquez in a private dental office.
- Engaged in answering patient questions and setting up dental treatment plans.
- Observed root canal therapy, crown placements, wisdom tooth extractions, and minor surgeries.
- Observed X-ray process from bringing in the patient to reading the negatives.
Although medical shadowing is the most common of all job shadowing, there are other industries that use it as well. Here’s an example of job shadowing in administration:
Office of P & J, Raleigh, VA
- Followed Office Manager to gain insight into daily runnings of 50+ person office.
- Attended meetings of office services to gain insight into administrative planning and budgeting.
- Involved in brainstorming for upcoming office “summer surprise” event for employees.
- Observed office logistic processes - mail, deliveries, and placing orders.
Obviously shadowing doesn't need to mean boring and useless. Stick to what you really learned and can do if given the job right away.
Read more: Including Work Experience in a Resume
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
Watching an expert do their job is valuable, but you know what would spice it up more? Your own achievements. Granted, that might not be that easy when you’re just shadowing, but if there was a possibility for you to engage in a meaningful way, definitely add that in.
Think about a time that you contributed in a unique way, label it key achievement and place it right underneath your work experience bullet points.
Here’s an example:
Key achievement: suggested new employee bonus idea at monthly meeting of publishing team leaders. Idea was received warmly and implemented 3 months later leading to a rise of about 15% in employee satisfaction.
That is definitely going to grab the hiring manager’s attention.
Tailor Your Job Description
Here’s the thing—just adding, listing, and mentioning your shadowing experience isn’t going to cut it. You need to tailor your resume to make your shadowing catch the hiring manager’s attention.
So how do you make your shadowing experience relate to the job ad?
Let’s say you see an X-ray technician’s job ad that expects you to:
Implement radiation protection and safety standards.
Prepare, perform and assist the physician in special and advanced procedures.
Ensure all activities comply with regulatory agency standards.
Ensure prompt submission of high-quality of all images and documents sent to PACS (image quality, correct lead markers and patient data/history).
Highlight the skills in the ad that you have and can prove, like in the above example.
Then mention those key skills in your shadowing experience through examples:
Shadowing on a Resume Example
Motley Medical, Boise, ID
- Shadowed Dr. Richard Yee in the everyday workings of the X-ray department.
- Ensured the patients received their X-rays in a timely manner and answered simple questions.
- Memorized all agency and safety standards and learned how activities are regulated to comply with them.
- Assisted in preparing patients for both simple and complex X-ray procedures.
As you can see, this shadowing experience is relevant and fully tailored to the key points mentioned in the job ad.
That resume is definitely getting a callback!
Read more: How to Structure a Resume Professionally
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Shadowing, if added correctly to your resume, can really beef up your resume.
- 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.
Thanks for reading! Have any questions regarding how to put your externship on a resume? Let us know down in the comments!
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