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Are you switching careers, coming back to work after a long absence, or starting a career soon as a new college graduate? Job shadowing can help you get hired!

Job shadowing can strengthen your resume

If you’re new to a career space, chances are your resume looks a little light. You don’t have the key words that get your resume pulled in HR or recruiter database searches.

The good news is that you can add a job shadowing experience to your resume and get at least some of those critical keywords. As a bonus, you’ll show that you're someone who's creative enough to try an out-of-the box solution. You'll demonstrate that you're enthusiastic about this field and willing to go the extra mile for success.

Job shadowing can give you a better interview

When you interview, your job shadowing experience will be a great resource for you. In your interview, you’ll have a more substantive conversation because you’ve had a day of on-the-job training. You'll know  more about a typical day on the job and the challenges and issues you’ll face. You’ll speak more intelligently about what you can bring to the job, and why it's a good idea to hire you. Job shadowing will also be a big help in creating your 30/60/90-day plan (a must-have for interviews, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience).

Job shadowing can grow your network

As you go through your job shadow day, you’ll meet people. Get their contact information and add them to your networking routine. Contact them later to tell them how great it was to meet them and ask them to pass along your resume to anyone they may know of that’s hiring.

You’ll be sure you’re making the right move

Job shadowing lets you ‘try on’ a career for a day to make sure it’s a good fit for you. You’ll see what a typical day might be like. You’ll have a chance to ask questions about your mentor's likes and dislikes, and what challenges you can expect.

Set up your job shadow today

To find someone to shadow, start asking around. Ask everyone you know if there’s someone in the field who’d be willing to let you hang out with them for a day. Most people will be flattered to be asked and willing to help. Before you get there, do as much research as you can so you can ask good questions. On the day, come dressed for work with your list of questions, and treat them to lunch as a thank you. The day after, email them a thank you note.