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How to List Shadowing Experience on Resume: The 3 Best Ways

How to List Shadowing Experience on Resume: The 3 Best Ways

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Shadowing experience, following a professional around throughout her workday observing the actions and skills required in theprofessional’s respective field, is an effective and cost-effective way for students to gain relevant ‘real-world’ experience prior to completing college.

While rarely an experience that earns a student money, whether in the form of a stipend or a paycheck, such experience can help a job seeker stand out from a crowd of job applicants.

The question is, how should shadowing experience be listed on a resume?


How should a job seeker describe a shadowing experience in resume?

Shadowing experience, rarely relevant to more experienced professionals, is often the premiere experience for high school and undergraduate students, many of whom only have part time experience in service industry or entry-level sales positions. For these job seekers, shadowing experience, paid or unpaid, highlights their having attained a relatively prestigious career experience usually reserved for accomplished honor students. That said, such experience is waste on a resume if it is not highlighted in some way, shape or form. Why? Because hiring managers often only glance at a resume after one crosses their desk, which means experience shadowing a famous professional in a given field could easily be overlooked. 


The 3 best ways to list shadowing experience in resume

The first resume section providing a place to highlight shadowing experience is a ‘Summary of Qualifications’ section.


Listing shadowing experience in the summary of qualifications section: Examples

Usually located after the resume heading and ‘Education’ sections, a space summarizing a job seeker’s qualifications for a job offers a simple yet bold and impactful way to present shadowing experiences relevant to the job being applied to.

Using bulleted points to offset qualifications, include shadowing experience including keywords from job ads in the text/bullet points created. The following bullet points from three hypothetical job seekers provide guidance on wording:


  • Shadowed cardiologist and support staff for total of 20 hours over two months, an experience through which I aided nurses in administering 12-lead EKGs, taking and recording patient blood pressures, and filing patient records in company archives.


  • Successfully completed two-month training shadowing kindergarten teacher during which I facilitated recreational and academic activities including fingerpainting, reading periods, math exercises, and geography.


  • Trained in operation of stereoscopic microscopes, Pterygota specimen identification, and laboratory best practices during shadowing experience with entomology team at New York Museum of Natural History.


Listing shadowing experience in the ‘Experience Section’: Examples

The second place on a resume where shadowing experience can be highlighted is under the “Experience” section.

For those planning to list shadowing experience, remember to not name the section “professional experience” UNLESS payment of some form was received for shadowing experience.

As for noting the actual position assigned during the shadowing, unless a specific title was provided by the professional supervisor, use a general “position title” such as “shadowing experience” or “job shadowing.”

In an instance where a work title was assigned, it is still worth identifying the position was a shadowing experience (i.e. “Office Assistant/ Shadowing Experience”).

Continuing on in the “Experience” section, job seekers should provide details of their shadowing experience. What specific experiences were completed? What technologies were learned? Specific details is key here.

Likewise, it is important to include any keywords from the job ad being applied to into the resume’s descriptions.

For an example, consider chemistry students/job seekers applying to a chemistry job where the employer state’s it is seeking applicants trained in the use of centrifuges and water purifiers.

If the student or job seeker obtained experience in centrifuges and water purifiers through a shadowing experience, it is crucial that is noted on the resume in the “experience” section. 


Grayson Laboratories ǀ Lancaster, NY ǀ January 2020 – May 2020

Shadow Experience

  • Shadowed Dr. Ellen Smith, chief chemist for company, for 10 hours per week.
  • Observed lab technicians conducting analysis of farm pesticides in preparation for remediation project to restore soil from previous industrial site.
  • Trained in operation and maintenance of lab equipment including centrifuges, VanGuard 1100-Series clinical microscopes, and water purifiers.


Pauley Law Firm ǀ Lancaster, NY ǀ June 2020 – July 2020

Office Assistant/ Shadowing Experience

  • Shadowed office support staff for one month during summer break.
  • Assisted office administrators in operation of office technologies and computer programming vital to law office operations including Zola Suite legal software.***
  • Assisted paralegals in research of legal proceedings pursuant to automobile and motorcycle accidents and litigation.


Peterson Industries ǀ Buffalo, NY ǀ January 2020 – March 2020

Job Shadowing

  • Shadowed Thomas Sullivan, a senior technician in company’s life sciences lab for 8 hours per week.
  • Assisted in the collection and processing of samples from local freshwater sources, testing for pharmaceuticals and other contaminants.
  • Trained in conducting routine GC analysis of water and soil samples.


*** Experience in record filing/management, use of office technology, and even calling and confirming appointments with clients is vital experience to include on a resume as it shows dependability, strong organizational skills, and the ability to be a team player.


Listing shadowing experience in the Education Section

Whether placing high school or college information at the beginning or the end of a resume, it is another key section where shadowing experience can be listed if the shadowing experience was part of a school or college program or requirement. As with the example below, adjust the details to include specific experience that matches the job description.


Bellwood High School ǀ Buffalo, NY ǀ June 2019

Regents Diploma, Science Concentration

  • Successfully completed shadowing experience at Buffalo Aquarium where I assisted staff marine biologists in feeding fish and mammals and testing water in specimen tanks for contaminants and bacteria.


Shadowing Experience: FAQs


For how long should a shadowing experience be kept on a resume?

Shadowing experience holds relevance as long as ties into the jobs an individual applies to. Once a job seeker has acquired professional experience that replicates skills learned from a shadowing experience, listing of the shadowing experience becomes less vital.


Are shadowing experiences helpful for older job seekers looking to change fields?

Yes! Anytime a job seeker needs to build experience, shadowing or volunteering opportunities can provide viable experience that some employers will seriously consider when reviewing a submitted resume/job application.


Do shadowing experiences pay any money?

Very rarely. If completing a shadowing experience is required to get a scholarship or other type of educational stipend, then you would in a way be “paid” for the experience. For jobs where you can shadow a friend or sibling (lawnmowing, babysitting, delivering newspapers, etc.) you may also receive some payment.